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Gummy vitamins, nutritional benefits rise

BY Michael Johnsen

The VMS and diet aid/sports nutrition markets together command $11.9 billion in total retail sales, excluding specialty channels, and is growing at a steady clip.

Specifically, vitamins, minerals and supplements sales totaled $6.4 billion across total U.S. multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ended March 23, according to IRI, up 2.5%. That growth is primarily coming out of the adult multivitamins, glucosamine and chondroitin, and omega-3 segments, noted Laura Mahecha, industry manager of health care for the research firm Kline, in a recent blog. Along with private-label nutritional products, Vitafusion (Church & Dwight), Centrum (Pfizer) and Schiff (Reckitt Benckiser) contributed to gains in this category.

Gummy vitamins remain particularly hot. According to C&D’s chairman and CEO James Craigie, gummy vitamins represent only 6% of total adult vitamin sales. “The adult gummy segment has already doubled in size in the past 18 months, and that still leaves 94% of the total category as upside,” he said. And C&D is looking to seize the gummy opportunity. “We doubled our ad spending on gummy vitamins in 2013, and we are increasing our advertising spending by at least 30% in 2014 to continue to divert adults to our delicious-tasting gummy vitamins.”

Meanwhile sales of weight-control products are up 4.7% to $3.1 billion while sales of meal-replacement bars are up 13.5% to $2 billion.

According to IRI’s 2013 New Product Pacesetters report, the most prevalent addition to nutrition brands was fiber and/or whole grains, which were found in 42% of new consumables launches. In addition, the report suggested that “dieting” has evolved into “nutritional management.” Consumers are looking for products that remove or limit less desirable attributes, such as calories and sugar. BelVita Breakfast Biscuits proved to be a good source of sustained energy provided through grains. And General Mills launched four Pacesetter Fiber One brands, each offering up to 40% of the daily value of fiber.

And the diet-aid program Nutrisystem will be making a big splash this year as the company makes its national retail launch. The company has generated $8 million in retail sales over its first quarter with its distribution through 2,500 Walmart locations. Channel expansion will be focused on mass and club outlets with a test line approach before expanding nationally, the company reported, with its first test going through Target.

To see the charts that accompany the article, click here.

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Purell differentiates itself with seasonal scented hand sanitizers

BY Michael Johnsen

Focusing on the on-the-go consumer niche, GOJO Industries’ Purell hand sanitizer has helped to bring brand relevance back to what was a commoditized category only a few years ago. Today, sales of its new Purell Advanced line have reached $20.5 million for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 29, 2013, across total U.S. multi-outlets, according to IRI. And with a growth rate of 65%, consumers can’t seem to get enough of it.

And now GOJO is further differentiating its line of germ-killing gels with seasonal scented offerings, which according to Tim Cleary, sales VP for Purell Consumer, currently command 14.4% of the category. “People are looking to move away from that functional germ kill experience to experiential,” he said. With the primary target being moms, the scented offerings create multiple purchase opportunities.

Some of its upcoming fragrances yet to be launched include watermelon splash and ocean kiss, Cleary said.

Purell Advanced also holds another point of differentiation over other brands. Last year, the company released results of a series of independent lab studies testing the ability of instant hand sanitizers to meet Food and Drug Administration Healthcare Personnel Handwash germ-kill requirements at various dosage levels. Purell Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer formulations contain a patent-pending blend of ingredients that maximize the impact of alcohol on bacteria while maintaining skin moisture for optimal skin health, Cleary said.

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Similasan products address niche need of eye allergy relief

BY Michael Johnsen

Similasan showcases a family of products that address the niche need state of eye relief. “Antihistamine eye drops or artificial tears may provide temporary relief, but they don’t address the problem as well as homeopathic preparations that gently stimulate the body’s natural ability to relieve symptoms,” stated Sherry Torkos, pharmacist and Similasan spokeswoman. “Such products as Sim-ilasan Allergy Eye Relief contain 100% natural active ingredients: no dyes, chemical vasoconstrictors, decongestants or steroids. The great thing about natural and/or homeopathic remedies, such as Similasan, is that there also are kids’ formulas available, so the whole family benefits.”

Similasan also recently introduced Similasan Complete Eye Relief, an eye drop that stimulates the body’s natural defenses to treat the six most common eye discomforts, including redness, dryness and burning.

With the ragweed season getting longer and longer, according to government reports, allergy has become a significant driver behind trips to the eye care aisle and represents a much broader potential patient base. Ragweed pollen season length has increased in central North America between 1995 and 2011 by as much as 11 days to 27 days in parts of the United States and Canada, in response to rising temperatures.

According to a Vistakon online survey, more than 2-in-5 consumers suffer from mild to moderate eye allergy symptoms on a daily basis.

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