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Alaven launches Bifera iron supplement

BY DSN STAFF

ATLANTA Alaven Consumer Healthcare launched its Bifera iron supplement in preparation for the ECRM Vitamin, Diet and Sports Nutrition conference.

Unique to the iron supplement category, Bifera offers both heme (protein-based) and non-heme (plant-based) iron. Unlike other iron supplements available over the counter, Bifera provides two types of iron in one small pill for maximum absorption with virtually no gastrointestinal side effects.

“Bifera can be taken on an empty stomach, with other multi-vitamin supplements and, unlike other over-the-counter iron supplements, Bifera can be taken with acid-reduction medications,” stated Autumn Akin, Bifera product manager.

Bifera is similar to Alaven’s current prescription prenatal supplement PreferaOB, which contains both heme and non-heme iron. Bifera is recommended for adults already taking supplemental iron, women of childbearing age, pregnant women, people who are anemic and men and women who simply need more iron in their diet and the energy it provides.

According to Curt Behrens, president of P2B, a retail sales and marketing company, Bifera is a significant advance among iron supplements. “This new iron technology will help millions of consumers and energize a sleepy category for retailers,” Behrens said. “Bifera’s new entrance into the iron category will appeal to dieticians, repeat buyers and lapsed iron users who are looking for reduced side effects and enhanced energy, all of which encourages patient compliance and repeat customers.”

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Elephant out of business because of economy; lack of financing

BY Michael Johnsen

BERKELEY, Calif. The challenging economy claimed its latest retail victim Tuesday, as Elephant Pharm shuttered its three locations for good after filing for liquidation under chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

The chain’s three locations had been open on Monday.

“The company has been burdened with obligations that were quite difficult for a company of our size to carry,” Elephant Pharm CEO Kathi Lentzsch stated. “The current management team and board of directors worked diligently to grow the company to a size that could bear these obligations, but due to the current economic conditions and the tightening of the credit market, it has not been possible to raise the capital required to continue the business.” 

That suggests the Elephant business may have failed more because of its lack of heft — Elephant fielded the buying leverage of only three locations to fill store shelves in a full-size 12,000-square-foot-plus footprint — than because of its pharmacy business vision as a pharmacy that dispensed both traditional allopathic medicines and Ayurvedic herbs.

Pharmaca, based in Boulder, Colo., fields a similar business model, albeit in a much smaller retail box. Averaging 5,000-square-feet per location, the 23-store chain has secured some $20 million in financing this past spring and has more than doubled in size in the past year.

Executives at Elephant Pharm had been trying to secure additional financing in an exceedingly financing-poor market for the past year. The chain closed its Los Altos, Calif., location, which had been its fourth store, this past September. “In spite of these efforts, the company was ultimately unable to meet its mounting obligations and regretfully had no choice but to close its stores,” the company stated.

 “We are extremely proud of our team and what we were able to accomplish in the 6 years since we opened. We would like to thank our vendors and our very loyal customers for their support over the years.” Lentzsch said. “Elephant has been both a leader in its industry as well as a reflection of a greater societal movement for healthy change.”

Elephant Pharm employed 190 people across its three stores and at the home office.

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Febreze launches Destinations Collection

BY Drug Store News Team

CINCINNATI Febreze has launched its new Destinations Collection, offering fragrances in three scents: Hawaiian Aloha, Brazilian Carnaval and Moroccan Bazaar.

The new collection was inspired in part by the growing “staycation” trend.

“During these uncertain economic times, consumers are becoming more creative in providing escapes for themselves and their families without breaking the bank,” stated Scott Beal, Febreze brand manager. “The Febreze Destinations Collection offers boutique scents from around the world that create a temporary getaway through an authentic scent experience.”

The launch will be supported by an online “From Staycation to Vacation” sweepstakes on www.febreze.com/destinations that will run from Feb. 2 to July 5, 2009.  One grand-prize winner will receive a trip for four to Hawaii, Morocco or Brazil. Ten first-prize winners will receive $1,000 toward a home decor makeover and more than 1,500 consumers will win a coupon redeemable for any Febreze product.   

The Febreze Destination Collection is available nationally at food, drug and mass retailers with prices ranging from $2.99 to $7.99.

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