Magazine article Drug Topics

Hand, Body Lotions Can Be High Performers

Magazine article Drug Topics

Hand, Body Lotions Can Be High Performers

Article excerpt

Hand and body lotion sales reached $778.4 million in the 12 months ending July 2, 1995. This was a 5.3% increase compared with sales in the previous 12 months, according to Information Resources Inc. Drugstore sales grew 1.9%, supermarket sales were up .9%, and massmerchandiser sales jumped 14.2%.

Sales of hand and body lotions have more than tripled since 1980, and demographic trends favor increased expansion.

Because skin becomes drier as people age, demand for therapeutic and antiaging hand and body lotions will rise as the percentage of older individuals in the population increases. In the 1990s, the fastest-growing population segment is people aged 45 to 54. By the year 2000, people 55 years of age and older will make up the largest single segment. Also, more than 50%o of the population will be 35 or older.

The greatest demand will continue to be for high-tech, upscale lotions and creams, especially SKUs containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). That's good news for drugstores, especially in regard to their struggle with food stores for market supremacy. Most of the growing brands are those that sell best in drugstores: Eucerin, Lubriderm, Cetaphil, and Aveeno.

Eucerin Plus, which contains AHAs, is one of the most successful hand and body line extensions introduced in the past five years. Eucerin Plus Lotion 6 oz. was added to the Never-Out List in 1995. Another example of a successful extension to a solid drugstore brand is Cetaphil Moisture.

One more upbeat note: Drugstores stock and sell more creams than other mass outlets. That's good because cream sales are increasing faster than those of lotions, and both retails and margins on creams are higher than those on lotions.

Although it's more difficult for drugstores to capitalize on their success, sales of Suave and St. Ives brands also are growing faster than the market.

As products that combine high-tech, therapeutic advantages with antiaging properties claim a larger share of the market, distinctions are blurring between cosmetic and therapeutic lotions. Instead of dividing the department into subcategories based on usage, many stores organize hand and body lotions by brand share and price range. Price ranges are often identified as premium/ super premium, popular, and economy. There are, however, at least two groups of consumers you may want to target with specialty subcategories--diabetics and "green" consumers.

Eighty percent of diabetics make three to four purchases annually, while only 53% of the general population buy hand and body lotions at least once a year. …

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