Home Cosmetic Science Talk General Why has shampoo/conditioner gotten so expensive?

  • Why has shampoo/conditioner gotten so expensive?

    Posted by DaveStone on August 26, 2023 at 5:38 am

    I used to be able to get a bottle of Pantene for $2.50-3.00. This was maybe 10 years ago. Now it’s $10 per bottle! Is this yet another victim of inflation or are companies taking advantage of the economic situation and raising their prices out of greed? There have been businesses accused of doing this.

    em88 replied 5 months, 3 weeks ago 8 Members · 14 Replies
  • 14 Replies
  • PhilGeis

    Member
    August 26, 2023 at 7:34 am

    Why are you buying Pantene if you are unhappy with its price?

    • DaveStone

      Member
      August 27, 2023 at 12:46 am

      They’re all around the same price. Most are higher.

      Don’t answer a question with a question.

      • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  DaveStone.
      • PhilGeis

        Member
        August 27, 2023 at 5:57 am

        Nope there is a range - suave is positoned more economically and there are store brands. So why do folks buy Pantene?

        • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  PhilGeis.
  • fareloz

    Member
    August 28, 2023 at 4:19 am

    You are at a wrong place to ask this question. It is formulation forum, not marketing/economics forum.

  • Perry44

    Administrator
    August 28, 2023 at 1:39 pm

    When I was working on the VO5 shampoo brand you could get a bottle of 16 ounces of shampoo for $0.99. That price remained steady throughout the 1990’s and into the 2000’s. I just looked it up today. Here in the US at Walgreens you can get VO5 shampoo for $1.00 for 15 ounces. It doesn’t seem like the prices have changed that much. And if you adjust for inflation, the price has gone down!

    https://www.walgreens.com/store/c/alberto-vo5-revitalizing-shampoo/ID=300435158-product?ext=gooFY23_GOO_RET_RETAILDEMANDGEN_Performance%2BMax%2B-%2BBeauty_REV_SRC_PMAX_PMAX_NA_PMAX_ENG__pla_local&gclsrc=aw.ds&gclid=Cj0KCQjwi7GnBhDXARIsAFLvH4l0J9D8YBVn8Y9sRBnbSGzs82mZat3TeOFngVz2fNbF1_qHiR48xUAaAmLDEALw_wcB

    • camel

      Member
      August 28, 2023 at 2:58 pm

      VO5 shampoos and conditioners are also available at Walmart in the US for $0.98 (15 fl oz) and Dollar Tree stores for $1.25.

      Pantene’s price increase is probably due to consumer’s willingness to pay and the brand’s perception as a more premium choice compared to other drugstore brands like VO5, Suave, and Garnier.

      I recall you mentioning something about Pantene being the winner in a comparison on hair tresses, so having a superior product (whether or not this is actually noticeable by the average consumer) can also justify the price increase.

      • DaveStone

        Member
        September 2, 2023 at 2:42 am

        Wow, that’s surprising. Unfortunately it is not available in any Walgreens, Rite Aid, or CVS near me. Shipping isn’t offered either. As for Suave, also not in stores…shipping is available with come products. There isn’t a Walmart within 25 miles from my location. I’ll have to check Dollar Tree.

        • camel

          Member
          September 2, 2023 at 4:26 am

          If there is a Kroger or Meijer near you, they also sell VO5, and Target sells Suave. TRESemmé is also on the more affordable side compared to Pantene, around $5 for 28 fl oz.

  • Symbiosis

    Member
    August 28, 2023 at 10:24 pm

    There’s a lot of people that would not buy a cheap bottle of shampoo because it must be terrible if it is so cheap.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 4 weeks ago by  Symbiosis.
    • Perry44

      Administrator
      August 29, 2023 at 7:49 am

      And those people are wrong. The price of a bottle of shampoo has almost nothing to do with the quality. In fact, some companies may take exactly the same formula and sell it under a cheap brand and an expensive brand. Same formula, different branding, position & price.

    • PhilGeis

      Member
      September 2, 2023 at 1:12 pm

      True - consumers do not accept a product as premium (in performance) unless priced as premium.

      • em88

        Member
        September 6, 2023 at 5:24 am

        I’m pretty sure that cheap shampoos are cheaply made. they don’t have the best formulation or the best quality control. It is safe to assume they are cutting costs from somewhere or everywhere.

        • microformulation

          Member
          September 6, 2023 at 9:30 am

          Most of these commodity shampoos are produced by larger companies and I assure you most have better Quality Programs in place than 90% of the other facilities I have toured. It’s not a decrease in quality, it’s the fact that they are able to get volume discounts on materials. The more you buy, the better the price. Also, they have pretty well-run lines and it eliminates as much manual labor as possible.

  • em88

    Member
    September 6, 2023 at 10:51 am

    I have personally visited manufacturing sites and even tried these inexpensive shampoos (not limited to shampoo products alone). The volume discount does have a limit. Pantene and other massive brands like it also operate at high volumes. I’m fairly certain they already secure the lowest prices for their raw materials too. There are indeed cases where the same product is marketed under different brands, with pricing determined by the brand’s strength. This is true; those products are nearly identical.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  em88.

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