Hale: ‘Flat is where it’s at’
“Flat is where it’s at.” That was the naked truth Todd Hale, SVP Nielsen, shared with business session attendees of the 2014 GMDC Health, Beauty and Wellness Marketing Conference on Saturday afternoon when identifying the future game-changers in health and beauty. But get ready for a wild ride because the millennial generation, numbering 83 million strong, is about to step into its prime purchasing prowess, noted Maryellen Molyneaux, president of NMI, in a presentation following Hale.
There are clearly some categories that have been winning over the past four years, Hale said. Snacks, fresh produce, coffee, candy and vitamins all topped the list of growth categories, he reported. With vitamins, it may be both a sign that more people are self-medicating and that an aging population is looking to stay out of their doctors’ office.
But more categories haven’t been performing well. That includes film/cameras and disposable diapers, which gives testimony to the way today’s technology has contributed to transforming the business — most people take pictures with their phones today, and the disposable diaper business has moved into the e-commerce arena, which now makes up about 14% of that business.
Todd Hale, SVP Nielsen, shared insights into identifying the future game-changers in health and beauty during the business session on Saturday, May 31.
“If you look across the store today, [there are] some real challenges in terms of the fact that we have a lot of departments that simply aren’t growing,” Hale said. “It’s really a good news/bad news story. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more bad news out there than there is good news today.”
There’s good news with consumer confidence on the rise, for example, but bad news in the consumers’ inability to spend. “What’s really driving slow growth in this country is the fact that we’re not giving people wages — we’ve got stagnant wage growth,” Hale said. “And also the fact that population is not growing.”
There’s also good news for retailers and suppliers trading in health, wellness and sustainability, Hale noted. Consumers who are particularly interested in health and wellness, a group NMI defines as the “well-beings,” constitute a very important segment. Compared with other shoppers, they visit the stores more often and spend more per trip, and annually, they’re worth more than any other consumer segment.
And while “well-beings” are age agnostic with representation spanning the generations, there also is some value in looking at the consumer and behavior relative to age.
Generationally, millennials have evolved into a very influential segment, Molyneaux said. “Millennials are the largest generation of young people in history; at 83 million strong, they’re taking over where boomers left off,” she said. Relative to other generations, baby boomers number 74 million and generation X, 51 million. “They’re causing a realignment of business, and we’re going to see that continue to change as they come into their earning years,” she added. “Talk about e-commerce, there’s your consumer. They’re already technology savvy. They are impatient; they want it fast; they are intelligent; and they have short attention spans — you’re going to need to win them fast.”
Millennials are important to understand, Molyneaux continued. “They are early-adopting, aspirational leaders,” she said. “They are concerned about their planet, [and] they are concerned about their health. … They are not only influencing others as they talk, but they also are highly influenced,” Molyneaux added, explaining that this generation has a greater proclivity to share their experiences through social media and conduct web searches for product information. And millennials are engaging — they want to know about the brands they buy, and they want to know about the retailers they buy from.
“When they know that your company is mindful of its impact on the environment and society, 65% say they’re more likely to try your products; 55% say they’re more likely to talk about you with their friends,” she said. And they’re less price-sensitive, Molyneaux added.
“When you see the strength of their attitudes you can see the future in this generation [making] them really important to watch.”
ELC expands research and insights
ORLANDO, Fla. — The GMDC Education Leadership Council gathered here Saturday morning at this year’s GMDC Health Beauty Wellness Marketing Conference to discuss strategies for 2014 and beyond, including additional efforts to promote its research and insights.
“Our entire board feels very confident that we’re at the tipping point with our education and insights. We used to do to one to two large studies every year, but [now] we’re doing two per month. That cadence is starting to really drive a lot of awareness and recognition within our membership and really extending beyond [our] membership,” said Mark Mechelse, director of research, industry insights and communications at GMDC.
Among the highlights of the meeting:
- The launch of an Ambassador Program: GMDC board members are talking with vendor partners inside and outside of GMDC to help promote the research and insights that the Educational Leadership Council is building. This will help members understand and take full advantage of the benefits available to them, and help share and recruit new GMDC members;
- Over the past six months, GMDC has been launching two live-streaming business sessions every month in partnership with a variety of hosts and research partners, including Nielsen and Retail Net Group. Over the next six months, GMDC is partnering with Hamacher Resource Group, Natural Marketing Institute and McMillianDoolittle to conduct more educational sessions. The ELC already is working on building new relationships with additional content providers for 2015 and beginning to setup a calendar for business sessions next year;
- The ELC also is providing whitepapers that complement the research schedule of live-streaming sessions, plus independent research work on top-of-mind business insights that are most relevant to members in GM, HBW and the marketplace in general. They are available to members to download in two forms in the GMDC private member-only web site: Executive Summary version and the full content version; and
- “Seasonal Best Practices Part 2” is scheduled to be launched in July 2015, detailing retail performance for spring and summer seasons. The whitepaper complements “Seasonal Part 1,” which was launched in February 2014, and details fall and winter merchandising “do and don’ts” to help retailers and suppliers share stories and create alignment based on consumer shopping habits.
Among the ELC members are co-chairs Joanne Leonardi of Ahold USA and Bob Richardson of Clorox/Burt’s Bees, as well as Tom Duffy of Nielsen, who is leading GMDC’s content subcommittee, and Meg Levene of Advantage Sales and Marketing, who is leading the sponsorship subcommittee. The subcommittees were formed in the spring to, among other things, help increase ELC fundraising, monetize education, assist with finding content providers for GMDC recruitment and suggest topics for videocasts or whitepapers.
First-time attendees gain expert advice
ORLANDO, Fla. — GMDC’s VP business development and chief member officer Keith Wypyszynski on Friday evening joined GMDC board members and several retailers to welcome first-timers to the 2014 GMDC Health, Beauty and Wellness Marketing Conference and to offer those first-timers insights on how to make their conference experience meaningful and productive.
Some of the more salient points: know your future retailer/wholesaler partner, where they are and how many stores they have or serve; cut to the chase with your two or three meeting objectives; gain clarity on follow-through opportunities and next steps, including who to contact and when to contact them; and take advantage of the networking opportunities.
“You get to an event like this, it enables you to see a lot of new people,” said Michael O’Shell, director of center store sales and marketing for Rouses Enterprises. “[This] is your chance … to show who you are, what you have, what’s new and what’s exciting. That’s what we want to see.”
“This [event] is a continuity of building a relationship for this year, next year and the year after,” added Brian Bradley, EVP sales and customer development for Lornamead. “If you walk out of here with five or six really nice takeaways — a personal relationship or business relationship — with any one of these retailers, I think that’s a pretty good takeaway.”
Above: The panel included Michelle King of Earthtronics, Brian Bradley of Lornamead Brands, Edward Mitchell of Melitta USA, Michael O’Shell of Rouses Enterprises, Cheri Taylor of Kinney Drugs and Mitch Terry of Associated Grocers of Florida, and was moderated Keith Wypyszynski of GMDC.