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Discount supermarkets linked to higher obesity rates

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Frequenting certain retail stores may affect customers’ waistlines, according to a new study.

Published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers sought to determine whether physical proximity to food stores or food prices within the store would be more strongly associated with obesity rates (adjusting for individual level demographics, education and income). The data were obtained through the Seattle Obesity Study, based on a representative sample of adult residents of King County, Wash., which includes the city of Seattle. Data on sociodemographics, food shopping behaviors, weights and health were obtained through a 25-minute telephone survey. Researchers collected and geocoded data on home addresses and food shopping destinations, including brand names and addresses of supermarkets that were identified as the primary food source.

While many retailers have been working to meet the needs of its customers by converting "food deserts" into "food oases," the "Obesity and Supermarket Access: Proximity or Price?" study concluded that obesity prevalence among shoppers in higher-price supermarkets was 9%, which is less than half of the county average (20.5%); whereas obesity prevalence among shoppers in lower-price or discount supermarkets was 27%, above the county average. Physical distance to the supermarket had no impact on obesity rates, the researchers noted. The study also concluded that food costs trumped convenience.

"Systematic efforts to reduce obesity will need to take economic inequalities into account. Ensuring equitable access to healthy affordable foods, with the emphasis on affordable, may be key," study’s authors concluded.

Meanwhile, a survey conducted last year by AlixPartners found that a little more than half of all consumers (51%) identified a traditional grocery retailer as their point of destination when making a grocery trip; however, more customers are frequenting mass merchandisers, drug stores and dollar stores for food. The average shopper makes 1.8 trips per week specifically to pick up groceries, AlixPartners said.

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EcoTools to debut eco-friendly faux lashes at NACDS Marketplace

BY Antoinette Alexander

CHICAGO — Paris Presents’ eco-friendly personal care brand, EcoTools, has announced the launch of EcoTools Naturally Beautiful Lash System that can be worn every day.

The new line will be on display at the 2012 National Association of Chain Drug Stores Marketplace Conference held June 23 to 26 in Denver.

Clinically tested and dermatologist-approved, EcoTools Naturally Beautiful Lash System is the first of its kind positioned in the market — featuring the same cruelty-free synthetic material as its makeup brushes, the company stated. Each lash is hand-cut and tapered for premium-looking lashes. The system includes glide-on glue with a precision wand and dual-ended bamboo tool for easy application.

“Based on our research, we know that consumers are looking for beautiful, natural-looking lashes that are easy to apply,” stated Beth Cassiday, VP of Paris Presents. “Lashes are very on trend, and we wanted to develop a system of natural-looking lashes and tools that make it easy and safe to wear every day. We are extremely excited to unveil this entirely new category for EcoTools.”

EcoTools will offer five different lash designs:

  • Soft and Dramatic: Long, separated lashes create a doll-like, more dramatic look, great for a night out;

  • Naturally Lush: Complete any look and create instant volume with these ultra-lush lashes;

  • Wispy and Flared: Enhance lashes with a natural flair to add volume at the ends, perfect for a cat eye or smoky eye effect;

  • Everyday Length: These extra-long lashes amplify natural lashes for an amped up day-to-night look; and

  • Barely There: Naturally enhance eyes with this subtle half lash, great for a little extra oomph.

The packaging is produced using renewable wind energy, is made with 80% post-consumer recycled paper and is 100% recyclable. The included plastic tray and blister lid is made to be reusable to store and protect the lashes until the next wear.

The EcoTools Naturally Beautiful Lash System will be available for retail in December. The suggested retail price is $5.99.

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Nivea celebrates National PDA Day in New York City’s Herald Square

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — In an effort to emphasize the importance of touch, Beiersdorf’s Nivea brand hosted on Wednesday a consumer-engaging event in New York City’s Herald Square to celebrate National PDA Day and the official start of summer.

“The Nivea brand itself is based on a simple insight that something truly wonderful happens when skin touches skin and people connect, and it is the way that humans express important emotions like love and compassion and comfort and nurture. In today’s society, which is a lot more fast-paced and a lot more technology-driven, we are starting to see that consumers connect with friends in the digital world and they get together there, but often at the expense of the relationship that they have with their loved ones and the physical world,” Magnus Jonsson, VP marketing for Beiersdorf, told Drug Store News. “We think people should pledge to be more connected with their loved ones, to hug more, to kiss more, to touch more, which is toward the essence of the brand. With today being June 20, the first day of summer and the longest day of the year, it is the perfect platform for us to say, ‘Let’s get out and publically display our affection for our loved ones and have a good time together.’”

Emmy-Award-winning talk show host Wendy Williams hosted the event. Celebrity couple Bill and Giuilana Rancic attended to talk about their relationship and how they remain close as a couple. Also on hand was Grammy-Award-winning artist Ne-Yo, who gave a special performance.

People who stopped by the event also had the opportunity to “spin the bottle” and win prizes, such as a $200 Nivea “date night” and free Nivea products. There also was a kissing booth and a photo booth.

But Nivea did not just focus on New York City. It spread the love nationwide through similar events also held on Wednesday in Los Angeles and nine other cities throughout the United States, including Seattle, Chicago and Phoenix.

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