HEALTH

First Response is new kid on prenatal gummy block

BY Michael Johnsen

EWING TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Church & Dwight is leveraging its First Response brand into the dietary supplement set with the launch of First Response multivitamin gummies, which target reproductive health and prenatal/post-natal need states. First Response multivitamin gummies were developed to provide women with the recommended amount of folic acid in an easy-to-consume gummy form.

(Click here to view the full Category Review.)

The two new vitamin SKUs — First Response Reproductive Health Multivitamin Gummies, as well as Pre-Natal and PostNatal Multivitamin Gummies — began shipping in April for a suggested retail price of $14.99. The supplements were developed in conjunction with C&D’s Vitafusion.

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Gummies maintain strong growth

BY Michael Johnsen

The gummy sub-segment within overall vitamins is not only still growing substantially, the dollar volume of that alternative delivery format has reached nowhere near its ceiling of potential, at least not yet. Overall, sales of vitamins for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 28, 2014, were up 0.4% to $6.5 billion across total U.S. multi-outlets, according to IRI.

(Click here to view the full Category Review.)

Relatively flat sales is just not the story with gummies — they’re still on a strong growth projectory. “The actual gummy segment is up like 9% to 10%,” Jim Craigie, Church & Dwight chairman and CEO, told analysts earlier in May, referencing more recent sales trends. “That’s really encouraging news. That’s why we bought into this business — because the gummies was the fastest-growing piece of the business,” he said.

C&D has almost completed construction of its new gummy vitamin manufacturing facility in York, Pa. “This significant $60 million investment is expected to expand our production capacity by 75%,” Craigie said. “We believe the future prospects of the gummy vitamin category are strong as more adults switch from traditional vitamin pills to gummy vitamins, as evidenced by the continued double-digit growth of the category.”

But C&D isn’t the only one gaming for gummies. Perrigo and Ferrara Candy Co. announced in January a five-year deal to manufacture store-brand gummy vitamins and dietary supplements to seize this trend opportunity. Citing IRI multi-outlet data, sales of just vitamin and dietary supplement gummies are forecasted to reach $1 billion by 2017, Perrigo reported.

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Marketing condoms for the female buyer

BY Michael Johnsen

Move over fellas; the condom aisle isn’t just for men anymore. Well, it never was really, but as retail pharmacies become more adept at discreetly merchandising intimacy health — remember when the pharmacist had to pull the condom display from behind the counter? — there is a trend developing toward marketing condoms with the female buyer in mind.

(Click here to view the full Category Review.)

The Female Health Co. in May announced a targeted media plan and a focus on developing a line of women’s reproductive health products in support of its one SKU — the FC2 Female Condom. The company will concentrate on targeting women who are dissatisfied with the side effects of hormonal birth control, and who feel that the traditional male condom offers less enjoyment.

And both Lovability Inc. and Sustain Condoms are relatively new companies entering the prophylactic space with a focus on marketing toward women. Lovability has designed a condom it thinks women will feel comfortable carrying in their purses. They contract manufacture through NRS Global Partners, and their Indiegogo capital-raising campaign was 184% funded on Feb. 15.

Meanwhile, Sustain Condoms has committed 10% of pre-tax profits to reproductive health care as part of its 10%4Women initiative in an effort to address the estimated 17.4 million women in need of publicly funded reproductive health and family planning services.

Overall, 80% of millennials agree that condom use is important, but only 35% say they always use one, according to a recent Trojan survey. And while 83% of women feel it’s a shared responsibility to suggest using a condom, only 13% of women bought condoms for their most recent sexual encounter.

Don’t be a glass-half-empty merchandiser, however, because that 87% who did not buy represents a market opportunity. And the category could use the boost in actively buying consumers — sales of male contraceptives were flat (up 0.4%) for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 28, 2014, reaching $382.5 million across total U.S. multi-outlets, according to IRI. Sales of female contraceptives (made up of almost entirely emergency contraceptives) totaled $277.7 million on 15.6% growth.

“Condoms are mostly marketed toward men,” said Meika Hollender, marketing director for Sustain Condoms in an interview last year with “Running Late with Scott Rogowsky,” a local New York talk show. “Women have been conditioned to think that men are supposed to buy the condoms and carry the condoms.”

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