Above: The new Borg Digital Scale has a mahogany finish that provides a fashion element not seen on other scales. jardencs.com
Jarden looks to grow in health and wellness products with a mass strategy
By David Gill
Jarden Consumer Solutions is looking to achieve the same clout in the health and wellness category as it has in cooking products.
Late last year, the company named Vera Bevini, formerly director of its new business development unit, as vice president of marketing for health and wellness. The company has also placed its health and wellness offerings in a unit called Personal Comfort and Wellness, still under the Consumer Solutions division. In this unit are air-treatment products branded under the Holmes and Bionaire brands; and the scales, blood-pressure monitors and massagers branded under Health o Meter.
These moves are designed to gain a significant share of a fast-growing market. "Americans are looking for preventative ways to keep healthy," said Andrew Hill, president and chief executive officer of Jarden Consumer Solutions.
The unit is also gearing its products toward mass retail channels. In April, the new Holmes Air Platform air purifier made its debut at mass merchants. "We're trying to provide solutions in channels where people would think to find them," Hill said. "The big mass retailers, of course, but also the mass stores in sporting goods and the sporting-goods departments in the big mass merchants. The drug channels, where people go to shop for pain-relief products, is important. These products may apply to the consumer-electronics channel as well."
As the arrival of the Holmes Air Platform indicates, new products are another key to Jarden's growth in this area. This fits with the modus operandi of Bevini--who, as director of new business development--was instrumental in the creation of Jarden's Margaritaville brand of margarita makers, the Zarafina line of tea makers and the Skybar wine system. Referring to the Holmes Air Platform, she said, "We make products that solve problems, and the brand is incredibly important. Our consumer research shows that the Holmes brand is proven among consumers of air-treatment products."
The new Holmes products are designed with a filter developed with Arm & Hammer that uses activated charcoal and baking soda to filter allergens, molds, dust and odors from pets, cooking, smoke and the nursery. "This is not an appliance. It's a health tool," Bevini said. "It's driven by prevention, also by comfort. It's for consumers who have to manage their wellness issues, who say, 'I want to live well. I am what I breathe. I want to put things into my body that make me healthier.'"
Hill noted that the new Holmes line has another driver behind it: fashion. "We're taking an approach that focuses on styling with air purifiers," he said. "This product looks more like home decor, like furniture or sculpture."
The Personal Comfort and Wellness unit is already developing new products and innovations with its other brands. "We'll continue to modify our scale offerings under Health o Meter," Hill said. "We're looking at scales that provide more information on body fat and weight management."
Last month Jarden extended its line of scales with the launch of its Borg line, which includes a dial scale, a digital scale and a weight-tracking digital scale. These scales also have a fashion element: The dial scale comes in a silver metallic material, the digital scale is made with a mahogany outer platform and the weight-tracking scale has a platform in brown and onyx black.
Hill also said new products in the air-therapy, heating-pad and joint- and -muscle-relief categories will be launched later this year. In addition, Personal Comfort and Wellness will seek to expand its retail footprint through Internet and direct channels. "We are heavily and intensely focused on developing that opportunity across the board and specifically in this segment," he said. "We've already set up in this area with Facebook and Twitter pages, and we'll run the direct business ourselves rather through other shopping sites."
The Internet effort should also help the health-products business with Jarden's brick-and-mortar customers. "More than half of consumers research these products specifically online before going to the store," Bevini said. "Retailers are redoing their Web sites empowered with the right information, making sure that the consumer understands these products as clearly as possible, in terms of what those products do for them."
Hill said the opportunity for Personal Comfort and Wellness is annual double-digit growth "right out of the chute. The potential is there for this unit not only for this year, but in future years. This is general growth that will occur naturally."