P&G Unwinds ‘Precision’ Makeup Brand Opte Four Years After

Procter & Gamble Co. is phasing out Opte, an inkjet wand that allowed for targeted makeup application, after touting it to investors and analysts for several years.

Opte is no longer fulfilling new product or refill orders, P&G spokeswoman Erica Noble said in an email, though it will continue to offer technical and warranty support. Subscription refills ceased in January, according to a notice posted on the website. There were no job cuts associated with the decision to unwind the brand.

The brand was one of the first to emerge from P&G Ventures, a division entrusted with finding hit products in categories new to the company, and gave the maker of Pampers diapers entry into the “digital skin care” category. It was unveiled in 2019 at a highly-watched electronics show after over a decade of development and more than 40 patents.

P&G Ventures is “intended to operate on a fast learning cycle, much like a startup,” Noble said. The division regularly makes choices about where to “make the biggest impact to solve unmet consumer needs,” she added.

Opte was a departure from P&G’s core business of selling fast-moving household staples like laundry detergent and toilet paper. With a price tag of $599, it was the most premium beauty product developed by the company, an executive told Bloomberg after the product launched.

The device uses tiny cameras to scan for blemishes and cover them as it runs over the skin, targeting only areas with imperfections and negating the need to slather makeup on the entire face. A refill kit for the serum the wand requires would set shoppers back $99.

Cincinnati-based P&G touted the product at conferences throughout the years, including the annual Consumer Analyst Group of New York forum that brings companies in front of investors from around the world. The company also promoted an innovation award Opte fetched at the 2020 CES consumer-electronics show.

P&G’s Noble said Ventures is focused on its products already in the market, including eczema and psoriasis skincare brand Bodewell and pest-control line Zevo, which expanded its lineup beyond household repellents by launching on-body products in March.

The team is “constantly exploring” opportunities in multiple categories, including pets and automotive, she said.

Meanwhile, the consumer-goods giant has continued to snap up beauty brands, acquiring textured-hair brand Mielle Organics earlier this year.

By Daniela Sirtori-Cortina

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