Lifebuoy, Cuticura, Sapolio and Pearline made the pages of Detergent Age (now Happi) in the 1960s. Today, brands like Dove, Dial and Axe are in the headlines, but the mission is still the same: keeping people clean.
In the mass market, soap sales rose 2.8% to $5.04 billion with some mixed performances within key segments, according to data from Information Resources Inc. (IRI) for total US multi-outlet (supermarkets, drugstores, mass market retailers, military commissaries and select club and dollar retail chains) for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 9, 2018.
For instance, deodorant bar soap sales fell 5.7% to $366.7 million while non-deodorant bar soaps slipped 1.9% to $1.1 billion. Liquid hand soap sales rose 4.4% to $806.4 million and hand sanitizers soared 9.2% to $237.6 million. Heavy duty hand cleaners dropped 2.0% to $7.4 million while liquid body wash/all others increased 5.2% to $2.5 billion.
When shopping for soap, bath and shower products, more than two in five US adults look for products with deodorizing and intensive moisturizing benefits which are often considered cost -of-entry attributes, noted Olivia Guinaugh, home and personal care analyst, Mintel, Chicago. However, added benefits, such as products that leave a long-lasting scent or soothe skin, are nearly as important as those primary purchase influencers.
“Strong interest in experiential benefits indicates that consumers want products that not only cleanse, but also make their skin feel and smell good throughout the day,” she said.
Raise the Bar
Bar soap is making a comeback, thanks to the growing popularity of artisan bar soap, said Guinaugh of Mintel. In fact, 28% of shoppers are interested in using artisan bar soaps, highlighting the appeal of products that look handmade, which also stems from the broader appeal of natural products.
Ulta has expanded its male grooming selections with rising brand Oars + Alps. Known for its natural deodorant and innovative solid face wash, Oars + Alps will sell seven of its top offerings through Ulta, including bar soaps.
“Blue charcoal is really big for us and it is in our Oars Exfoliating Bar,” said Mia Duchnowski, CEO and co-founder of Oars + Alps, Chicago. “We use a proprietary blue-green algae charcoal to create the perfect toxin-purge that helps banish visible pores. Blue charcoal binds to dirt and sweat to keep your pores free and clear.”
Just in time for Halloween, Dial launched a hand wash inside a glow-in-the-dark package: The Dial Halloween Ghost, Pumpkin & Cat Foaming Hand Washes ($3). The move follows the recent launch of Dial Complete 2-In-1 bar soap. Billed as the only bar that combines the moisturizing qualities of a beauty bar with the antibacterial protection you expect from Dial, it is sold in three scent profiles: Manuka Honey, Coconut Milk or Silk & Magnolia.
Fellow mass market leader Dove has transferred the credentials of micellar water technology, made famous in facial skin care, to its new Anti-Stress Micellar Water Body Wash & Beauty Bar. Gently cleansing away pollutants, the bath products are formulated with Dove’s signature 1⁄4 moisturizing cream and are also sulfate-free, according to the company.
“Gentle cleansing and nourishment is the key to healthy-looking skin and no body wash is gentler than Dove,” Rick Casini, claims manager and consumer technical insights scientist, Unilever, Trumbull, CT, told Happi.
“Dove’s gentle cleansers combined with our NutriumMoisture technology goes beyond mildness to minimize the damage that occurs naturally during the cleansing process. Dove Body Wash replenishes the skin’s natural barrier for a difference that women can feel during and after their shower.”
Indeed, skin-loving personal cleansers are all the rage this season. Spa expert Joanna Vargas has added three bar soaps to her skin care selections. Cloud Bar is touted as a solution for dry, red skin. Formulated for face and body, the coconut-, chamomile- and shea butter-enriched bar is a hydrating cleanser and skin soother.
“The secret behind my Cloud Bar is glycerin, which has natural exfoliating properties with a keratolytic effect, helping with the skin’s natural exfoliating process that breaks down skin cells, preventing dull, flaky skin without any harsh abrasives,” said Vargas, New York, who sells her products online at Nordstrom.
