WHARTON, N.J —The men’s grooming segment continues to brim with possibilities, but the once-popular “metrosexual” label has been tossed out as manufacturers have discovered that most guys want products with a no-frills, more masculine positioning. Enter On the Job.
On The Job, by Wharton Innovative Products, is on the job trying to reach guys who “don’t think about skin care” but are in need of skin repair, by broadening its distribution to the mass-market channel. The brand has been available at several hardware stores, such as Ace Hardware and True Value, and a few months ago gained distribution at Meijer. In addition, it will be exhibiting at this year’s National Hardware Show in May. Now the brand is hoping to gain distribution in a major national mass-market retailer.
We initially found this niche because there wasn’t anyone fulfilling it. Thirty-five percent of the adult male population in this country are guys who work with their hands, and there wasn’t a product out there that didn’t have frilly smells and would actually help heal work-damaged hands,” Joseph DePreta, Wharton’s VP marketing, told Drug Store News.
There’s no doubt that the men’s grooming segment still has significant room for growth. According to Packaged Facts’ report “Men’s Grooming Products: A Global Analysis,” male-specific body wash, deodorant, hair gel, shaving cream, razors, moisturizers, etc., constitute one of those markets that now outpace the overall beauty/grooming retail markets in many countries of the world, despite the wobbly economy. Valued at $19.7 billion worldwide in 2009, male-specific products are expected to mushroom to $28 billion by 2014.
The On The Job collection is comprised of seven SKUs—including lip balm, foot lotion and an Extreme Weather Stick to help protect skin from cold and wind—but the hero product is its hand lotion, which is designed to repair and moisturize hands. The hand lotion is housed in a dual-chamber tube, with one side being an over the counter antisepticm to kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria to prevent infections, and the other side being a moisturizer. It is shifting from a 2.3-oz. bottle for $8.99 to a 5-oz. tube at $6.99.
“Once we get national lift, we have a full national launch plan in place, which will be television, sampling, online social media and radio. So we are not shy about investing,” DePreta said. The brand currently has a Web site at
DePreta noted that the company has an alliance with consumer packaged goods filler DMI, so it manufacturers, ships and distributes on its site in Wharton, N.J. “We have a brand that actually does provide results for any work- or play-damaged hands. We have about a 95% repurchase intent,” DePreta said. “So where does it go in men’s grooming? Does it go in lotions or up front [at the register]? The answer that we provide is, ‘Wherever it goes, it sells, because we put a marketing program behind it that differentiates the product, and we have created a pent-up demand.’”