Suave is a brand name based in Chicago, IL used by the Unilever company in the United States, Argentina, Mexico and Canada. Targeting discount stores, the brand represents more than 100 products including shampoo, lotions, soaps and deodorant.
Suave started in the United States in 1937 as a hair tonic. The brand eventually was acquired by Helene Curtis Industries, Inc. which, in the 1970s, started expanding the Suave name beyond hair care into other areas.
Noting the rise of discount stores such as Wal-Mart, in the 1990s Unilever (which acquired the brand in 1996) instituted a broad strategy, called "The Power of Value" to use its Suave brand to sell a line of discount personal care products in contrast to its high-profile brands such as Helene Curtis, Calvin Klein and Salon Selectives lines. Sales of the Suave line of products grew from $500 million in 1995 to about $900 million in 2002.
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