LANCOME’S NEW VINTAGE TAPS INTO GRAPE POWER

Byline: Kerry Diamond

NEW YORK — Lancome’s major skin care launch for the fall takes advantage of one of the hottest ingredients around — grapes.
“Why grapes, you might ask,” noted Luc Nadeau, senior vice president and general manager of Lancome. “For centuries, grapes and the French culture have been linked. Now we have developed technology that harvests all the benefits of the grape.”
Called Vinefit and billed as a “complete energizing moisturizer,” this lotion uses every part of the fruit, from the seeds to the skin. It will hit counters in September and will retail for $37.50 for a 50 ml.-bottle.
Lancome executives would not comment on a sales target, but according to industry sources, the company expects to do more than $25 million at retail in the first 12 months on counter and online at lancome.com.
After a long flirtation with oranges and Vitamin C, beauty companies have decided that grapes are their favorite item in the fruit bowl. Grape seed extract can be found in a number of products and skin care lines, including Caudalie, the Uvavita line from Napa Valley, Elizabeth Arden’s Ceramide Herbal 12 capsules, Guerlain’s Hydramythic cream and even Garnier’s Nutrisse hair color mask.
Lancome, however, isn’t merely jumping on the beauty bandwagon, noted Michelle Taylor, senior vice president of marketing. The company’s research and development team has been studying grapes for several years.
As a result of this research, added Brigitte King, Lancome’s assistant vice president of treatment marketing, Vinefit contains polyphenols, harvested from the skin of the grape, to protect the skin from free radicals; minerals from the grape pulp to increase vitality, and tannins and oils from the grape seed to soften and hydrate the skin.
Vinefit is lightly scented and contains an SPF 15 sunscreen. It comes in a pump bottle that features a green band around the top of the dispenser to emphasize the grape connection. A cream version of Vinefit will be launched in December at the same price as the lotion.
Lancome is targeting women age 20 and older with Vinefit.
According to industry sources, Lancome will spend approximately $6 million from September to December to promote Vinefit.
The campaign will include television and print advertising featuring actress Marie Gillain, who recently appeared in Lancome’s Pollen ads. Close to one million samples of Vinefit will be distributed, including 9-ml. deluxe samples.