After Listening to Parents, Johnson & Johnson Is Retooling Formulas for Iconic Products

Removing dyes and being transparent about scent formulas

Johnson & Johnson's new packaging design features a pump on top so parents don't have to put their baby down in the bath to be able to get more shampoo. Johnson & Johnson's
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CANNES, France—If you have a legacy product that has been beloved by generations of parents it might be easy to brush off concerns of a younger generation of parents. Initially, that was the case for CPG giant Johnson & Johnson when new parents were voicing concerns about dyes, scents and other ingredients in Johnson’s baby products. But that’s all about to change.

After listening to those concerns and charging the company to think more like a startup, J&J is removing dyes as well as some ingredients and being more transparent about its scents, J&J CMO Alison Lewis revealed at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

In August, J&J will roll out a new version of its “No More Tears” shampoo—which is known for its gold color—without dyes, meaning it will no longer be gold. Same thing for Johnson’s baby lotion, which is known for its iconic pink. With the retooled products, Johnson’s has reined in its ingredients, cutting them in half; all of the new products are free of parabens, phthalates, and sulfates.

As for scents, Johnson’s is disclosing all of its fragrances—normally a trade secret—in a big move for total transparency with consumers.

While Lewis noted that the company had science on its side—explaining that its products were already safe—she shared that Johnson’s was being too rigid with its products and losing market share.

The company also heard from parents that its packaging needed to change too. With slippery babies in the bath, it was a hassle for parents to stop, put their baby down and open the shampoo bottles. To fix that, Johnson created new packaging that allows consumers to pump out shampoo with one hand while holding their baby in another.

@KristinaMonllos Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.