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Getting the picture in new ways

BY DSN STAFF

The holiday season is peak time for personalized photo products, and manufacturers are doing everything they can to make the process of creating specialty photo creations as easy as possible for consumers.

“We are optimistic about the future of photo gifting this holiday season and beyond,” said Bing Liem, VP sales at Fujifilm U.S.A.’s imaging division. Liem said there’s been a continued decline of traditional prints while interest has shifted to unique photo gift items. “In 2008, 16% of consumers were interested in purchasing photo cards. Just one year later, that number has nearly doubled to 30%,” he said. “The same goes for photo books—7% interest in 2008, and 13% in 2009. In 2009, 21% of consumers were interested in purchasing photo calendars, a 4% jump from 2008,” Liem added.

Raising consumer awareness is crucial to increasing sales. Rowan Lawson, director of worldwide marketing for Kodak’s retail system solutions group, said that while awareness of personalized products is growing, attracting consumers to the photo center and engaging them with the new systems continue to be a retail challenge.

Kodak’s new G4XE kiosk can produce prints about 44% faster and DVDs about 70% faster than other Kodak models. New up-selling technology includes loops that draw consumers in by showing them what their photos will look like in a photo book or picture movie DVD.

Lawson said that retailers who use the up-sell program report an average 30% lift in sales. The key, Lawson said, is creating an experience that makes it easy for the consumer. “In as little as five minutes, you want to have that DVD burning for them,” he said.

More consumers are becoming creative with photo and video DVDs, a segment that grew more than 80% last year. Photo books are becoming more popular with consumers; Kodak expected the segment to grow 24% in 2010.

“This should be a big year for these products as consumers, trying to stretch their gift-giving dollars, look for relatively inexpensive but meaningful gifts,” said Gary Pageau, a spokesman for the Photo Marketing Association.

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Hy-Vee celebrates the other white meat

BY Alaric DeArment

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa A lot of people complain about pork barrel spending, but not Midwest supermarket chain Hy-Vee.

October is National Pork Month, and the West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee announced Friday that sales of the meat have increased more than 25% over October 2008. The chain said it was on track to increase pork tonnage by more than 30%.

 

“With pork prices the lowest they’ve been in more than a decade, we’ve focused our marketing efforts on promoting pork as a great value for consumers,” Hy-Vee assistant VP meat operations Kenan Judge said in a statement. “Today’s shopper is looking for nutritious, economical meal ideas, and pork perfectly fits the bill.”

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Patients prefer new diabetes drug Victoza over its competitor, survey finds

BY Alaric DeArment

MONTREAL A new diabetes drug satisfied patients more than its competitor, according to a study funded by the drug’s manufacturer.

According to data on 379 patients who took the Diabetes Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaires, presented Thursday at the 20th World Diabetes Congress and published in medical journal The Lancet, patients taking Novo Nordisk’s drug Victoza (liraglutide) perceived less abnormally low or high blood sugar levels — known respectively as hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia — than those taking Byetta (exenatide), made by Eli Lilly & Co., Amylin Corp. and Alkermes.

Victoza is approved in Europe, but Novo Nordisk is still waiting for approval from the Food and Drug Administration in the United States.

“Liraglutide has shown here in a convincing study that it is associated with less nausea, less perceived hypoglycemia and definitely higher patient satisfaction compared to exenatide,” principal investigator Wolfgang Schmidt said in a statement. “Patient-reported outcomes data is an important extension of the efficacy data. If a patient is satisfied with his or her treatment, then they are much more likely to really stick to the treatment over the long term, which is necessary in Type 2 diabetes.”

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