Tuesday, August 17, 2004

P&G rolling out plethora of new consumer goods



By Cliff Peale
Enquirer staff writer

No longer targeted exclusively to the weekend athlete, Procter & Gamble Co.'s ThermaCare heat wrap now is being marketed more to the chronic-pain sufferer.

To that end, P&G is introducing a new knee-wrap version of ThermaCare, which was first unveiled nationally in 2001 and promises hours of portable heat relief. P&G will start shipping it to stores in September and hopes to continue expanding the external pain-relief products category.

"We spent a lot of time convincing people about the benefits of heat," said Eric Breissinger, marketing director for the brand at P&G. "Now we're talking to people who understand the benefits of heat."

The new heat wrap is one of more than half a dozen P&G products ready to hit store shelves during the second half of 2004, part of a year-round flow of launches from the consumer-products goliath. This year, they include a new Olay skin-care product, a new Pampers diaper and a new scent-making machine from Febreze.

Some are new-to-the-world products, such as Iams Savory Sauce, rolling out from P&G's Dayton-based pet-food unit.

Many others, including ThermaCare, are new versions of existing products. But during the past several years, they have added up to the kind of sales growth P&G needs to satisfy Wall Street investors. For the fiscal year that ended June 30, the company grew past $50 billion in sales for the first time.

Other P&G products on the shelves this summer and fall include:

• Pampers Feel 'n Learn. These training pants, which just hit store shelves at $9.99 for a pack of 26, add to P&G's successful Pampers Baby Stages line. The product includes a "wet sensation liner" that allows the baby to feel wetness for a short time.

• Scentstories. The Febreze product includes a plug-in disc player and "scent-themed discs" that rotate through five scents, a new one every 30 minutes. It's hitting store shelves now at $34.99 for the starter kit, which includes the player and the disc Exploring a Mountain Trail, which retails alone for $5.99.

• Olay Moisturinse. The body lotion was available online early this year, but the national rollout launched in June. Moisturinse "works in the shower when your skin is most receptive to moisture intake," P&G said. Olay also is launching Regenerist Collection, a series of different types of its popular anti-aging product.

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E-mail cpeale@enquirer.com




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