Online Exclusives

Ooo La La La Fresh Is Growing Up Fast

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | August 23, 2012

The towelette maker is posting big gains in the personal wipes category and company executives predict sales to nearly double in 2012.

After posting double-digit gains for more than a decade, sales of personal care wipes have slowed in recent years as cash-strapped consumers debate the cost of convenience. But La Fresh is bucking the trend by putting a fresh spin on the wipes concept and posting big sales increases in the process.

The Chino, CA-based company was founded in 1997 by Eve Yen, who’s also the founder of Diamond Wipes International, which bills itself as the largest consumer and industrial wet wipes manufacturer on the West Coast of the US. La Fresh is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Diamond Wipes International, which got its start as a travel wipes business and was really “a pioneer in that space with the goal of lightening travelers’ loads,” noted Jennifer Norman, VP-marketing, La Fresh Group Inc.

But four years later, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks forever changed the way Americans travel, as the Federal Aviation Authority implemented number of restrictions on what passengers could bring on the plane. La Fresh immediately increased its product offerings, ultimately expanding the brand to 16 different items including on-the-go shoeshine wipes and lens cleaners.Along the way, the company expanded its distribution in hotel gift shops, resorts and duty-free stores.

Business was brisk, but Norman saw the opportunity to engage consumers at home, where they were far away from airports and conventions, but still eager for convenient, environmentally-friendly, high-performing products.

La Fresh gives consumers a range of wipes to choose from.
The result was the 2010 launch of Eco-Beauty and demand has been exceptional, according to Norman, who noted that the La Fresh range has a strong, high-performance ingredient story. For example, all La Fresh products are free of parabens, sulfates, GMOs, triclosan, phthalates, PEGs, acetone, dyes, artificial fragrances and animal byproducts.

In fact, the brand has won a number of awards from consumer magazines. For example, the waterproof makeup remover wipes won best makeup remover in Prevention’s 2012 Beauty Awards.

To further highlight the benefits of its makeup remover wipes, La Fresh is rolling out a direct response television campaign (DRTV) featuring actress Virginia Williams, best known for her role as Lauren Reed on the TV series Fairly Legal. This is the second DRTV campaign for La Fresh Eco-Beauty and Norman contends these campaigns play an important role in the brand’s development as the extended length format enables the company to promote the benefits of La Fresh. The ads feature exclusive offers on three full size La Fresh Eco-Beauty Waterproof Makeup Remover pouches, eight assorted Eco-Beauty portable sachets, a signature travel case and VIP auto-delivery signup. Media will include 60 and 120 second spot buys on national cable networks targeting beauty-involved women such as E!, Style, WE, OWN, Bravo, VH1 and Oxygen.

Not only does DRTV expand La Fresh’s audience, it also helps drives traffic to traditional retail outlets.

“Retailers tell us that they wish they could double the size of their wipes section,” said Norman. “Given the economy, wipes are viewed a little luxury and from what we hear, there has been a dramatic pick up in sales.”

The La Fresh executive expects to get another boost with new Eco-Beauty Anti-Aging Face Cleanser Wipes, which promise to dissolve away surface toxins and makeup while revitalizing skin with active levels of antioxidants and mineral polypeptides.The antioxidants are sourced from maqui berry, a fruit know for its exceptional oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC).Moreover, the polypeptides are a bioavailable enzymatic blend of copper, zinc and manganese designed to lift skin’s youthful appearance.

Also new are Travel Lite Antiperspirant Wipes, which are said to provide long-lasting wetness and odor protection with invisible, non-whitening assurance.Travel Lite wipes come in women’s and men’s variants. To get the word out on the benefits of its products, LaFresh distributes one million samples a month, which leads to repeat purchases and strong word-of-mouth advertising, noted Norman.

The new product launches and aggressive marketing and distribution plans should help LaFresh’s sales soar in 2012. Norman said sales nearly doubled in 2011 and she expects the same type of gain this year.
And, the LaFresh team is meeting with retailers and coming away with orders from the likes of Harmon, Hy-Vee and Valu Merchandisers, with more major retailers to be added later in the year.

“Sampling is a great way to build trial and ultimately, the brand,” she said. “Once people try our wipes, they love them.”

Related End-User Markets:

blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Burgeoning Beauty

    Burgeoning Beauty

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||January 4, 2016
    A look at trailblazers for 2016 and beyond.

  • Testing for Sustainable Preservatives

    Adam P. Byrne, William Michael Hart-Cooper, Kaj Johnson, Larry H. Stanker, Dominic W. S. Wong, William J. Orts||January 4, 2016
    A rapid, inexpensive and qualitative protocol for determining microbial growth inhibition.

