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Antiperspirant Update: Playing the Gender Card

SpecialChem / Nanci McArdle – Jan 4, 2006

Thanks to Procter & Gamble's recent acquisition of Gillette, 2004 might have been the last quiet year for the antiperspirant/deodorant (AP/Deo) market for a while. Sales remained steady at $1.1 billion-a barely noticeable 0.3% increase from the previous year for the 52-week period ended Dec. 26, 2004, according to Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), Chicago. (Sales are from supermarkets, drugstores and mass merchandisers, excluding Wal-Mart.) However, top brands did jostle for the top spot. Unilever's Degree moved up a notch to No. 1 with $69.7 million, while last year's lead- er-Mennen Speed Stick from Colgate-slipped 12.1% in sales to $64.2 million, landing it in third place. P&G's Secret Platinum brand was ranked No. 2, with sales reaching $66.6 million, a 30% increase over the previous year. Most of the other brands experienced a slight decrease in sales for the year. In terms of innovation, most companies simply expanded their existing lines. Body sprays and washes were heavily marketed in the men's sector, while in the women's sector, more products boasting nourishing properties were introduced.

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