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Raising the Bar

Posted: September 4, 2007

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“Working with a bar sometimes opens up a greater range of creativity beyond liquid cleansers,” said Jonas. “A bar gives us the opportunity to work with the shape, weight, color, texture, lathering pattern and skin feel, so we can select the appropriate sensory characteristics to match up with a specific fragrance and engage a consumer in a multidimensional experience.”
As a result, bar soaps provide the capacity to create an individualized experience for consumers who want more than just clean skin.

“An ever-increasing level of design sophistication can be seen in the products coming from the workshops of small artisan soap makers. They are bringing energy, excitement and innovation to the category through their use of unusual fragrance combinations, their creation of interesting textures and hand-detailed packaging,”
said Jonas.

Consumers increasingly seek products with value-added benefits and ingredients, such as those that fight acne, wrinkles and cellulite or provide sunscreen actives—and the value of these ingredients has been successfully touted in liquid soaps, playing no small role in the overall success of such products. Lacking the ability to out-position liquids in a value-added ingredient strategy, bar soaps will continue to find it difficult to compete without a strong emphasis on the ability to satisfy other personal preferences, which play a large role in the bath and body category. Further, savvy brands can appeal to a larger segment of the market through strategic use of bar soaps.

“A body care line would want to include a bar soap to cater to a wider demographic,” said Helpern. “Bar versus liquid is a personal preference, and including both would broaden the line’s appeal, particularly as men prefer bar soaps.”

Bar soaps provide a finishing touch and revenue for a bath line.