The Miracle Bar by Joanna Vargas uses detoxifying charcoal to wash away impurities and toxins. Ideal for all skin types, olive oil softens, vitamins A, E and F nourish, soothe, clear and smooth skin, according to the company. This multi-tasking cleansing bar is gentle enough to work magic on the face and body, leaving only fragrances of natural lemon and sweet orange oil for refreshed skin.
And, the most up-to-the-minute rollout is the Ritual Bar, billed by Vargas as an invigorating, yet anti-inflammatory, green tea bar soap, which helps to improve circulation while detoxifying and smoothing skin from head to toe. Formulated with green tea and coffee extracts, olive fruit oil and avocado oil, it is designed to be used with the trendy dry brush technique.
For Holiday 2018, Brazilian beauty brand Sol De Janeiro packaged its Bum Bum Bath Bomba in an ornament. This effervescent soak immerses you in the scents and sensations of Rio and is infused with skin-loving algae extract, sea salt, cupuaçu, açaí and coconut oil, all lightly scented with notes of pistachio and salted caramel.
Coconut, hemp, jojoba, argan—the list of wonder oils in beauty and wellness seems endless. Add one more to the list: magnesium oil. This miracle mineral is delivered in “its purest form” from indie brand GeoThermal Minerals, which hails from the Poltava region of the Ukraine. Its “Permian Aged” products are said to be derived from 99.2% natural bischofite, the result of crystallization of salts within a subterranean watershed that is more than 300 million years old. The formulation also contains additional vital trace elements such as bromine, iodine, calcium, potassium and selenium.
Target’s new lower price point personal care line featuring more than 70 everyday items, is going big for budget-conscious consumers with a hand soap collection featuring luxury fragrances like Blossom, Citrus Grove and Rain Shower. The assortment will be sold as single items or in small multi-packs.
“Where we see white space and an opportunity to bring Target’s guests something differentiated, we’ll go for it,” said Mark Tritton, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, Target. “The introduction of Smartly to our own brand portfolio is another example of how we are listening to consumers and bringing them differentiated solutions to make their lives easier. Smartly is affordable, looks great and most importantly, gets the job done.”
Also new to market, Sudsy is a plant-packed, gentle foaming body wash that contains the perfect blend of body perfecting and clarifying botanicals from bioClarity. Buff your body with massaging jojoba granules, while you tone your skin with a powerful blend of fresh citrus (orange, lemon, mandarin, tangerine, grapefruit), salicylic acid and signature Floralux. The body wash launched online last month.
“I am seeing jojoba oil in some really high quality products, likely because it’s an ultra hydrating oil and light on sensitive skin,” Dr. Tanya Kormeili, dermatological partner for bioClarity, Los Angeles, told Happi. “One unique way I’m seeing it is in the form of jojoba granules in bioClarity’s Sudsy So Fresh, So Clean Body Wash. These granules actually buff off the dead skin and leave your skin smoother than ever.”
Kormelli continued, “I’m also seeing a greater trend toward plant-based ingredients overall. Consumers are gravitating toward products that use natural, plant-based ingredients that they know and love. I was drawn to the brand bioClarity in particular because they created this proprietary ingredient, Floralux, which is a deeply nourishing form of chlorophyll that naturally reduces the appearance of redness, feeds and defends cells with an alphabet of nutrients, and boosts the skin’s natural beauty. The brand uses this powerhouse ingredient in practically all of its products, which makes them extremely effective while still maintaining this natural quality.”
Also noteworthy in specialty formulations this year is Cetaphil’s range of new shower offerings. Cetaphil Ultra Gentle Body Wash gently cleanses even the most sensitive skin without stripping it of its natural moisture, while delivering nourishing ingredients such as aloe vera and vitamin B5 to help maintain the skin’s moisture barrier, said the company. The Refreshing variant offers a crisp, citrus-scented foaming lather that combines notes of lemon and bergamot with aromas of pear, mint and violet. Soothing body wash imparts a sweet, floral-scented foaming lather that combines soothing notes of lychee and water flowers for a calming shower experience.
