* Ology line of products hitting stores in November
* Walgreen's own line starting with 24 products
* Retailer sees trend of mothers wanting safer goods
By Jessica Wohl
Nov 5 Walgreen Co is bringing out its
own line of household goods with no harmful chemicals, the
latest step in its push to add more store brands and
differentiate itself from competitors.
Walgreen's first 24 baby and personal care products,
cleaners, paper products and compact fluorescent light bulbs
under the Ology name will hit its more than 7,900 drugstores
The company is hoping to tap into a consumer trend toward
products that are safe and free of harmful chemicals, Maurice
Alkemade, Walgreen's group vice president of retail brands and
global sourcing, said in an interview.
National branded consumer products makers already sell some
"green" items, such as Clorox Co's Green Works cleaners
and Reckitt Benckiser's Lysol Power & Free line of
hydrogen peroxide-powered cleansers that debuted over the
But national brands largely have had the same formulations
for years and Walgreen, the largest U.S. drugstore chain, is
introducing its products before major manufacturers launch items
with similar formulas.
"In this instance we're leading," said Alkemade. "We're
taking these chemicals out prior to national brands doing it."
Ology products include baby lotion and body wash, liquid
laundry detergent and fabric softener, glass cleaner,
all-purpose cleaner, and shampoo and conditioner.
The cleansers exclude chemicals such as ammonia or chlorine
bleach and are bottled in recyclable packaging. Ology toilet
paper, tissues, paper towels and copy paper are 100 percent
tree-free and are made with readily renewable resources. The
tissues, for example, are made in China from sugar cane husk &
bamboo and whitened with a non-chlorine-based bleach.
Walgreen and other chains like rival CVS have been
adding to their lines of private label goods, which are
typically more profitable than branded products, but also
compete against the national brands that make up the bulk of
Walgreen declined to say which manufacturers are making its
products. Another 24 products are due in the spring as Walgreen
works on expanding the Ology line over the next couple of years.
The prices of Ology products should be competitive to national
brands, Alkemade said.