CLAIROL PLANNING TO BRING BACK HERBAL ESSENCE
NEW YORK — Clairol is getting back to nature — again.
It has been 22 years since Clairol introduced its Herbal Essence shampoo brand. Now, the company plans to take advantage of the current trend in natural ingredients to relaunch the franchise.
In February, Clairol will introduce the new Herbal Essences collection of four shampoos with four corresponding conditioners.
“Consumer research has shown us that people remember Herbal Essence as a natural product, even though it really wasn’t,” said Jeanne Matson, Clairol’s marketing director of hair care. “With companies like The Body Shop and Aveda introducing natural hair products in the specialty arena, it seemed like the perfect time to revive Herbal Essence and make it truly natural and environmentally sound.”
The company maintains that 99 percent of each of the eight new formulas is natural herbs, botanicals and other plant-derived ingredients. Herbal Essence is purported to be biodegradable and not tested on animals.
The packaging is recyclable, executives said, and incorporates recycled materials.
The four formulations are: Moisture Balancing shampoo and a conditioner for normal hair; Replenisher shampoo and a conditioner for permed, colored, dry or damaged hair; Extra Body shampoo and a conditioner for fine or limp hair, and Clarifying shampoo and a conditioner for residue removal or normal-to-oily hair.
Each 12-oz. bottle will have a suggested retail price of $3.29. There will also be 2-oz. trial sizes for 99 cents.
“We are going after women aged 18 to 49 who are interested in natural products and do not mind paying premium prices, in order to be environmentally sound,” said Jane Owen, senior product manager.
The original Herbal Essence, which will continue to be distributed in its 24,000 doors, is more moderately priced at $2.99 for a 14.5-oz. bottle.
At the brand’s peak in 1973, Herbal Essence was ranked the number three brand on the market, behind Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and Prell, with an 8 percent share.
Industry sources estimated the Herbal Essence shampoos and conditioners now had a 0.1 percent share of the roughly $2 billion shampoo and conditioner market, or $2 million in retail sales.
The new eight-item line, which will be distributed in about 54,000 mass doors, is expected to gain a 2.5 percent market share, or roughly $50 million at retail, in the first year, sources said.
To launch Herbal Essences, the company reportedly is spending $15 million to $20 million on print and TV advertising that will break in March.
The company plans to distribute 10 million sample packettes during the second quarter of next year.
There will be gift certificates on all the displays that offer mail-in rebates on the purchase of a shampoo or conditioner, when one or the other is bought.