NATURISTICS MELDS HBA, COSMETICS

Byline: Chantal Tode

NEW YORK — The line separating HBA and color cosmetics just got blurrier.
Between March and May, Del Laboratories, based in Farmingdale, N.Y., will rename the Natural Glow cosmetics brand to include it under the Naturistics banner to create a “head-to-toe natural beauty” brand, according Bill McMenemy, executive vice president marketing.
At the same time, Del will ship merchandising displays, measuring six feet high by six feet wide, to 5,000 discount stores. The displays house 400 Naturistics stockkeeping units in skin, bath and body care, fragrance and color cosmetics.
Naturistics was launched in 1991 with the intention of having one all-encompassing natural-based beauty brand, said McMenemy. The company quickly discovered, though, that a mass market brand bridging HBA and cosmetics departments wasn’t possible at that time.
“Having skin care, bath and body care and cosmetics in one location was unheard of four or five years ago. We couldn’t sell HBA in the cosmetics department and that forced us to do two lines. Now we’ve broken through that barrier and we can merchandise them together in one location,” said McMenemy.
The barrier is less rigid today because of the strength of the Naturistics brand, which industry experts estimate at $50 million a year in sales, and the fact that the trend towards products with natural ingredients shows no signs of abating.
Under the Natural Glow name, the cosmetics were rolled out to 16,000 to 18,000 stores, said Peter Acerra, vice president marketing. Del would like to see the distribution of the newly renamed Naturistics cosmetics reach 20,000 doors by the end of the year.
So far, putting all these categories together in one spot works best in discounters, said McMenemy, because they have the space. Kmart, Wal-Mart and Meijers will carry the full-sized units. Eckerd’s drugstores and Kroger’s supermarkets will carry smaller units designed as bath shops. Wegmans, an upstate New York supermarket chain, will have 38 full-sized displays and 12 units that are bath only.
Del will try to build awareness of Naturistics’ new head-to-toe positioning through consumer promotions and brochures on the display units that highlight the benefits of the products.
An aggressive number of Naturistics product introductions — including expanded color offerings of new shades and products in cosmetics — is aimed at further reinforcing the brand’s new stance. As a further step toward that goal, the company will issue new, more-upscale packaging for the fragrance and cosmetics lines.
All the different elements will hit the retail shelves between March and May of this year.
Print advertising will also be a part of the strategy. Six ad designs will appear in magazines such as Allure, Glamour, Seventeen and Cosmopolitan. The ads will relay Naturistics’ natural beauty care message as well as support specific product launches: Color Fix lip color; Color Fix liquid makeup; Sweet Lips lip gloss; Longer Wear lip color; Sheer lip color, and Naturistics Spa.
In color cosmetics, Del is adding new shades to three long-wearing lip color products: Sheer Lipcolor, Longer Wear Lipcolor and Colorwriter Lip Crayon. Prices range between $3.75 and $4.25 for the different lip color products.
The company is introducing Color Fix face makeup that includes long-wearing foundation in six shades for $5.50, lip and eye pencils in six shades each for $3.95 and lip color in three shades for $5.50.
Natural Glow nail polish will also be renamed Naturistics. The segment grew around 20 percent in 1996, said Acerra.
Del plans to further add vitality to the Naturistics brand by trying to hold the loyalty of teenage girls as they trade up from lip gloss to color cosmetics.
Lip gloss is the first entry into cosmetics for most teenaged girls, explained Acerra, and Naturistics is already a strong player in this segment.
Sweet Lips, a high-gloss lip gloss, will be one of the new launches. It offers six fruit flavors: strawberry, raspberry, kiwi, watermelon, passion fruit and cherry. The tubes cost $3.50 each.
Naturistics will introduce Color Slixx to provide a bridge between lip gloss and full color lipstick. The line is packaged in pots and provides full color coverage as well as gloss. It has seven flavors — wild honey, juicy raspberry, pomegranate, pure maple, strawberry ice, sugar glaze and plumberry. The products will be priced at $3.75 each.
Rounding out the head-to-toe natural beauty message is a new skin care line with anti-oxidants. The line consists of three cleansers, three moisturizers and a facial mask. Each product will cost between $4.50 and $8.00.
Also in skin care, Naturistics’ alpha-hydroxy line, Alpha Natural Plus, has been reformulated to include anti-oxidants.
In the fragrance area, a new scent will be added to Naturistics Scents of Being There, a seven-fragrance line, in September.
The goal in fragrances, said McMenemy, is to achieve a “layering” effect because women are looking for a light, diffused fragrance.
The Naturistics bath and shower gel line has been reformulated with the addition of scent to position the brand under the fragrance banner. The price is $5.00 a bottle.
Moisturizing Body Splashes have also been added to the fragrance segment. They are available in White River Musk, Tropics, Naturally Vanilla, Sea Splash, Paradise, Botanical and Mountain Berry and cost $5.95 each.
The fragrance lineup also includes body splashes, cologne sprays and body lotions.
Lastly, Naturistics will also introduce this spring the Spa Collection of bath and body treatments that combines sea minerals and marine extracts. It includes a massage lotion, body scrub, face and body mud mask, bath salts, foot soak and eye mask. Prices will range from $4.00 to $10.00 per item.

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