Cosmetics Mine the Potential of Minerals
By Faye Brookman, special to GMDC
Retailers and manufacturers are mining the potential of minerals to boost cosmetics sales. Mineral-based products are the latest rage on the cosmetics peg wall and the new lines are being introduced by leading brands, niche players and even retailers themselves.
Mineral-based cosmetics were available in upscale markets such as those sold at Sephora and QVC from Bare Escentuals. Bare Escentuals’ most compelling asset was its corporate president and spokeswoman Leslie Blodgett who went on TV frequently to teach women about the beauty of mineral formulations. In particular, minerals are natural and provide a soft coverage. As an added perk, the makeup can be left on overnight without removal.
Following the success of Bare Escentuals in other channels, several mass market manufacturers decided to offer less expensive versions. The two first out to market were Neutrogena and L’Oreal. Both garnered instant interest and quickly were sold out in many doors. Those launches were followed by mineral entries from Physicians Formula, Milani, Jane, Revlon and even chain exclusives such as IsaDora. IsaDora is sold exclusively in the U.S. at Walgreens and the IsaDora minerals command additional footage in Walgreen stores, even supplanting space once reserved for national names.
CVS followed with loose mineral formulations marketed under its house line called Essence of Beauty. Foundations launched late last year were followed by eye shadows this past March. Sally Hansen is expected to add to a mineral lip formulation with more items, according to Del Cosmetics president Harvey Alstodt.
Although some buyers originally thought minerals could be just a fad, Ingrid Jackel, chief executive officer of Physicians Formula likened it to the invasion of long-wearing formulas which have become a staple in beauty assortments. Jane’s president Lisa Yarnell said the availability of minerals at mass opens the door for those who couldn’t afford the pricier versions. “Minerals tap a market not shopping mass before,” she explained. The good news for food, drug and mass market retailers in that fact is that the minerals are bringing in new users rather than just fragmenting the existing market.
The biggest challenge now facing retailers is determining how many mineral lines to offer and how to find room for these entries. But all agree the future is rich in minerals.
Discussion Questions: Do you see mineral formulations changing the cosmetic department significantly? Is there a logical link between selling mineral formulas and selling more healthy products in general?