CABOODLES CASTING FOR TEENS
Byline: Faye Brookman
NEW YORK — Plano Molding Co., the firm that pioneered the plastic cosmetics organizer category in the Eighties by adding color and fashion to fishing tackle boxes and calling them Caboodles, now hopes to catch teenagers with a line of color cosmetics.
The Caboodles brand cosmetics will be introduced at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Marketplace meeting, which begins June 28 in Philadelphia.
Plano has formed a new company called Platinum Cosmetics Inc. It will license, manufacture and distribute the line, which is slated to arrive on retail shelves by next spring.
Like Caboodles cosmetics organizers, the cosmetics will be targeted at the teenage market — a segment getting crowded with brands such as Estee Lauder’s Jane, Renaissance Cosmetics’ Fetish, Bonne Bell, Minnetonka’s Jelly Beans, Fun Cosmetics and AM Cosmetics’ Sweet Georgia Brown.
Other products already bearing the Caboodles name include Minnetonka’s Caboodles bath and body line and Goody’s hair care accessories.
Leonie Mateer, consultant to Plano Molding and Platinum Cosmetics and the originator of Caboodles in 1987, said the Caboodles brand offers a major point of difference because it will be an entire brand name.
“We’re even looking into products such as hosiery and jewelry under the Caboodles name,” said Mateer, who believes the cosmetics line will have first-year wholesale volume in the $15 million range. And, industry sources estimate, the entire Caboodles franchise will hit $100 million at retail within three years.
More than $1 million will be spent in the next year promoting all Caboodles items, Mateer added.
The advertising will help position Caboodles as a brand for the older spectrum of the teenage market.
“We have been working with a team of designers to develop an image that fits today’s older teen market and capitalizes on the strong brand identification Caboodles has,” said Gary Schofield, vice president of marketing for Platinum cosmetics.
Mateer said she conducted exhaustive focus groups with teenagers to create a line based on their desires.
“We have been researching and developing the line for over a year, and during this time we have monitored teen consumer reaction to products introduced at retail,” she said. “We believe there is a niche Caboodles can fill. The Caboodles brand already has 100 percent brand recognition with teens.”
Mateer said some of the existing lines have not kept up with the rapidly changing tastes of teens: “Some lines took the MAC unisex approach and black packaging. That’s not what teens want now. They are back to color and femininity.”
Her number-one goal will be to lure teens from department and specialty stores.
“Our research showed that nearly 50 percent of teens are currently shopping those stores for cosmetics items,” she said. “We want to bring these shoppers to mass.”
The focus groups showed there are areas within makeup, such as lipcolor, where teens are dissatisfied with current mass options.
Additionally, she said, Caboodles will have a natural positioning that separates it from other teen contenders.
“Jane is a mass market answer to MAC; we’re Clinique,” said Mateer.
Because teens like to touch and experiment with products, the line will not be blister-carded. However, Mateer said the firm will make accommodations for retail accounts that prefer carded merchandise. Pricing on Caboodles cosmetics ranges from $1.99 to $3.99.
In conjunction with the entry into color cosmetics, the entire Caboodles organizer collection is undergoing a facelift. A new logo using a scripted C was designed to provide a fresh look.
“It was time. Times change, teens change and trends change,” Mateer said.
One line of containers is called Color Collisions, bearing a design featuring swirls and bursts of color printed on plastic. Caboodles also announced a licensing agreement with Living Things to introduce fabric cosmetics bags.
After mushrooming to a $150 million business in the Eighties, the cosmetics organizer business started to decline in the Nineties.
Efforts undertaken by Plano in the past two years — such as Caboodles Jellies inspired by jellies shoes and Liquid Metallics — have helped invigorate the market.
At a time many mass market companies are downplaying fragrances, another company has bought its way in and is planning to put a major push behind its newly acquired brands.
CCA Industries Inc., a manufacturer best known for skin care products like Sudden Change and nail care with NutraNail, entered into a licensing agreement with Shiara Holdings in March to manufacture and distribute its current scents and launch a new brand called Cloud Dance. The existing brands — Cherry Vanilla, Mandarin Vanilla and Amber Musk — produce annual retail sales of about $10 million, according to industry estimates.
The brands will be marketed through a new subsidiary called Fragrance Corp. of America Ltd., which is 80 percent owned by CCA and based in East Rutherford, N.J. The balance is controlled by Shiara founders Barry Shipp and Joseph Aramanda. Shipp was one of the founders of Jovan.
Aramanda was chief operations officer of Beecham in 1985 and president of Quintessence.
Just prior to the acquisition by CCA, Shiara had announced plans for a new fragrance called Cloud Dance. Dunnan Edell, senior executive vice president of CCA, said his firm has big plans for Cloud Dance, which will be shipped next month.
“We think the mass market fragrance business has bottomed out and will now move upward,” said Edell, referring to the stagnant state of sales. “Also, Cloud Dance is exciting because it is unique. There are two difference fragrance bases for a layered look.”
The bottle is shaken to merge the colors and scents for the final scent.
Cloud Dance consists of two stockkeeping units, a 1-oz. Cloud Dance Breeze and a 1-oz. Cloud Dance Blush. Both have suggested retail prices of $13.50.
At a trade show in February, Coleen Pierce, cosmetic coordinator for The Bartell Drug Co. in Seattle, said she liked Cloud Dance because it was different from other mass scents. She also liked a special offer of matching bath beads that will be available for the holidays. The bath beads are color-coordinated to match the two-toned fragrance.
CCA is planning to use extensive TV advertising to help support Cloud Dance. Edell would not disclose budgets. Television, however, has been a major part of CCA’s success with Sudden Change and NutraNail. The spots usually show a problem and solution using the CCA product.
CCA’s entrance into fragrances comes at a time many marketers are exiting the business. Revlon and L’Oreal have decreased their focus on fragrances. Renaissance Cosmetics is experiencing troubled times. Even Coty Inc., although launching a battery of new products, is limiting new introductions to extensions of already established core brands. Edell, however, said CCA plans to expand and perhaps introduce new scents.
“We’ll keep an open mind,” he said. “CCA has had a history of getting into hot categories ahead of the curve.”
He hopes to at least double company sales within the next few years.