J&J To End Johnson’s Baby Powder Sales In North American Markets, But Maintains Safety Convictions
The iconic talc-based product will no longer be available for purchase in the US and Canada after supplies run out. Standing firm on the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder, J&J attributes the move to declining demand due to changing consumer habits, misinformation “and a constant barrage of litigation advertising.”
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J&J is prioritizing Tylenol production on caplets easiest to manufacture to maximize output as it manufactures the line around the clock, says CEO Alex Gorsky. First-quarter US OTC sales soared 35% as consumers stockpiled due to COVID-19, though the pandemic led J&J to downgrade its 2020 outlook.
The FDA is focused on driving adoption of more sensitive, standardized testing methods for assessing cosmetic talc purity, which it believes would yield more consistent results across labs. This would help to inform research into the health implications of trace levels of asbestos and other elongate mineral particles in talc; in the interim it could to be damaging to companies that supply or use that talc.
J&J plans to cut 10% of its consumer health portfolio, with most divestitures in the baby and beauty care segments outside the US. It plans to focus on growing “stronghold” categories of skin health and self care, including Aveeno and Tylenol.