Byline: Julie Naughton

NEW YORK — Biotherm is counting on sports to drive the growth of its Spa body masterbrand.
Founded in 1950 in France and acquired in 1970 by L’Oreal, Biotherm began its Spa for Skin concept globally about three years ago, and each of the three existing body collections — Spa Aqua Thermale, Spa Aqua Relax and Spa Eau Vitaminee — targets a different body need, said Caroline Flandrin, vice president of marketing for Biotherm. The latest, Spa Aqua Sport, is no exception. “Women are so busy these days that, essentially, life is a sport,” said Flandrin. “So in developing this line, we worked with the leading sports training center in France to incorporate ingredients that soothe and relax muscles.”
The line, which will be rolled out in June to Biotherm’s 113 U.S. doors, includes five products: a cooling body lotion, $24 for 5 ounces; a deep relief massage gel, $35 for 6.7 ounces; a softening foot creme, $16 for 2.53 ounces; an invigorating shower gel, $19 for 6.7 ounces, and an icy gel for legs, $21 for 5 ounces. The products contain such ingredients as mint, eucalyptus and butcherbroom extracts, as well as menthol and alpha hydroxy acids to leave skin smooth. And, Flandrin points out, like every item in the Biotherm lineup, they also all include extract of thermal plankton. “It is charged with minerals, trace elements, amino acids and sugars, and leaves the skin very soft and nourished,” she said. While Sport will be distributed globally, Flandrin said she thinks it has the greatest potential in the U.S. “It’s about the active culture here,” she said.
Currently, the three Spa collections represent about 25 percent of Biotherm’s overall sales, said Flandrin.
“We think that with the addition of this category, body could grow to 40 percent of that number,” she said. While she wouldn’t talk numbers, industry sources estimated that the line could do $4 million at retail in its first year.
Promotional plans include a print advertising campaign with a heavy regional focus on California — where Biotherm has a large concentration of doors in Macy’s West and Nordstrom — as well as a product sampling campaign and a leaflet handout on sports massage. Flandrin wouldn’t comment on the budget, although industry sources put it at less than $1 million.