Byline: Cara Kagan

NEW YORK — Procter & Gamble Co. has given its Pert Plus two-in-one shampoo brand a tune-up.
Next month, the company will ship reformulated and repackaged versions of its nine Pert Plus shampoos to about 60 million mass outlets.
The new combined shampoos were created to deliver more precisely balanced conditioning ingredients that are tailored to different hair types and to give a fresh face to Pert Plus, which has been on the market in the same packaging since 1987.
“Technology has evolved to the point where we can take each shampoo and combine it with exactly the right level of conditioning for each different hair type, which would better meet our consumer’s needs,” said Victor Bellino, an account executive of P&G’s hair care category. “We also thought that it would be a good time to update the brand’s packaging, since it has looked the same for eight years.” P&G is considered to have pioneered the combined shampoo and conditioner category when it relaunched its Pert brand as Pert Plus. Today, two-in-one shampoos command 30 percent of the $1.5 billion U.S. retail shampoo market, or $450 million. The company has also applied this concept to many of its shampoo brands with great success.
Its Pantene Pro-V, for example, is the top-selling shampoo brand in this market, with an estimated 12.5 share, or $175 million in U.S. sales. Head & Shoulders, which is also available in two-in-one versions, has an estimated 8 percent share, or $120 million.
Pert Plus is already operating from a position of strength as the number-two-selling shampoo in the U.S. The brand has a 9.5 percent share of the market, or about $140 million in retail sales.
Industry sources estimated that the new initiatives could boost sales as much as 20 percent in the first year, giving the brand an estimated volume of over $168 million at retail.
Procter & Gamble is reportedly spending over $25 million on New Pert Plus’s 1995 advertising budget. Support will include a national TV advertising campaign, to kick off in April, and a direct sampling effort.
According to Bellino, throughout this year, samples of New Pert Plus will be sent to approximately 50 million U.S. households, roughly half of the families in America.
The company maintains that the new formulas not only offer more specialized conditioning with the same cleaning benefits, but are milder to the hair and perform better in hard water, which is an issue with approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population.
In addition to boasting snazzier graphics, New Pert Plus’s packaging was also designed to be less difficult to use in the shower, particularly for people with soapy hands. The flip-top coverings have been updated to include a push-button dispenser for easier closure.
As part of the new venture, P&G has streamlined the number of Pert Plus stockkeeping units from 26 to 15 by eliminating its 7-oz., 22-oz. and 28-oz. sizes and jettisoning the 11-oz. and 16-oz. versions of its dandruff shampoos.
New Pert Plus will be available in formulations for hair that is Normal, Dry or Damaged, Permed or Color Treated, Fine, and Oily. There are also two dandruff shampoos — Normal and Extra Body — and two Tear Free versions for kids.
All of the shampoos will be sold in bottles of 15-oz. for $3.11, 25.4-oz. for $4.99 and 33.8-oz. for $5.99. There will also be a 6.8-oz. size of Normal for $2.62. “We had three reasons for this restage,” Bellino said. “The first was consumer-based in that we wanted to meet their needs better. The second was packaging-based so that we could give the brand a more modern look. The third was for the trade. We wanted to offer them a much more simplified lineup and more efficient [stockkeeping unit] management.”