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Bilingual ‘Wellness Wheel’ hits 1.5K locations

BY Michael Johnsen

Hispanic consumers are a significant growth driver behind many dietary supplements, more so than their non-Hispanic counterparts.

(Click here to view the full OTC Megatrend Report 2016.)

Sales of popular VMS products were up 9% among Hispanic shoppers for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 8, 2015, according to Nielsen data provided by Univision. That compares with a still-significant 5% growth rate among non-Hispanic consumers.

That may explain why Pharmavite recently introduced its bilingual “Vitamin & Supplement Wellness Wheel” to more than 1,500 locations, primarily in such military locations as the Exchange, as well as Dillons and smaller drug stores, such as Smith Drug and CVS Health’s Navarro Discount Pharmacy.

The wheel includes gender-specific recommendations for everything from bone health to sleep support.

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Market remains largely untapped

BY Michael Johnsen

Even though many cutting-edge marketers have for years successfully infused a Hispanic flavor into their overall marketing mix, the overall marketplace has yet to maximize the reach into this community relative to the overall buying power they wield.

(Click here to view the full OTC Megatrend Report 2016.)

The potential return on investment in engaging the Latino consumer still yields greater dividends than that of the crowded general market. “Whomever comes into these categories from a marketing standpoint has an opportunity to establish first-mover advantage,” Jorge Daboub, VP of business development at Univision, told Drug Store News. “If it’s not first-mover advantage, there are fewer players, less clutter. [Marketers] have an opportunity to develop a franchise against a consumer segment that can drive some significant growth.”

As a group, the Hispanic demographic represents $5.9 billion in the sale of nonprescription medicines alone (12% of the total U.S. spend), and sales of OTC products among Hispanic consumers is up more than 8% versus more than 5% among non-Hispanic companies.

Hispanic consumers are brand loyal — branded products capture 79% of Hispanic OTC sales versus only 75% of non-Hispanics. “They also tend to buy less on promotion than non-Hispanics,” Daboub said. “So they’re not gravitating to the private-label brands.”

They also represent more frequent shoppers who carry larger marketbaskets to the checkstand. Hispanic consumers buy 2.8 items per health and beauty trip versus 2.5 for non-Hispanics; they make 29 trips per buyer per year versus 27.8 trips per non-Hispanic buyer per year; and they spend $14.60 per trip versus $14 for non-Hispanic shoppers.

Some of the bigger growth opportunities within OTC include cough-cold and flu, a category that saw a 14% lift in sales among Hispanic consumers for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 8, 2015, according to Nielsen, versus a 9% lift in sales among non-Hispanic consumers. Similarly, allergy remedies saw a 13% lift in sales among Hispanics versus 9% among non-Hispanics, and family planning realized 9% growth among Hispanics versus 3% among non-Hispanics.

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Q&A: Disruptive brands with CHPA’s Scott Melville

BY Michael Johnsen

This year’s Consumer Healthcare Products Association 2016 Annual Executive Conference is focused on disruption, exploring how disruption across every facet of the marketplace is impacting the business of nonprescription medicines and how CHPA members can not only survive in a marketplace where disruption is commonplace, but thrive. Drug Store News sat down with Scott Melville, CHPA president and CEO, to identify the disruption impacting the industry and how members can succeed in this environment.

(Click here to view the full OTC Megatrend Report 2016.)

DSN: What are the disruptors in the OTC industry today, and how is CHPA reacting to those disrupters?

Scott Melville: One [disruptor] in particular that has garnered our attention in the past year is the evolution of regulation to the state and local level. We need to be aware not only of what’s going on on Capitol Hill, but we have to be aware of what’s going on at the state capitals and city hall, and that’s something that we’ve not really had to deal with much in the past. It’s being driven around product stewardship. … And the interaction is not just with regula tors, it’s with our retail partners.

DSN: How is CHPA helping to position the OTC industry to capitalize on disruptive technology?

Melville: The major disruptive technology in our industry right now is access to healthcare information by consumers. They’re more informed than ever, [and] they have more resources available [to them]. … They’re taking control of their own health care, and technology is empowering them. That’s a tremendous opportunity for our industry to provide more information to them. … The challenge is to make sure that the information sources they’re going to are legitimate sources that provide good information.

DSN: What is the value CHPA brings to the overall healthcare paradigm in this information age where consumers are better informed?

Melville: We’re working on several initiatives right now that will further quantify the contribution of OTC medicines to the healthcare system. We’re going to look at categories that have switched from prescription to OTC to put numbers on what that saves patients, what that saves the healthcare system. They’re pretty compelling numbers. … We’re also looking at the safety profile of OTC switches that many times [are] almost universally much safer than ever anticipated. We’ll have data to share, if not this year, then next year.

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