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Lip Balm Anonymous Presents:

The Industry of Addiction

People often state that lip balm is safe, legal, substance that causes no ill effects. We addicts know the truth. We've been living with our addiction for years. And folks, it is getting worse. The lip balm industry is a powerful force for change, using methods known by some as the "Chap Stick Conspiracy"! Over the last few years, the number of addicts has risen sharply, as the companies who force this stuff through fancy marketing and uncaring tactics. First, a little background.


Industry Background

New 1998 market numbers are in! Recent fiqures indicate sales of lip balm and cold sore medications grew to $223.7 million in the U.S. Chap Stick is the number one brand again.

Gap Lip Balm According to a 1995 Chain Drug Review article, lip balm is a $200 million market in just the United States alone. It is expected to grow 4-8% over the next few years, hitting $260 million by 1998. An article from OTC-Market-Report-Update-USA indicates the market share for the various brands, shown below. Chap Stick and Blistex were down a combined 12% in 1994, resulting in increased desperation in their marketing tactics. Still, they command over half the market together and will be major players to contend with. No doubt, the two market leaders will have increased pressure as smaller brands such as Bonne Bell increase their sales. Why, even the Gap and Old Navy clothing stores have given lip balm away to shoppers as lure into their stores.

USA 1998 Lip Balm Market in Millions of Dollars

Brand Unit
Sales
Chap Stick 47.1
Blistex 29.3
Carmex 17.5
Vaseline Lip Therapy 6.1
Mentholatum Natural Ice 3.7
Mentholatum Soft Lips 3.5
Lip Medex 3.1
Blistex Lip Tone 2.7
Blistex DCT 2.4
Blistex Ultra Protection 2.2

Source: Chain Drug Review, September 28, 1998, page S40.

USA Lip Balm Market Shares by Percentage
Brand 1992 1995 1996 1997
Blistex (Blistex) 27 28 24 24
Chap Stick (Whitehall/AHP) 34 29 23 26
Carmex (Carma Labs) 8 9 8 9
Vaseline Lip Therapy (Chesebrough-Pond's/Unilever) 9 9 7 5
Campho-Phenique

5
Zilactin (Zila Pharmaceuticals)

3
Soft Lips (Mentholatum) 5
2.5 3
Others, incl. private labels 17 25 28 33

Sources:

  • MMR, September 29, 1997, page 49.
  • OTC Market Report Update USA, May 1, 1996
  • OTC Market Report Update USA , based on Towne-Oller food and drug store tracking service, 12 months to 2/95
  • OTC Market Report Update USA, June 1993

Compare that data from the market shares from just a few years ago and you can see how much the major labels have lost to smaller ones. And there's old Carmex, plugging along by word of mouth... literally!

International Lip Balm Market Share by Percentage
Country/Market Size Brand 1995
United Kingdom
UKPd 12 million
Lypsyl (Zyma/Ciba) 31
  Chap Stick (Whitehall/AHP) 19
  Labello (Beiersdorf) 6
  Blistex (Dendron/DDD) 6
  Neutrogena 3
  E45 (Crookes/Boots) 2
  Private label 33
Canada
Can 18 million
Blistex 30
  Chap Stick 18
  Labello (Beiersdorf) 14
  Lipactin (Ciba) 12
  Others (including Lypsyl, Mentholatum, Carmex) 36
Germany
DM 57 million
Labello (Beiersdorf) 63
  Bebe (Penaten/J&ampJ) 9
  Blistex (Delta Pronatura) 6
  Others 22

Sources:

  • OTC News & Market Report, May 1996
  • OTC Update, May 1996


Company Reports

Lip Balm Anonymous has contacted several lip balm companies and their marketing strategies differ quite sharply in many cases. Some of the smaller players have even begun selling lip balm on the Internet; for those reports, please read the Web of Addiction.

  1. Blistex.
    We debunk the Guide to Healthy Lips and provide a complete list of Blistex's World's Most Beautiful Lips winners.
  2. Chap Stick Conspiracy.
    Acting just like the corner drug dealer. We also provide articles on Chap Stick addiction from the Atlanta Consitution and San Francisco Chronicle.
  3. Carmex.
    Learn about the (crime) family-run company and read an article on lip balm addiction from the San Francisco Examiner.
  4. Vaseline Lip Therapy.
    Pulling our chains two different ways!
  5. Mentholatum Co.
    Using whatever marketing tactics work.
  6. Sex Sells!
    Companies like the Body Shop use sex to sell lip balm!
  7. Un-Petroleum Products.
    Addicting your lips... naturally!
  1. Lip Balm Drug Connection.
    Shocking new evidence that will make you believe!
  2. Marketing of Lip Balm.
    Secretly obtained documents prove our case!
  3. Balm for the Holidays
    Balm is showing up in Christmas stockings!
  4. Bonne Bell Lip Smackers.
    Getting your kids hooked is their primary goal.
  5. The Nightmare Never Ends.
    See what else is in store for our children. Act quickly before it is too late!
  6. The Future of Lip Balm
    New sizes and homeopathic effects keep the market going.
  7. Web of Addiction
    Lip balm on the World-Wide Web.

If you don't believe us, just send e-mail to Lipbalm@kevdo.com. We would be happy to tell you where we obtained this information.


Last updated on October 30, 1998

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