Bringing up baby — and mom
The old adage that if mom is happy, everybody’s happy has never been more true. The success of companies making baby OTC products is increasingly tied to their ability to meet both the needs of a child and its parents. With retailers working to deliver a one-stop shop for all of a baby’s OTC needs, companies delivering on new needs — including education and convenience — could become big winners in capturing an extremely loyal shopper, according to several baby care suppliers.
“Moms are increasingly building this aisle into their shopping routine and even stocking up on items they hadn’t previously as a result,” said Joseph Juliano, vice president of marketing at Greenburgh, N.Y.-based Prestige Brands, which markets the Little Remedies products — which include cough-cold, fever and stomach relief offerings.
[quote-from-article] Juliano noted that as millennials become parents, education is playing an even larger role in reaching them because much of their preshopping is now being done online.
“[Millennial moms] increasingly research baby care products online before making their purchase in store, and nearly 1-in-3 will forego that shopping trip and complete their baby care purchase online,” Juliano said. As part of its push for education, Little Remedies has a regularly updated blog, called A Little More Wisdom, that includes posts about baby development, parenting techniques, common child ailments and food and nutrition tips. It also produces video content for parents.
“The Little Remedies brand is continuing to inform and engage moms with meaningful content, [and] we work with our retail partners to leverage this content to drive our shoppers to the retailer’s aisle or e-commerce platform,” Juliano said.
Besides requiring education, manufacturers are finding that convenience is another crucial need for busy parents, according to Annette Domnik, chief marketing officer at Draper, Utah-based Zarbee’s Naturals, which markets vitamins and supplements, sore throat relief and immune support products for babies and children younger than 12 years old.
To deliver on convenience, Zarbee’s has recently launched its Baby On-the-Go cough syrup sachets to make cough relief an easier option for busy moms. The on-the-go cough syrups, which will carry a suggested retail price of $10.99 for 10 sachets, feature an option for both babies and children. Domnik said they offer an incremental addition to the basket.
“It’s a convenient way for mom to not only place a serving into her diaper bag, but she can leave the pre-dosed serving with a sitter and not have to worry about it,” Domnik said.
Supplements augment wellness routines
Supplement usage is at an all-time high, with more than 3-in-4 U.S. adults reporting they augment their wellness routine with a vitamin, mineral or other dietary supplement. That’s according to the 2017 Council for Responsible Nutrition Supplement Survey. These results, industry experts say, show that the industry is building up its credibility among consumers.
[quote-from-article] “These findings reinforce the upward trend in usage and confidence seen last year,” said Nancy Weindruch, vice president of communications at the Washington, D.C.-based CRN. “Seeing more than three quarters of Americans taking supplements is an indicator of our industry’s success in bringing products to the marketplace that are valued by the majority of Americans for their role in health and wellness.”
With IRI data putting the market size at $7.1 billion, vitamins are second only to cough-cold and allergy in sheer OTC category size. And while dollar growth is a moderate 3.1%, according to IRI, consumer usage in 2017 was five percentage points higher than it was in 2016, which suggests potential future growth.
That growth potential is especially evident when you consider the fact that, of those CRN surveyed who do not take dietary supplements, nearly half (45%) say they might consider taking supplements in the future if a health practitioner recommended it to them.
VMS offerings get personal at Ritzman
A regional player is getting into the VMS business in a unique and personalized way. Ritzman Pharmacy, based in Medina, Ohio, last spring launched a new line of own-brand patient-customized supplements through its RefreshinQ division as part of a new wellness subscription offering.
“RefreshinQ is the future of Ritzman and [represents] how we’re positioning ourselves differently,” Ritzman Pharmacy president and COO George Glatcz said. “It’s changing the way we do business.”
Glatcz said that the new offering is a way to help customers navigate a category whose sheer size and variety can be off-putting.
“There’re a thousand SKUs of different types of vitamins and supplements,” Glatcz said. “They have no clue what they need, [and] they’re so confused.”
At Ritzman locations, pharmacists are tailoring supplements to individual patients through a partnership with InsideTracker, which harnesses a database representing more than 150,000 people, as well as peer-reviewed research to help define optimal health recommendations for all types of people, Glatcz said.
RefreshinQ starts with a simple baseline health analysis from the user, including information about individual hydration, energy, blood pressure, heart rate and weight. After the baseline analysis, RefreshinQ customers are given a code to redeem for blood analysis performed at an approved facility.
The blood test analyzes as many as 30 biomarkers as part of a $279 offering that includes three months of dietary supplements and professional health consultations with Ritzman pharmacists, Glatcz said.
“Our pharmacists [will] become coaches to help guide people through whatever their wellness goals are,” he said.
Those coaching guides help users build a customized health and nutrition program. Supplement buyers can customize that pack mix directly through RefreshinQ.com, where a 30-day supply of between five and seven supplements will cost $69.99. Also, Ritzman has incorporated a prepackage service into the RefreshinQ program.
“We’ve taken that technology and [applied] it to the supplement lines,” Glatcz said. “Instead of people having six vitamin bottles, we’ll prepackage them for them, and they can have it in one packet instead of in a bottle.