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THIGH TECH: Lancaster Group has come up with what it considers the next great hope for the fickle anti-cellulite category. The company has a new technology it claims will produce an especially efficacious anti-cellulite product. The process involves the use of a static magnetic field created by miniature crystals that carry a permanent magnetic charge. According to Dr. Leonhard Zastrow, senior vice president of research and development for Lancaster, the magnetic field’s impact on circulation is the key: The increase in the natural process of blood flow near the surface of the skin is a way to lessen the appearance of cellulite.
Zastrow said the development is a milestone because it involves “moving from chemical to physics-based cosmetic treatments.”
Lancaster’s first product featuring the technology will likely be launched in Europe in the spring. The firm hopes it will have lasting power in a category that has seen pockets of strong sales — the latest led by Christian Dior’s Svelte — which peter out when consumers don’t turn up for return purchases.

BIGGER BOOTS: Continuing a strategy of expanding its Boots Contract Manufacturing subsidiary, The Boots Co. PLC has acquired Croda International PLC’s private label cosmetics and toiletries manufacturing businesses in France and Germany for an undisclosed sum.
BCM, already Europe’s largest manufacturer of private label cosmetics and toiletries, had operating profits of $27.41 million (17.8 million pounds) on sales of $332.64 million (216 million pounds) in the year ended March 31. Its sister company Boots The Chemists has more than 1,100 stores in the U.K.
The Croda businesses being purchased are Croda Cosmetique France SA, based in Vitre, France, a makeup and skin care manufacturer with sales of about $16.17 million (10.5 million pounds) a year, and Croda Kosmetik Deutschland GmbH of Dietzenbach, Germany, which produces color cosmetics and has annual sales of about $10.01 million (6.5 million pounds).
“The private-label market in Europe is expanding rapidly; acquisition in Europe is very much part of our strategy,” said John Watson, managing director of BCM. “We are gaining access to a good customer base, plus the advantage of additional manufacturing capability while improving our distribution network in continental Europe.”

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