HEALTH

Adults thirsty for weight-loss/nutrition drinks

BY Michael Johnsen


The overall weight-loss/nutritional shake category spans ready-to-drink diet aids (Slim Fast), pediatric nutrition needs (PediaSure) and adult nutrition needs (Ensure and Boost). Out of all of these, it’s adult nutrition that creates the most synergy with the backbench; seniors need protein and supplementation to ensure a healthy life free of broken hips and fractured elbows. But that isn’t the only prescription-heavy demographic checking out the latest Ensure and Boost flavors. People coming out of surgery and cancer patients are increasingly being turned on to their nutritional needs and how adult nutritional products can help fulfill those needs. 


There’s also the increased protein needs associated with aging and a sedentary lifestyle. Clinical research shows that beginning around the age of 40 years, people can start to lose 8% of muscle mass per decade, which can lead to loss of strength and mobility.


That process accelerates as people get older — older adults lose approximately 3% of their lean body mass per year, according to published reports. It’s a process called sarcopenia, and it can be combated with exercise and proper nutrition. In the United States, an estimated 53% of men and 43% of women older than 80 years are sarcopenic.


Those are the factors behind product introductions like Abbott Nutrition’s Ensure ImmunBalance, which contains both prebiotics and probiotics to help boost the immune system, and Ensure Muscle Health, a ready-to-drink solution that contains Abbott’s proprietary ingredient, Revigor, a source of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate — or HMB, an amino-acid metabolite — and 13 g of protein. 


While sales are down across the core Ensure brand, according to SymphonyIRI Group data, that may be a case of self-cannibalization. 
Just outside the top five in this category are Ensure Muscle Health, which generated $12.3 million for the 12 weeks ended April 17 across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart). Ensure Immunbalance comes in at $9.2 million for the quarter, up 181.8%.

 

 The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Weight Loss/Nutritionals Mid-Year Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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Q&A: Homeopathy hits home

BY DSN STAFF

Drug Store News talked to Laurie Demeritt and Alissa Gould about Boiron’s homeopathy use survey. 


Drug Store News: What are the growth opportunities?

Laurie Demeritt: Right now we see [an] upward of 44% of mainstream consumers have to go outside of the places they normally shop to find more natural OTC products like homeopathics. Among our survey respondents, almost half — 46% — have used natural OTC products, and another 37% haven’t used them, but they’re interested in trying.

DSN: What’s driving awareness around homeopathy?

Demeritt: We found that almost 60% of consumers are familiar with the term ‘homeopathy.’ That’s an increase of nine percentage points just in one year. … Consumers are starting to do their due diligence and look up what might be there for them in terms of options.

DSN: Given that Boiron just launched its Camilia teething solution, what are moms saying about homeopathy?

Alissa Gould: Fifty percent of women did not like something about their current teething product; even if moms feel that a medication is efficacious, they still sometimes don’t feel that it’s good to be using that medicine.

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Raising the bar in 
nutritional snacking

BY Michael Johnsen


The snack is back! Judging from the amount of growth within the 
nutritional bar category in the past year, snacking is definitely en vogue. 
Incremental annual sales totaled $117.5 million across food, drug and mass retailers, with the exception of Walmart, according to SymphonyIRI Group. Out of all over-the-counter growth categories for the 52 weeks ended April 17, nutritional bars as a category took in more dollars on top of what they had generated the year before than any other category, bar none. 


There are plenty of divergent consumers contributing to this growth — from dieters looking for a healthier snack solution to the athletically inclined seeking out the best calorie/protein/carbohydrate combo. General Mills last year introduced a 90-calorie version of its Fiber One snack bars, which contributed to 10% retail sales growth for this line in 2010, according to the company’s annual report. 


The consuming demographic also spans young and old. According to a February 2011 Mintel report, young adults are consuming the most nutrition and energy bars as meal-replacement solutions, and older adults are looking to nutrition bars as a healthy way to improve their overall diet. “Fifty-four percent of consumers say they don’t have enough time to eat breakfast. They want easy, grab-n-go choices that are still low in sugar and simple carbs,” stated Atkins CEO Monty Sharma speaking about the launch of six new Atkins Day Break products in April. 


Snacks sporting high protein and low sodium claims currently are experiencing the strongest growth, according to a SymphonyIRI Group report on snacking released in May. Annualized sales of high protein snacks are up 7.6%, and low-sodium snacks are up 6.2%.

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Nutritional Snacking Mid-Year Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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