A multinational packaging and manufacturing company active in health and personal care markets, here are some key highlights from Johnson & Johnson (J&J) so far this year.
Health & safety: scrutiny continues
From continued consumer concerns over talc in the US, to a potential issue with formaldehyde in India, J&J has had to defend the safety of its products again this year.
1. Formaldehyde focus in India
Recently, Johnson & Johnson was forced to defend its No More Tears baby shampoo after tests conducted by the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan concluded that it found formaldehyde in its products.
The company has rejected the findings and asserted that its No More Tears does not contain any harmful ingredients.
“We do not accept the interim results given to us which mentioned samples to ‘contain harmful ingredients – identification positive for formaldehyde,’” it said in a statement. Read our full report here.
2. Talc furore continues in the US
J&J is facing more than 14,000 claims that its talc products caused ovarian cancer or mesothelioma, a rare cancer linked to asbestos exposure.
As Bloomberg notes in a recent report, the company denies its products ever contained the carcinogen and argues talc doesn’t cause the life-threatening illnesses.
Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky late last year was forced to state that “We unequivocally believe” the baby powder does not contain asbestos. Many of the claims continue to play out in US courts this year.
3. Transparency push
Perhaps in response to this scrutiny, J&J has been quick to assert its safety and transparency credentials. Introduced last year, this year sees the company’s ‘groundbreaking’ 100% ingredient transparency disclosure efforts for its Johnson’s Baby range continue.
“Our baby fragrances have been reviewed by both independent groups and safety experts—and for the first time are all listed on the Johnson’s website,” Homer Swei, Director of Product Stewardship, Johnson & Johnson has said.
Sales latest & Asia focus
The company’s first quarter results were recently revealed, and showed that its consumer goods worldwide operational sales, excluding the net impact of acquisitions and divestitures grew 0.7% driven by over-the-counter products
Within this though, its Neutrogena brand stands out as one of the growth drivers, while, perhaps unsurprising, baby care products for the company saw lower sales.
Meanwhile, the company has been strengthening its reach in Asia. The start of the year saw it finalise its acquisition of Japan beauty firm Ci:z Holdings. Read our full report on the acquisition here.
Successes & commitments
Alongside this, in keeping with the wider mood for greater emphasis on sustainability, the company has signed a new global agreement on the topic.
Johnson & Johnson says it is committed to the circular economy and as a result, it has signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.
The goal is that by 2025, all product packaging should be reusable, recyclable or compostable.