L'EGGS AIMS TO HIDE THOSE BULGES: AND FIRM SARA LEE'S BOTTOM LINE WITH SMOOTH SILHOUETTES

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Sara Lee Corp.'s L'eggs Products wants to slim down mass market consumers without putting them on a diet.

Armed with a $20 million marketing campaign, L'eggs is introducing Smooth Silhouettes body contouring hosiery. A kind of superpantyhose, Smooth Silhouettes promises to not only shore up hips and thighs, but firm the entire leg and nip bulging bellies. Print and TV ads breaking next month from Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, New York, describe the line as "slimming and smoothing."

Form-shaping pantyhose, a concept designers like Donna Karan and Calvin Klein started two years ago in department stores, is a tiny $100 million part of the $2.7 billion pantyhose category. But the segment is expected to balloon as fashions become more shapely, the population ages and time-torn consumers find it difficult to fit in the gym.

"This is the first year in a long time, according to the pollsters, that losing weight wasn't the No. 1 New Year's resolution," said L'eggs VP-marketing John Ceneviva.

L'eggs is counting on Smooth Silhouettes, a $4.50 to $5 product. Sara Lee's worldwide hosiery volume fell 4% in fiscal 1993 as American and European women adopted more casual office wear and relaxed legwear like trouser socks.

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