Gojo buys back Purell hand sanitizer from J&J

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Hand sanitizer Gojo

Ohio-headquartered Gojo has repurchased its Purell hand sanitizer brand from Johnson & Johnson with the aim of driving growth in the consumer markets with innovation.

The company created the brand in 1988 to provide water-free hand sanitizing options in the food and healthcare sector.

The first consumer product was launched in the late 90s and the brand sold to Pfizer-owned Warner-Lambert in 2004. It was later acquired by J&J when the company acquired Pfizer’s consumer healthcare sector.

According to Gojo spokesperson Joe Drenik, the company originally sold the brand as it believed a consumer marketing company could build it in the consumer segment more successfully; although, Gojo continued to take care of Purell in the professional sector.

Drive consumer segment

However, the company has now decided the time is right to take the brand back on board and concentrate on driving the consumer sector.

“We feel that at this time good hand hygiene has no boundaries. With the transaction we can expand that product line to include effective solutions for anywhere, home, work and on-the-go. As a company we want to be active in all areas,”​ he told CosmeticsDesign.com USA.

Drenik said innovation was the key to the company’s plans to build the brand in the consumer segment.

“We will bring innovation to the retail category as we have in professional markets,”​ he said, before adding that innovations introduced to the consumer market will have to be deemed appropriate for the sector.

Mass market food and drug retail distribution

Currently, Purell hand sanitizers are available to consumers through the majority of mass market food and drug retailers in the US, and the company has no plans to dramatically alter this distribution, although a global presence is envisaged.

“Right now our focus, like J&J’s focus has been, is the US. Our immediate task is to manage a smooth translation for retailers from J&J to Gojo. But, Gojo is a world wide company…Our intent is to serve the world,”​ Drenik said.

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