Asda secures exclusive P&G UK haircare launch

Procter & Gamble is to extend its core Herbal Essences haircare brand for the first time in the UK, with an exclusive tie-up with Asda.

Procter & Gamble is to extend its core Herbal Essences haircare brand for the first time in the UK, with an exclusive tie-up with Asda.

This is the first time Asda has secured exclusivity for a major health and beauty launch. An industry source says that Asda is hoping its relationship with US parent Wal-Mart will help it become the first port of call for US-to-UK transfers. The Fruit Fusion line is being shipped from Wal-Mart’s US stock, but will be repackaged by Asda to meet EU regulations.

Already sold in the US, the six-product Herbal Essences Fruit Fusions line will be available in Asda from this week for an exclusive three-month trial. If successful, it will be rolled out to other retailers in June.

Insiders say that a multi-million pound TV and print campaign will support the general release of Fruit Fusions in the summer. Advertising for Herbal Essences has been handled by Leo Burnett since P&G acquired the brand, along with the rest of the Clairol range, from BMS in May 2001 (MW May 24, 2001).

Rather than the traditional targeting of dry, greasy or coloured hair, the Fruit Fusions range offers a fruit-based shampoo and conditioner for hydrating, revitalising and protecting hair. Each product will carry a retail price of &£1.98, with 100ml extra free.

P&G has used retailer exclusivity to test-market US brands in the UK before, launching haircare brand Physique in Tesco in January 2002 (MW January 24, 2002).

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