  • A Fresh Take

    A Fresh Take

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||November 2, 2015
    Today’s soaps and shower products do more than just cleanse—they solve skin quandaries, are portable or even look whimsical!

  • Perfect Timing

    Perfect Timing

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 11, 2016
    New ways of collecting data can help cosmetics companies understand what women really want—and when they want it.

  • Africa, Rising

    Africa, Rising

    December 14, 2015
    Savvy marketers should expand their operations on the continent, according to speakers at a WFFC seminar.

  • Hitting a Wall(mart)

    Hitting a Wall(mart)

    November 9, 2015
    Walmart imposes slotting fees and that hurts a lot of Tier 2 and 3 FMCG companies.

  • That’s Quite an Achievement!

    That’s Quite an Achievement!

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||November 2, 2015
    The CEW honors seven beauty industry leaders.

  • Scoring Big with Women’s Soccer

    Scoring Big with Women’s Soccer

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 8, 2015
    Carli Lloyd and crew have star power—but will any beauty firm be smart enough sign these soccer stars? Take our poll now.

  • Teen’s Non-Toxic Dream Gets Real

    Teen’s Non-Toxic Dream Gets Real

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||June 8, 2015
    Rhode Island teen Ava Anderson serves as CEO of a fast-growing direct sales company that’s playing in multiple household and personal care categories.

  • A Reason to Smile?

    A Reason to Smile?

    Jeremy Kerstetter, Assistant Editor||June 1, 2015
    IRI study uncovers consumer optimism...even among Millennials.

  • The Right Choice

    The Right Choice

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||May 28, 2015
    The CEW Insiders's Choice Beauty Awards

  • Johnson’s Making a Splash

    Johnson’s Making a Splash

    May 18, 2015
    J&J’s So Much More campaign aims to raise awareness regarding the importance of bath time.

  • Thousands Flock to NYSCC Suppliers

    Thousands Flock to NYSCC Suppliers' Day

    May 18, 2015
    Once again, the cosmetic world meets in Edison, NJ.

  • Do You Know PDC?

    Do You Know PDC?

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||April 27, 2015
    There’s a lot more than imposter fragrances driving the company today.

  • Creating a Market

    Creating a Market

    Jeremy Kerstetter, Assistant Editor||April 27, 2015
    Ottilie & Lulu forge a path in the tween care market.

  • Which Way, M&A?

    Which Way, M&A?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 23, 2015
    Personal care is an attractive end-market for chemical companies due to an above GDP growth rate and higher margins.

  • Personal from the Start

    Personal from the Start

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||February 23, 2015
    Backgrounds in e-comm and CPG help when building a new business, but for Puracy’s founders, the launch of their household and personal care brand was driven by personal need.

  • Have Consumers Had Enough of Promotions?

    Have Consumers Had Enough of Promotions?

    Emily Mayer, IRI||November 10, 2014
    FMCG promotions. Personal care. New Products. innovations.

  • Man Up

    Man Up

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||September 15, 2014
    Zep's new Blue Energy Shower Gel is designed for men who need to clean up after—not before—work.

  • All Aboard for Beauty!

    All Aboard for Beauty!

    Nancy Jeffries, Online Editor||August 18, 2014
    Editors cruise along the Hudson River while they peruse the latest ideas in beauty and personal care.

  • Deal or No Deal?

    Deal or No Deal?

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 14, 2014
    What do private equity and strategic investors look for in a beauty business?

  • The New Beauty Consumer

    The New Beauty Consumer

    Nancy Jeffries, Online Editor||July 7, 2014
    FIT graduates look at shifts occurring in lifestyles and demographics.

  • Men

    Men's Madness Reigns at Unilever

    March 27, 2014
    The company is stepping up its marketing efforts during the NCAA Tournament, which plays a a role in its personal care plans.

  • When Better Is Best

    When Better Is Best

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||February 17, 2014
    Find out what it takes to be a winner of the 2014 Better Homes and Gardens Best New Product Awards.

  • The Love of Money

    The Love of Money

    January 16, 2014
    It may be the root of all evil, but our salary survey was the top article on last year.

  • Answering the ‘Quiet’ Need

    Answering the ‘Quiet’ Need

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||December 16, 2013
    High Ridge Brands links with nonprofit Family-to-Family to deliver needed personal care products to those in need.

  • Transactional or Transformational?

    Transactional or Transformational?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||December 9, 2013
    Retailers and their suppliers can always do better to serve the customer. The former CEO of Trader Joe’s explains how everyone in the supply chain can aim higher.

  • The Private Label Conundrum

    The Private Label Conundrum

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||December 2, 2013
    Times may be tough for many, but that doesn’t translate to widespread gains for store brands.