Laboratoires Garnier claims first for fruit-based hair colorant

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PARIS -- L'Oreal-owned Laboratoires Garnier this month unveils a novel hair-coloring product destined for international roll-out which it hopes will give it a head-start in the competitive sector.

NATEA Nutricolor, a hair-coloring "mask" that contains a fruit concentrate to nourish the hair, will debut in France and Italy this month, backed by a heavyweight, three-month-long TV, cinema and print campaign via Publicis. Plans are to launch across the rest of Europe by the end of the year and move into other markets, including the U.S., next year. It is claimed to be the first hair-coloring product that feeds the hair while it colors.

"Laboratoires Garnier is the No. 1 business in home coloration and is also the No. 1 in hair care," says Eric Royer, the company's CEO. "It is its mission to innovate constantly in order to dynamize the market and recruit new consumers."

Research shows women have a strong desire to color their hair, but that they are looking for a safe formula that doesn't ruin its condition, says Laboratoires Garnier. According to the company, around 50% of women say they don't color their hair because they're afraid to hurt it by doing so. Some 58 % would like natural ingredients in their coloring products, 50% would like a colorant that protects their hair, and 50% say they would like a coloring formula that contains a hair care agent.

The ad campaign will mainly target young women but the product is also expected to appeal to more mature women.

Laboratoires Garnier already markets a wide range of coloring products - including the first "frosting" colorant for home use, the first shade-on-shade product, and the easy-to-use gel Belle Color. It has also been developing new formulas over the past two years based on fruit ingredients. Fructis, the hair care line containing a nourishing fruit concentrate, was a result of this R&D program, as is this latest launch.

NATEA Nutricolor comes in 20 different shades of bright and fashionable colors including six of blond, three of brown, five of deep brown and six of red. All the shades have fruity names, such as Myrtille (bilberry) for a bluish black, Nectarine for a light red and Miel Dor1 (golden honey) for a deeper blond.

Lively packaging featuring huge visuals of faces wearing the colored hair and strong point of sales material - including long strings of hair in the different shades have been designed to create high in-store impact. The product is priced at the top of the middle range at $9.3.

Copyright September 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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