All the 500-odd optical shops owned or franchised by Alain Afflelou in France have started to carry a private label collection of one-day disposable soft contact lenses, manufactured by Optical Sciences with its cost-effective moulded edge technology and retailing for a maximum of only e1 per pair. As shown by the images of the advertising campaign accompanying the launch of this new product line, called Ephémère, it's like the price of a newspaper, a cup of coffee or of a ride on the Paris Metro.

Intended for occasional usage, so as not to affect its regular lens business, Affelou's lenses come in packages of 15 pairs. For the moment, its Ephémère lenses are only available to correct myopia. The range will be further extended early next year to encompass OC's multiple applications.

According to recent studies, the market for daily disposable contact lenses is growing at annual rate of 41 percent in France. An estimated 65 percent of the contact lenses sold in France are disposables, but only 16 percent are replaceable daily. The majority are monthly and worn by women.