Vibrating personal care products, the next niche?

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cosmetics, Oral hygiene

Vibrating personal care items seem to be making a splash in the US
market this summer, with the launch of vibrating soap, vibrating
toothbrushes and vibrating razors.

The Datamonitor's Productscan Online database of new products has tracked the introduction of these products in the past few months, highlighting the possibility of a new marketing niche for the industry.

According to Datamonitor​, the combined spend by European and US consumers on prestige personal care products is forecast to reach $23 billion in 2007, almost $7 billion up on 1997 levels, "a trend which augers well for value-added products of all sorts,"​ says Tom Vierhile, editor of Datamonitor's Productscan Online.

Datamonitor suggests that Gillette's M3Power Razor has proved pivotal in the recent attention focused on vibrating products. Introduced in 2004, M3Power was able to grab a sizeable share of the US market just seven months after its launch.

Gillette​ then extended the vibrating razor concept earlier this year with the introduction of Venus Vibrance Power Wet Shaving System for Women. More recently, the company found itself at the losing end of a lawsuit which found that specific efficacy claims related to the vibrating feature for its battery-powered M3 Power razor were false.

Now cosmetics makers are turning their attention on vibrating soap, in the hope that this will also catch on in a similar way. Shower Buzz is the world's first battery operated soap and has already caught the media's eye, if only for its innovation.

According to distributor Drygel International, of South Plainfield, New Jersey, Shower Buzz is the 'bar that everyone's buzzing about.' Each of these high-quality glycerin soap bars features a mechanism enclosed in plastic inside the bar. The battery-operated mechanism vibrates during usage, turning the bar of soap into a vibrating massage soap. According to a company spokesperson, "the novelty soap has had a great reaction so far."

Toothbrush makers have been among the biggest proponents of vibrating products. However, Colgate-Palmolive's​ MicroSonic Max Clean Battery Powered Toothbrush takes this concept one step further. It is said to deliver high-speed sonic vibrations which help remove plaque from the teeth.

Also geared toward dental use is the Doctor's DentalMate Vibrating Gum Massager, a new entry from Dental Concepts of Paramus, NJ. The battery-operated gum massager enhances gum stimulation and blood flow to the gums to help reverse the effects of gingivitis.

Even Condom makers have recently jumped on the vibrating bandwagon. Ansell Healthcare's new Durex Play Vibrations Condoms come with a battery-operated vibrating ring 'for added pleasure.' This US launch is a follow-up to the late 2004 launch of Vibe4U Vibrating Condoms by the same company in Australia and New Zealand.

"The trend toward vibrating products looks to continue based upon the sales success of products like Gillette's M3 Power razor and the potential of vibrating products to bring in higher sales and better profit margins,"​ concluded Vierhile.

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