Colgate-Palmolive is #17 on this year's list of Top Global Beauty Companies.
Below is a look at the company’s 2018 highlights, recent acquisitions, best-selling brands, and latest innovations.
Beauty Sales (Personal Care)
$2.9 billion (FY 2017 Beauty Sales: $3 billion)
- Ian Cook, chairman, president and chief executive officer
- Franck Moison, vice chairman
- Dennis Hickey, vice chairman
- Henning Jakobsen, chief financial officer
- P. Justin Skala, chief operating officer, North America, Europe, Africa/Eurasia and global sustainability
- Colgate Baking Soda and Peroxide Whitening, Plus, Total, Optic White,
- Enamel Health, 360°, Kids, Sensitive, MaxFresh, 2in1, Sparkling White,
- Tartar Protection with Whitening, Triple Action, Ultrabrite, Wave, Wisp,
- Tom’s of Maine; Irish Spring soaps and deodorants; Softsoap;
- Protex soap; Gard anti-dandruff shampoo with conditioner;
- Speed Stick and Lady Speed Stick antiperspirants and deodorants;
- Sanex Zero% shower gels and deodorants; Tahiti; Tender Care, Afta men’s toiletries
- Tom’s of Maine Whole Care Fluoride mouthwash
- Palmolive Gourmet shower creams
- Palmolive Aquarium
- PCA Skin and EltaMD skin care brands (acquisition)
Colgate-Palmolive, By the Numbers
Difficult macroeconomic conditions slowed Colgate-Palmolive’s category growth worldwide and made 2017 a challenging year.
The company increased the amount it invested in advertising by 10.2% and the return was a 1.5% boost to the company’s annual net sales, with organic sales growing 1%. The company’s top net sales regions were Latin America (25%), North America (20%), Asia Pacific (18%), Europe (16%) and Africa/Eurasia (6%). By business segment, oral care contributed toward 48% of sales in 2017, followed by personal care (19%), home care (18%) and pet nutrition (15%).
CEO Ian Cook said the company’s work in identifying trends is helping to better position its existing cadre of brands and products. For example, the “naturals” trend emphasizing what’s not in a product’s formulation is well accepted in most established market segments. For toothpaste, he said Colgate Palmolive is globally represented by its Tom’s of Maine and Sanex Zero% brands. In emerging markets such as India, the company is maximizing the formulation aspects of new product launches like Colgate Cibaca Vedshakti and Colgate Swarna Vedshakti toothpastes, which are inspired by traditional Ayurvedic beliefs. Cook remarked that the company plans to roll out more natural toothpaste offerings in each of its geographic regions by mid-2018.
Beyond oral care, in December 2017 Colgate Palmolive announced two separate professional skin care brand acquisitions—PCA Skin and EltaMD—as part of the company’s forward-looking strategy to focus on its higher-margin oral care, personal care and pet nutrition businesses.
PCA Skin is a medical-grade in-office and take-home skin-care product brand, and has strong support from dermatologists, plastic surgeons and aestheticians. EltaMD is a physician-dispensed sun care brand with a unique positioning around broad-spectrum, everyday use, physician-dispensed sunscreen. Both brands turned in a combined $100 million in estimated 2017 net sales.
News of Note in 2018
Colgate-Palmolive’s Q2 update in July confirmed that the company’s challenges in the global marketplace are ongoing. Worldwide net sales topped $3.8 billion in Q2, an increase of 1.5% versus Q2 2017. Global unit volume increased 1.5%, and pricing and foreign exchange were even with the year ago period. The aforementioned professional skincare acquisitions contributed 1.0% to net sales and unit volume growth in the quarter. In North America, which represents 21% of the company’s sales, net sales increased 8%.
The company’s leadership of the global toothpaste market continued during the second quarter with its global market share dipping slightly to 42.1% year to date.
With an eye toward the future, in January, Colgate debuted a first-of-its-kind, app-enabled electronic toothbrush sold exclusively by Apple. Retailing for about $100, the Colgate Smart Electronic Toothbrush E1 with Artificial Intelligence features Bluetooth connectivity and provides users with real-time feedback about their brushing so they can take better care of their oral health.
Designed with the help of dentists, the next-gen brush features sonic vibrating technology, real-time sensors and artificial intelligence algorithms to detect brushing effectiveness in 16 zones of the mouth. It also employs Apple ResearchKit (with the user’s permission) that crowdsources toothbrushing data to get even smarter about oral care for better and faster future innovation.
This June, Colgate-Palmolive joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Initiative, which it said reflected the company’s commitment to 100% recyclability of packaging across all its product categories and its target to achieve 25% recycled content in all plastic packaging by 2025.
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