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Japanese Shampoo Makers in Close Combat

December 2, 2005

JAPAN: Personal product makers compete fiercely in Japan’s shampoo market, where more than 300 brands are released each year. Unilever Japan KK holds the top spot, followed by Kao Corp and Procter & Gamble of the U.S.
Unilever’s Lux Super Rich shampoo placed first in the top-10 ranking based on Nikkei point-of-sale data for shampoo sales in August. The company launched its latest reformulation in 2004. The packaging features a smooth shape that suggests luxury and the shampoo contains a special ingredient dubbed Triple Action Amino, which the company claims penetrates into the hair to repair it, while also helping to retain water and coat the surface to prevent splitting or breaking. Unilever also took third place with Dove Moisture shampoo, and seventh place with Mod’s Hair Moist Finish shampoo.
Kao, which aspires to reclaim the top spot from Unilever, came in second place with Merit. Kao’s Asience shampoo, which is based on traditional Asian beauty care concepts, was the fifth most popular brand, while Kao’s Essential Damage Care came in at number six.
P&G is chasing the two leaders with its fourth place Pantene Pro-V Extra Damage Care shampoo, and the tenth place Vidal Sassoon Professional Style.
New products that have appeared in recent years, such as P&G’s Herbal Essences and Shiseido’s Fino, are steadily gaining in popularity, but currently failed to make it into the top 10.
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