In the evolution of wipes, what they contain has become
just as important as how they feel. Efficacy now, as well
as aesthetics, plays an increasingly important role in a
By Tom Branna, Editorial Director
Soft as a baby’s butt…but what else? For years, wipes have been promoted for how they feel on the skin in comparison to alternatives such as tissues or toilet paper. Today, the most
successful wipes are touted for what they can do for the consumer’s skin, her cleanups, and even tough spills on factory floors.
“Aveeno recognized the increasing consumer demand for
makeup removing wipes and wanted to deliver on that preference with its consumers,” according to Florence Grossman, senior brand manager, Aveeno, a Johnson & Johnson brand, which
recently rolled out Makeup Removing Wipes under its Positively
But instead of just removing makeup, these wipes also contain
something called Active Naturals Total Soy Complex that works to
reveal brighter, smoother, healthier looking skin while also removing makeup, including waterproof mascara, according to Grossman.
Features like these are a big reason why specialized wipes continue to grow faster than baby care wipes in most US outlets. Sales
of wipes rose nearly 4% to more than $1.6 billion for the 52 weeks
ended Jan. 16, 2014, according to Information Resources, Inc., Chicago, IL. But while sales of baby wipes increased 2.85% to more than
$1.1 billion during the time period, sales of moist towelettes jumped
nearly 6.50% to almost $494 million (see charts on page 23). Both are
good gains, but with private label holding the top spots in both categories, it is clear that marketers must do more innovating if they
want to stay ahead of copycat store brands and play an important
role in the wipes success story. Marketers are responding to the challenge with new wipes that boast attributes consumers won’t find in
a private label product—for now.
Years ago, Clorox snapped up Burt’s Bees in an effort to gain
a stronghold in the fast-growing naturals category that, according to recent data from SPINS, is growing more than 13% a year
and exceeds $90 billion (retail) in the US. To further emphasize
its commitment to the natural space, the company introduced
the güd by Burt’s Bees line of personal care products, which are
billed as being paraben-, phthalates- and petrolatum-free. The
güd line includes shampoos, conditioners, body lotions and, most
The güd by Burt’s Bees Natural Cleansing Wipes are described
as being soft, natural towelettes that can be used to remove dirt
and sweat and leaving behind an invigorating cooling sensation
and deodorizing effect.
E for Effort
Other companies are working with natural ingredients to create
eco-friendly wipes, too. Earlier this year, for example, derma e,
Simi Valley, CA, launched Hydrating Facial Wipes and Very Clear
Oil-Free Acne Wipes. While both products are promoted for their
convenience, company executives are also quick to point out
what the wipes have—and what they don’t.
“This is our first entry in the wipes category,” explained Jenni-
fer Norman, VP-marketing, derma e.“Wipes have been a growing
trend for the longest time.”
But derma e didn’t get on the wipes wave at first because the
brand is positioned as being natural and eco-friendly and com-
pany executives wanted to come up with a product that was as
environmentally friendly as possible.
“The outer packaging has always been an issue; we wanted a
recyclable outer package. Consumers may save water using wipes,
but they throw away a lot of packaging material,” said Norman.
To solve that issue, derma e wipes are packaged in a recyclable pouch made from monolayer PET No. 7 that still keeps
the wipes moist enough to pass a three-year water loss test. The
move to PET No. 7 was an important switch for the company
and its customer who, according to Norman, is a woman, 45-55
years old. She mirrors the Whole Foods customer in that she is
very into natural ingredients, health and wellness and is concerned about what she uses, reads labels and does her research.
After company executives were confident
they could create an
derma e entered the