Energizer Launches Super Premium Battery Line

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The Eveready Battery Co. is launching a new super premium line of batteries designed to target the 10 percent of the market it says is looking for a high performance product. The new Energizer e2 line will complement the company's flagship core Energizer line and will be launched with a $100 million worldwide marketing program as well as in-store merchandising and promotions.

In addition to a new high-performance titanium technology, the new alkaline batteries will feature reclosable packaging, a more accurate on-battery tester and new packaging designed to differentiate the line from other batteries on the market.

As part of the launch, Energizer has also revamped its photo lithium batteries and is including them in the e2 line with similar packaging. The e2 alkaline packaging will have a burnt orange background color, while the photo lithium e2 packaging will use blue.

The e2 alkaline will be offered in all cell sizes (AAA, AA, C, D and 9-volt) and in standard multi-packs. The photo lithium will be offered in five sizes (AA, 123, 223, CR2 and 2CR5). Pricing for the high-performance alkaline batteries will be 32 percent higher than Energizer's standard alkalines. For example, a four-pack of Energizer e2 AAs would retail for $4.59, compared to $3.49 for a four-pack of standard Energizer alkalines.

Energizer executives note that the new line is not intended to replace its current line or to move customers up, but to offer an alternative for the 10 percent of U.S. households that want a high performance product. That 10 percent translates into about 15 percent of category sales and 25 percent of retailer profit, the company said.

"We launched extensive consumer research to see if there were unmet needs in the marketplace," said Jeff Ziminski, director of U.S. marketing. "What we found was there was a significant segment of consumers who were looking for a more dependable product that they did not feel existed in the marketplace today. About 10 percent of households (representing 15 percent of category sales) said, 'Give me a high performing, dependable battery and I'll be willing to pay more to get more.'"

Energizer also noted that when compared to standard alkaline batteries, the new e2 line will operate 203 percent better in digital phones and 241 percent in camcorders and digital cameras.

Meanwhile, Energizer's split from Ralston-Purina is scheduled to be completed on April 3.

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