Gillette hopes for a swivel in sales from new razor

Procter & Gamble is hoping for a new hit, a la Swiffer or Tide POD. This time it's betting on a revolutionary new razor.

The company's Gillette group hosted a flashy product launch event for the Fusion ProGlide with FlexBall technology in New York City's trendy meatpacking district Tuesday. It's P&G's first major razor launch since the Fusion ProGlide in 2010, and the company claims it's a game changer for men's shaving, and according to Patrice Louvet, P&G's group president for global grooming and shave care, there's nothing like it on the market.

Source: Procter & Gamble

"When you look at a guy's face, it wasn't built for shaving, right?" said Louvet. "It's full of curves and contours ... the way the FlexBall works, a 3-D pivot, and maximum contact around the contours, so you virtually get every single hair."

The innovation is apparent; the razor has a swiveling ball attached to the blade. Gillette claims it is 20 percent more effective at eliminating hairs.

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It is a more premium product than P&G's core Gillette razor, with a price that starts at $11.49, 10 percent more than the average Gillette razor. A battery-operated version sells for $12.59, and they both hit the market June 9.

Gillette's FlexBall razor test drive
Gillette's FlexBall razor test drive

The FlexBall razor is also somewhat unusual in that it is not making any changes to the blade itself. The razor is designed to work with the Fusion blades Gillette already sells—if you have some Fusion blades sitting in a drawer at home, there is no need to go out and buy a different type of blade.

P&G needs a winner in what's been a soft and disappointing sales category for the consumer products giant. The company gets about 9 percent of total sales from its shaving division. Lately though, facial hair is in vogue—that scruffy, masculine look has caught on, at least in the U.S., and the numbers support the trend.

According to monthly scanner data tracked by Nielsen, razor sales have fallen in 16 of the last 17 months. In two instances, declines have been in the double digits. Across male and female razors sales totaled $3.7 billion last year, including razors, blades and accessories, down about 2 percent from the prior year, according to Nielsen.

—By CNBC's Sara Eisen.