CAMP HILL, Pa. -- Drug chains are pushing further ahead of supermarkets in private-label health and beauty care innovation with the rollout of Rite Aid's new exclusive bath and body line aimed at the tween set.
The Spa Swami private-label bath line will launch later this month. It follows a "mystical, magical" theme attractive to both tweens and their parents, according to Sarah Datz, spokeswoman for the retailer.
"The tween market is very big these days," she said. Tweens, typically the 9-to-12-year-old age bracket, hold $50 billion in annual global buying power.
"Our other lines have done well, and it's building on that success," she said.
The 16 new stockkeeping units include the fruity fragrances Luna Wave, Planet Love, Moon Beam and Jet Star. Supernatural Scentsations body mist, Enlightenment body lotion, Viva La Diva bubble bath and Astral Shower body wash are available in all four scents for $5.99 each.
The drug chain will promote the new offerings with in-store signage and in-store circulars.
A private-label bath line targeted toward tweens is a "smart" point of entry and point of differentiation against other drug stores, said Jen Pearse-Haran, vice president, management supervisor, Saatchi & Saatchi Collaborative Marketing, New York.
The bath and body segment has been a "huge area for potential upside growth and product innovation" since Bath and Body Works, a division of The Intimate Inc., Columbus, Ohio, created awareness for the category, said Ted Taft, partner, Meridian Consulting Group, Westport, Conn.
Cosmetics and bath and body are areas where drug stores are recognized as trend leaders with strong sales and greater variety, as opposed to supermarkets that hold a smaller market share in the category, he said.
Both CVS with its Essence of Beauty private-label bath line and Rite Aid see similar opportunity and "they're going after it with good private-label lines," Taft said.
He noted that retailers like Jewel-Osco, a combo format under Albertson's, Boise, Idaho, has a good opportunity to gain ground in this growing HBC niche segment.
"They have the advantage of having the drug equity and the traffic from the food," Taft said.
While supermarkets are not typical innovators in HBC products, Peter Leech, managing partner, Equilum Group, Chicago, said it does not preclude grocery retailers from having success in the category.