Acquisitions show supplement potential
Judging from the number of dietary supplement companies that are being snatched up by heavy-hitting suppliers in the over-the-counter space, the 5% uptick in supplement sales for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 12 is one trend that stands to continue. Sales across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart) for that period totaled $1.5 billion, according to SymphonyIRI Group data.
Procter & Gamble in March acquired New Chapter, and with that now fields a comprehensive line of supplements that goes well beyond the probiotic Align and the fiber supplement Metamucil it already owned.
“Entering the vitamins, minerals and supplements category is consistent with P&G Personal Health Care’s growth goals and long-term vision — to become the largest, most profitable, most trusted company in consumer health care,” P&G spokeswoman Liz Ming told DSN. New Chapter is a well-known brand in the specialty channel, and P&G will look to maintain that channel dominance, Ming said. But that doesn’t preclude P&G from launching entirely new brand offerings in food, drug and mass.
And last month, Church & Dwight announced its acquisition of gummy vitamin manufacturer Avid Health, which propels C&D into the gummy vitamin space in a big way under the Vitafusion and L’il Critters banners.
Almost 60% of all children’s vitamins are sold in the gummy format, Jim Craigie, C&D chairman and CEO, told analysts on a conference call regarding the acquisition, but only 3% of adult vitamins are in gummy format. “There’s a significant opportunity to grow gummy form in adult vitamins and continue to grow the kid gummy-vitamin business,” he said.
Growth in adult gummy offerings is another hot trend. Pharmavite earlier this summer launched a complete line of gummies. And both Pfizer under its Centrum brand and Bayer under One-A-Day recently launched additional gummy offerings.
Q&A: Hi-tech health
“Life…supplemented” last month launched a resource app for iPhones and iPads. DSN sat down with Judy Blatman, SVP communications for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, to get the details on the launch.
DSN: First, what is the new app?
Judy Blatman: The mobile app, the WannaBeWell app … is a way for consumers to have access to wellness right at their fingertips. … For example, you can access our supplement resource center, which gives you [details on] supplements from A-Z. It also has some other interesting features, including some tips from our celebrity spokeswoman Nia Vardalos, as well as access to the supplement blog.
DSN: What’s in it for retailers and suppliers?
Blatman: … Anecdotally, one of the reasons that consumers may not adhere to their supplement regimen is they don’t plan well enough in advance. This app has a restock reminder, and that’s something that should help. In addition, consumers who are in retail locations will have access to the Life…supplemented website, including our supplement resource center. … [Also], we’ll have widgets available that [third parties] can use on their websites.
For the full audio Q&A, click here.
Demand for insoles keeps sales in step
The overall foot care category was relatively flat — down 0.9% — with $587.2 million in sales for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 12 across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), according to SymphonyIRI Group data. However, almost 2-out-of-3 foot care products sold are insoles, which bodes well for sales going forward.
According to the 2012 National Foot Health Assessment commissioned this summer by the Institute for Preventative Foot Health, more than 1-in-4 consumers complain of overall foot fatigue or achy feet, with women out-indexing men. That may explain the success behind Foot Petals (see device chart).
Earlier this summer MarcasUSA made a push into the U.S. market with Conazol, Mexico’s best-selling athlete’s foot treatment, through select retailers like Walmart and Target across several Hispanic-friendly markets, including Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas and Chicago. According to a May 2012 SymphonyIRI Group poll, Hispanic consumers spend 8% more on consumer packaged goods than non-Hispanic consumers and tend to be more brand-loyal.
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Foot Care Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.