Also fresh to the mass market, Axe Gold products are designed to keep guys feeling fresh and smelling great all day with a body wash featuring warm and woody notes of dark vanilla and rare oud wood. The Gold Fresh formula offers a refreshing fragrance blend composed of citrus, mint and spice, with notes of leather for unexpected freshness, according to the company.
The Body Shop is courting men with a new range for Holiday 2018. For a feeling of freshness and cleanliness, Body Shop Guarana & Coffee Energizing Cleanser For Men is enriched with Brazilian guarana and Ethiopian green coffee and organic Community Trade aloe vera from Mexico. The vibrant orange gel foams into a light foamy lather, which leaves skin feeling invigorated, according to the company. The formula is 100% vegan.
OGX, a mass market personal care brand that’s popular at mass retailers such as Walmart, is also giving a boost of java in six new products inspired by market trends and coveted OGX scents to provide an indulgent shower experience, said the company. The line of new body washes, lotions and scrubs formulated with premium ingredients like arabica coffee, marula oil and coconut oil are out now just in time for holiday stocking stuffing, according to the company.
Always adding new scent stories, Bath & Body Works has two new varieties for the season. The Lovely Dreamer collection, including shower gels and scrubs, is a blend of fluffy musk, clean woods, white iris and fresh bergamot, according to the company. Or, get glowing skin with Water Hyaluronic Acid Mineral Body Polish. The rich, oil-based scrub renews and exfoliates dull, thirsty skin thanks to purifying sea salt and hyaluronic acid.
Method recently rolled out its holiday soap collection; this year the packaging dazzles with a little extra “bling” on the packaging which features rich colors and gilded gold accents designed to put shoppers in a festive frame of mind. According to the company, three of its “most-loved fragrances” make a limited-time comeback in the range—frosted fir, hollyberry and peppermint vanilla hand soaps that are sold at Target.
However, the biggest news this year so far by way of personal cleansers is from Johnson’s Baby. Known for its long-standing commitment to safely care for generations of little ones since 1894, the brand stepped up its game by disclosing 100% of the ingredients in its baby products—including those found in fragrances. In response to market demand, Johnson’s also added ingredients like soybean and coconut oil to both of its relaunched lines of baby products.
For 2019, more naturally-sourced components are going to be prevalent in personal cleansers. According to Duchnowski of Oars + Alps, green charcoal is next.
Kormeili of BioClarity observed that more brands are embracing oil-based cleansers.
“We’re seeing brands incorporate natural oils like argan, jojoba and coconut in bath products,” she said.
Although showering is more common than bathing among US adults, bath products that offer a unique experience, or even an Instagrammable moment, are gaining consumer interest, added Guinaugh of Mintel.
“We expect to see holiday-inspired bath products that offer multi-sensory experiences during the holiday season,” she said. “Seasonal trends for soap, bath and shower products mostly revolve around scent. A third of fragrance users agree that they wear different scents depending on the season!”
• The origins of castile soap are elusive and go back many centuries. The first references date to the Levant (modern day Syria) where soap makers would create their products out of bay laurel oil in conjunction with olive oil, water and lye. It wasn’t until the idea of creating a natural soap from vegetable-based ingredients reached the region of Castilla in Spain that the name “castile soap” was born.
According to Brian Sansoni, vice president, communications and outreach for the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), castile soap was originally made from olive oil, and so named probably because such soap was produced extensively in ancient Castile, Spain. Today, Castile may mean any mild soap made from vegetable oils.
“Castile soap, whether it’s in bar or liquid form, has many fans, especially among consumers who prefer using ‘natural’ products around the house. There can be many uses for liquid castile soap around the house as well,” Sansoni told Happi.
