In Fighting Perspiration
Marketers find new, innovative features
for classic antiperspirants and deodorants.
HE U.S. MAY BE in a recession, but shoppers are
stocking up on personal care staples such as
toothpaste and antiperspirants/deodorants
(AP/Deos). A shaky job market has consumers
wanting to stay fresh and look at the top of their
game. After all, a $4 stick of deodorant is a small
price to pay for clean, cool composure—not to
mention saving on dry cleaner’s bills from perspiration marks on fine suits or dresses.
Sales of deodorants totaled $1.2 billion in U.S. supermarkets, drugstores and mass merchandisers excluding Wal-Mart, according to Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) of
Chicago, IL, for the year ended Dec. 28, 2008—a rise of 2.3%
from 2007. Unilever’s Degree led the pack with sales of $113
million, followed by Procter & Gamble’s Old Spice High
Endurance at $67 million and Secret at $62 million.
While less than 5% of the U.S. population suffers from
excessive perspiration, a significant portion of consumers
believe that their perspiration is beyond normal, according to
Roman Shuster, a research analyst with Euromontinor
International, Chicago, IL. Therefore, users tend to find a
brand of anti-perspirant/deodorant and stick with it.
“Deodorant purchase decisions are very emotionally motivated. Most consumers identify with a brand or scent and are
loyal,” he told HAPPI.
Everyone sweats, but the road divides when it comes to
how he or she masks body odor. According to Nancy Mills,
Kline & Company’s industry manager of consumer practice,
Austin, TX, sales of soft sticks have increased, while aerosol
and clear gels have diminished in the marketplace.
“For clear gel, it is due to the residue, and the wetter,
stickier consistency,” she told HAPPI. “Aerosol is not the most
convenient. Roll-on has a group of loyal consumers that are
used to the form.”
According to Mr. Shuster, stick deodorants outsell all
other formats combined by a margin of two to one. “Stick is
just the most established/familiar format for the U.S. consumer,” he told HAPPI. “It truly is flexible as it offers
Today’s consumers want to stay fresh all day, every day.
consumers a high level of wetness protection. Most recently,
stick deodorants have had an explosion in scents, so now a
stick can offer both.”
Sales of body sprays came on very strong at the beginning
of the millennium, but are beginning to slow down, noted Mr.
“Much of that was driven by the male body spray. Yet
those products still only appeal to a limited segment of the
population (the 11 year old to 30-something male). So far it