From Home to Toe
Wipes to clean every surface, from kitchen countertop to baby’s bottom, continue to
debut on supermarket shelves, drugstore aisles and even pet store displays.
Christine Esposito • Associate Editor
IT SEEMS THERE is a wipe for every task at hand, taking care of the dirt and other“nasties” in every nook and cranny of the home—not to mention humans too, thanks to a couple of
personal—and we mean very personal—grooming products that
have come on the scene in recent months.
Sales of household cleaning cloths in the US mass market posted
significant gains in the past year. According to IRI, a Chicago-based
market research firm, sales of household cleaner cloths in US multi-outlets (supermarkets, drug stores, mass market retailers, military
commissaries and select club and dollar retail chains) rose 8.14% to
$586.1 million for the 52 weeks ending May 19, 2013.
According to IRI’s data, all-purpose offerings seemed to resonate
best, with sales up 9% and unit sales up 6.39%.
“General purpose product marketers are doing a good job of
convincing consumers that these wipes can cross into many task-specific areas, from kitchen to bath and beyond. Just select your
preferred scent and clean up,” said Susan R. Stansbury, founder of
ConvertingInfluence.com and a wipes industry expert. “There are
some instances, however, of task-specific surface wipes such as
Method brand’s granite‘stone purpose’surface wipes.”
Now You’re Getting Personal
In the personal care side of the wipes business,
sales of moist towelettes rose 3.72% to $1.6
billion dollars (see chart, p. 58, for more
One Wipe Charlies are new from Dollar
Shave Club, an online razor retailer.
details). Consumers carry these wet nonwoven cloths for general
hand cleansing and other must-attend-to situations.
In fact, two of the newest wipes products that have rolled out
tackle some very personal tasks.
Last month marked the debut of One Wipe Charlies, a new wipe
from Dollar Shave Club, a start-up online razor retailer.
One Wipe Charlies are flushable moist toilet wipes. It’s not new
territory—Cottonelle and Charmin stock SKUs in major retailers
and supermarkets—but Dollar Shave has put a new spin on the
product: think baby wipe for bros.
According to the company, 51% percent of US men 18-45 use
flushable wipes. Half of men are using wipes to get clean, 16% of
them use wipes instead of toilet paper.
On his blog, Dollar Shave CEO/founder Michael Dubin con-
tends that men“yearn for something designed for men, not infants.
Something they can be proud to put on display.”
So, Dollar Shave packaged the wipes in a more masculine way,
and took an irreverent launch approach that went viral, and brought
along some extensive coverage from the mainstream media. In fact,
stories about One Wipe Charlie rolled across websites from the
Huffington Post to Time to The New York Times.
Another “highly personal” launch that drew some attention
was Fresh + Sexy Wipes by Playtex. Energizer Personal Care rolled
out these so-called “before-and-after” intimate wipes just before
According to Erik Rahner, group marketing director, Energizer
Personal Care, the SKU addresses an important consumer need.
“Sex isn’t always a planned event that can be prepared for. With
Fresh + Sexy wipes, couples now have a way to be clean and ready
for even the most spontaneous moments. They can be ready for intimacy whenever – and wherever—the mood strikes,”he said in press
statement when the product was unveiled.
The lightly scented, soft textured wipes—which feature a
hypoallergenic formula—are available in a travel pack, as singles ( 20 individual wrapped wipes), and in a tub at price
points that range from $5. 99-7. 99. Don’t expect to find
them with the baby wipes; they’re stocked in the family
planning aisle, according to the brand, which more recently tapped the“King of Partying”Andrew W.K. as the
56 • happi