Liquid soap sales have been on the rise, thanks to
more youngsters washing their hands.
pockets. Just ask Kimberly-Clark, which
earlier this year pulled the plug on its Hug-gies Cleanteam line of bath products.
Raising the Bar
While bars have been losing out to body
washes and gels in shower stalls across
America, the subsector rebounded in 2008
and 2009, according to Euromonitor. The
return to growth was driven by manufacturers’ long-term efforts to upgrade the
image of traditional bar soap by including
more value-added features, such as moisturizing properties or natural ingredients.
Tom’s of Maine will be leading that
charge in 2011, with its new line of natural
Beauty Bar soaps. The six-bar range is clinically proven to maintain skin’s moisture
and will leave skin feeling clean and ultra-rich with natural ingredients such as citrus
oils, lavender, apricot seeds, lemongrass
and soothing chamomile, according to
Tom’s of Maine.
When formulating the bar soaps,
Tom’s had a chance to “zero in on specific benefits consumers were looking
for,” according to Rob Robinson, category
leader at Tom’s of Maine. “The cost of
entry in cleansing in general is obviously
a product that is going to clean, but mois-turization is critical. The experience goes
beyond cleansing,” he told HAPPI.
Specifically, the new Tom’s line delivers skin care benefits and aromather-apy—pegged to be future drivers in the
personal cleanser space. For example, the
Sensitive bar marries chamomile with
olive oil and natural vitamin E while the
Exfoliating soap uses natural apricot
seeds to help slough off dull skin. The Energizing bar—Robinson’s personal favorite—has refreshing citrus oils for a
natural “pick-me-up.” Also available are
Daily Moisture, Deodorant (formulated
odor-fighting sage and lemongrass) and
Relaxing (which uses lavender botanical
oils and woks with the steam in the
Tom’s has also addressed issues such
as value, a factor that can’t be ignored in
today’s economy, and sustainability, a cornerstone of its business model. The bars
are milled four times so they last longer,
according to Robinson, and they come in
sustainable packaging, including a fully
recyclable outer package and new com-postable plastic wrap made from PLA.
Bars, Washes or Both?
Products that address anti-aging and offer
unique fragrance profiles are two ways
marketers can drive sales in the bath and
shower category going forward, according
And while the market is divided between mature bars and more dynamic
body wash/shower gels, soap makers are
wise to address both forms, as U.S. consumers’ personal cleansing habits remain
diverse. In fact, many consumers vary their
cleansers, switching from bars to washes
and back again to suit their fancy on any
“If you look at the cleansing habits of
consumers, they are one of three—the bar
soap person, the body wash user—and
those that use both,” said Robinson.
And the key to success will be answering the demands of all of them. •