>>women’s shaving products gear up for summer

With reports of a hot British summer already making the press, marketers of female shaving products are hoping that efforts to woo women into shaving and attract them to their brands will pay off. Gillette, for example, claims to do around 75% of its total annual female shaving business in the April-September period.
Manufacturers believe there is still further volume and value to be added to the £55.2m female blades and razors market [IRI 52 w/e February 19, 2005]. According to TNS, the razor blades sector has grown 10.5% year-on-year, driven by both Gillette and Wilkinson Sword. As Gillette business manager Steve Davey says: “A lot of women are still using male disposables. The battle is to lure them into female business.”
Gillette this year has turned its attentions to the disposable sector with the launch of its first female disposable, Venus Divine Disposables. The company is also hoping to consolidate its position in the female market with the launch of Venus Divine Paradise razor, a coral-pink razor with intensive moisture strips and comfort-coated blades.
However, Davey accepts that sales may not be so buoyant this year. “Last year there was a lot of NPD. There are now a lot of handles out there.”
Own label remains a key player in the razors and blades market. According to Asda health and beauty buyer Sarah Byng, value for money remains a key purchase driver.
BIC, however, believes there is still room in the market for premium brand development and recently launched the Soleil Scent triple-blade shaver with a fragranced handle. BIC Soleil Scent is available in a four-pack, with each shaver in a different shade of lilac.