Since 1902, Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Arcade has made its name and living-generating up to 90% of its sales in personal fragrance-related efforts-off fragrance samplers, including the much fabled ScentStrip, introduced more than 15 years ago.
As the first pull-apart fragrance sampler, the ScentStrip forever changed fragrance industry sampling by making possible scented inserts in magazines that offered consumers convenience and marketers less costly alternatives.
Now Arcade has acquired Scent Seal, Los Angeles-based marketer of the Scent Seal, a liquid fragrance sampler that uses a patented technology found in transdermal drug delivery systems to offer a "wet rendition" of fragrances from companies such as Chanel and Gillette Co., said Scent Seal founder Elaine Trebek-Kares, who will now be senior VP-worldwide marketing for Arcade.
Ms. Trebek-Kares' company also recently added a solid polymer system for food and beverages and has been working with brands including Kraft Foods' International Coffees and Maxwell House, and Seagram Co.'s Seagram's Wine Coolers.
Industry executives estimate Arcade's and Scent Seal's combined sales at $60 million and market share in excess of 65% against competitors such as 3M.
Both Ms. Trebek-Kares and Arcade President Roger Barnett are looking to benefit from the merger. She sees an opportunity to use Arcade's global capabilities to grow Scent Seal while he sees a chance to develop more business in the food and beverage categories through Scent Seal technology.
"The link between taste and smell is strong," said Mr. Barnett. "We see food companies increasingly using smell to increase consumer associations with their brand. And the ones that do it first will own a category.'