Castile is obviously ideal for showering and bathing, but did you know that the soap have long been used as natural and affordable alternatives for many other personal and household tasks? This multi-talented cleanser can also be used for laundry, pet bathing, cleaning produce and even brushing teeth.
“The pure plant-based oils we use to make our castile soap provide excellent but gentle cleansing to the body, while also complementing the skin’s natural moisturizing capabilities, leaving us feeling smooth, moisturized and nourished,” said Lisa Bronner, granddaughter of company founder Dr. Bronner, and author of the Going Green with a Bronner Mom blog. Her family is celebrating 150 years and five generations of family soap-making involving castile.
“In addition to cleaning oneself, castile soap can also be used to clean the home, pets and many other surfaces, making it beneficial not only to our personal health and hygiene, but to consumers’ budgets and those who prefer green, organic home cleaning routines,” she told Happi.
Continuing a 180-year tradition of delivering natural personal cleansing products, indie brand Kirk’s recently rolled out updated branding and packaging graphics, as well as two new product forms, Odor Neutralizing Hydrating Hand Wash and a 3-in-1 Head to Toe Nourishing Cleanser. Since 1839, Kirk’s has seen success with its castile products, made from 100% premium coconut oil instead of animal fats or synthetic detergents. The line is available in traditional retailers nationwide, and online at Amazon.com, LuckyVitamin.com, and iHerb.com.
According to the company, it spent two years developing and testing a brand and packaging update, which modernizes the look of Kirk’s while maintaining the heritage elements to better position it among savvy millennials. The new packaging emphasizes key product certifications that are important to the discerning natural products shopper, such as non-GMO Project verified on its bar soaps.
“With the brand refresh and line extensions, we want Kirk’s to evolve from being ‘your mother’s natural soap’ to the brand that millennial moms and growing families turn to and trust,” said Katherine Jarnigo, co-CEO of Kirk’s, Erlanger KY. “The world of personal care products continues to change, with greater demand for natural, eco-friendly formulations among younger shoppers. For them, it’s a non-negotiable. Kirk’s is seeing growth in our traditional bar soaps, which have been American-made since 1839, and especially strong demand for liquids, which we are rolling out this fall.”
• Olika (pronounced “oo-lee-kah”) means “differently” in Swedish, and exemplifies the company’s approach to personal care products. Founded in New York, Olika’s clean lines and the minimalistic simplicity of Scandinavian design are evident in Birdie and Minnie, the first of many products that will reinvent personal care and household staples, the company contends.
Named “The World’s Most Beautiful Hand Sanitizer,” by Fast Company, Birdie contains 20ml of sanitizing spray with essential oils and aloe vera leaf juice, while housing 10 textured dry wipes. Minnie is the second product from Olika and the sister of Birdie; it is another bird-shaped hand sanitizer but without the wipes. Both Birdie and Minnie boast a simple signature fragrance with a sophisticated blend of aromatic notes inspired by nature, including bergamot, lemon and spearmint. The formulation is cruelty-free, vegan and gluten-free.
Olika’s newest “feathered friends” recently landed at 250 Harmon stores nationwide and are available at both the freestanding Harmon Face Values and the “store within a store” locations within many Bed Bath & Beyond and Christmas Tree Shops. Minnie retails for $4.99 and Birdie retails for $6.99 at all locations.
In addition to Harmon Face Values, consumers can restock their “flock” at Alcone Company, Amazon, Hush, Lucky Vitamin, Ricky’s NYC, Riley Rose, Target,The Detox Market, Walmart, QVC, Urban Outfitters, Vitacost and OLIKAlife.com.
“The newest in-store nests allow us to further expand our reach and offer our birds to customers where they shop most often. We welcome Harmon as the newest trusted partner to offer both lines of bird-shaped hand sanitizers,” said Jessica Postiglione, CEO and co-founder of Olika. “Birdie and Minnie were inspired by our desire to create a sophisticated hand sanitizer with ingredients that are better for you. These new partnerships allow us to offer our birds to customers where they already shop.”