HEALTH

Alka-Seltzer Fruit Chews revive brand

BY Michael Johnsen

WHIPPANY, N.J. — Thanks in part to the launch of Alka-Seltzer Fruit Chews, the Alka-Seltzer brand has experienced a resurgence within the antacid tablet category. Brand sales are up 422.4% to $7.2 million for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 6, according to IRI data across total U.S. multi-outlets. “With persuasive advertising behind Alka-Seltzer Fruit Chews throughout the year, sampling, and strong in-store displays and ad circulars, we’ve been able to successfully introduce the brand to a new generation of consumers,” Tracy Nunziata, marketing director at Bayer HealthCare’s Consumer Care, told DSN.

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Probiotics show promise with new delivery formats

BY Michael Johnsen

Probiotics have continued to rake in sales this fall, and it’s a product category that still has plenty of growth potential. According to a survey by Procter & Gamble, 53% of women still don’t know what probiotics are, but 74% are interested in how their digestive system works.

(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)

Many of the larger probiotic brands are experiencing significant growth. i-Health’s Culturelle generated $63.7 million in sales on a growth rate of 44.1%, according to IRI data for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 6 across U.S. multi-outlets. Sales of Bayer’s Phillips Colon Health were up 15.4% to $58.7 million, and sales of Florastor were up 29% to $20.8 million.

Although Procter & Gamble’s Align, with $69 million in sales, was only up 2.5%, that brand still serves as the key driving product in the category.

Probiotics also is growing in diverse selection and new delivery formats. Canadian supplement supplier Jamieson recently launched two probiotic product offerings in the United States: an eight-strain tablet and a two-strain powder. According to the company, consumers are looking for the highest cell counts or varieties of strains available in probiotics products, unique selling features like specific claims or gut-protected formulas, and alternate delivery formats.

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Antacids to drive growth

BY Michael Johnsen

Heading into 2014, there are a number of growth drivers across the digestives space. There’s the possible switch of Nexium into over-the-counter aisles, brands like Imodium are experiencing a resurgence with their return to the shelves, and Chattem is bringing the venerable Rolaids brand back into the digestives fold.

(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)

The biggest piece of the digestives pie is antacid tablets, however, and while the category is presently trending down by 1.6% to slightly less than $2 billion — according to IRI data for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 6 across total U.S. multi-outlets — it is out of this category that many of the 2014 growth drivers will originate.

“Antacids play an important role in the overall digestive health category,” noted Tracy Nunziata, marketing director for Bayer HealthCare’s Consumer Care. “[The category] has among the highest household penetration rates of all the digestive health segments, at 37%.” Bayer recently boosted its presence within the space with the launch of Alka Seltzer Fruit Chews. That brand as a whole is up 422.4% in sales to $7.2 million.

Should Pfizer’s application to switch Nexium be approved, presumably after the patent expires in May, a $6 billion book of prescription business in the United States will make its way to antacid aisles, according to IMS Health data compiled from 2012. That suggests the latest proton-pump inhibitor to make the switch could dwarf sales of the No. 1 antacid tablet Prilosec OTC.

Chattem earlier this fall unveiled its plans to re-introduce the iconic Rolaids heartburn-relief brand to the U.S. market. Chattem will support the re-launch of Rolaids with a fully integrated marketing campaign featuring chef and restaurateur Guy Fieri.

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