Hot Concepts – Consumables
Shifting to ciders
NEW YORK — Anheuser-Busch has introduced a new cider, Johnny Appleseed Hard Apple Cider. The cider is the first wholly new brand from Anheuser-Busch in eight years. The cider category is red hot right now. And with an ABV of 5.5% and made with apple juice sourced from apples in the United States and fine orchards around the globe, this cider is the latest entry in an active category.
IRI data showed that sales of hard cider were $172 million in 2013, compared with bout $35 million in 2009. GuestMetrics, which measures sales in bars and restaurants, said sales volume in the cider category rose about 49% last year from 2012 — another indication that the category should continue to grow.
Johnny Appleseed Hard Apple Cider rolled out in April in 12-oz. glass bottles with a twist-off cap in six-packs and 12-packs. The product also is sold individually in 16-oz. and 25-oz. cans.
Going large with chocolate
WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Mars recently launched a larger version of its classic M&M’s brand. New Mars’ M&M’s Brand Mega Milk Chocolate Candies boast three times more chocolate than regular M&M’s.
The new take on a classic confection is likely to be a home run with consumers. Focus group participants have been asking for larger M&M’s, and consumer testing revealed that 66% of consumers said they would “definitely” or “probably” buy new M&M’S Mega. And, according to Euromonitor and the National Confectioners Association, candy sales are expected to grow in the next five years, “adding more than $6 billion in sales between 2013 and 2018.” Unwrapped, bite-sized confections are one of the high-growth segments.
M&M’S Brand Mega Milk Chocolate Candies are available in two sizes — 1.48-oz. singles and 11.4-oz. medium bags, while M&M’s Brand Mega Peanut Candies are available in 11.4-oz. bags. Singles retail for $1.09, and the suggested retail price for bags is $3.29.
Consumers increasingly prefer healthier options
Healthy snacks had tremendous growth in 2013. Consumers consistently show a willingness to choose healthier options in the snack aisle, and retailers have responded by including even more healthy options on their store shelves. “A full 48% of consumers said they are willing to pay more for healthier options. That’s an increase of 11 points over the number who said that last year,” said Sally Lyons Wyatt, executive and practice leader of client insights at IRI.
“Across consumables categories, 62% of healthy snack categories grew in volume in 2013,” Wyatt said. Consumers aren’t just saying they want healthier snacks; their purchasing habits are proof of their commitment to better-for-you snacking.
Retailers are making sure that consumers find what they are seeking on their shelves: 60% of consumers say that healthy snacks are easy to find — an 11-point gain versus 2012, according to IRI data. Products that once were found only at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods are finding their way to drug store shelves, and drug retailers are increasing their organic, natural and gluten-free sections.
Carob/yogurt-coated snacks volume sales were up 26% across all outlets last year, according to IRI. Nutritional snack mixes also had significant growth.
Yogurt, fueled by Greek yogurt, is still the category star. “Yogurt continues to have great sales, with a 3.5% overall volume increase last year,” Wyatt said. “Yogurt delivers multiple benefits because it’s convenient, better-for-you and has a good satiety profile.” Greek yogurt also has contributed to strong dollar sales in the category; dollar sales of yogurt were ahead nearly 30% in drug stores for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 26, according to Wyatt.
“We’re also seeing a huge growth in yogurt drinks and refrigerated smoothies,” Wyatt said. “They are drinkable ways to get nutrition.”
Nutrition is the buzzword behind increased sales of “snack packs” that combine protein (hard-boiled egg, cheese or preserved meats) with other elements (crackers, hummus or carrot sticks) in one convenient package. Wyatt said that while it was too early to tell how significant a category those options from Go Picnic, Hormel and Oscar Meyer will be, she said the segment was “definitely intriguing, since those products are providing variety and delivering against consumer needs.”
A “fruit and vegetable remodel” is driving sales of squeezable fruit, dried fruit snacks and specialty chips. Consumers, challenged with getting enough servings of fruit and vegetables, are open to new ways to get their “five a day.” Squeezable fruit packs are not just for kids anymore; the category saw a dollar sales increase of 74% across all outlets last year.
“We’re seeing a huge increase in snack packs of fresh produce from manufacturers and retailers, but we’re also seeing tremendous growth in squeezable fruit and an explosion of specialty chips, such as kale chips or apple chips, in crazy flavors like chili lime,” Wyatt said. Specialty chips sales were up nearly 18% across all outlets last year.
There’s also been significant growth in the snack bar category led by Kind Healthy Snacks. “They revolutionized the snack bar category,” Wyatt said. “The bars have simple ingredients and are wrapped in clear packaging so consumers can see what they are getting.”
Hot Concepts – Beauty
L’Oréal thinks outside the retail box with intelligent vending machine
L’Oréal Paris thought outside of the box — the retail box — when it unveiled its L’Oréal Paris Intelligent Color Experience.
Just before the 2013 holiday season, the beauty brand sparked quite a buzz when it launched the first ever intelligent vending experience in the New York City subway system.
Stationed within the Bryant Park subway station between Nov. 4 and Dec. 30, the L’Oréal Paris Intelligent Color Experience worked as a three-step process. It first detected the colors in a woman’s outfit and picked out the most prominent and related color palettes and then recommended L’Oréal Paris products to match before allowing women to quickly and easily purchase those products on the spot.
Eye, nail and lip products from the L’Oréal Paris’ Colour Riche franchise were available for purchase, along with the brand’s mascara innovation, Voluminous Butterfly. The prices were in line with other New York City retailers, and women could buy just one or the multiple products recommended to them.
Shoppers continues to raise the bar with BeautyBoutique
Shoppers Drug Mart has long been hailed for its beauty prowess, but the Canadian company truly is raising the bar on beauty retailing with its enhanced BeautyBoutique concept.
The first enhanced BeautyBoutique opened in November 2012 in a Shoppers Drug Mart store in Bayview Village in Toronto. The second location — featuring 21 prestige brands, as well as new fixtures, digital signage, an enhanced fragrance and derm areas — opened in August 2013 at the Toronto Eaton Centre. The inspiration? A gift box. That’s right; the design was inspired by a gift box and the idea of unraveling a ribbon to reveal the present. And the ribbon concept can be seen in the elements of the store design, including the digital signage wrapped around the boutique and the finishing elements extending over the fixtures to the ceiling.
Pleased with the results to date, Domenic Pilla, president and CEO of Shoppers Drug Mart, said the company may expand the concept to additional locations starting this year.
CVS extends reach of Essence of Beauty with web, mobile sites
Since emerging on store shelves in 2002, CVS/pharmacy’s exclusive Essence of Beauty fragranced bath and body care brand has been one of its top sellers. Now CVS is looking to further reach Essence of Beauty fans — both inside and outside of the store — with a dedicated web and mobile site.
While the brand has been available for purchase on CVS.com since 2009, the new dedicated site launched in August 2013 to give fashionistas further insight into the collection’s development and the master perfumers’ inspiration behind each of the new fragrances — Secret Woods, Forever Paris, In the Tropics and Wind Kissed.
The site also includes in-depth interviews with the perfumers, a scent finder, online-only deals and even downloadable wallpapers for desktops and tablets inspired by its custom fragrances.
Also new is an Essence of Beauty mobile site, offering select content, like the master perfumer videos. This is the first time that CVS/pharmacy has created a mobile site for one of its exclusive brands.
Rite Aid sets sights on ‘Beauty Vision’
Rite Aid has a vision — a Beauty Vision.
The retailer is testing a revamped beauty section, dubbed Beauty Vision. The concept features a wider assortment of brands, a more upscale look and feel and a Beauty Vision adviser who can help shoppers learn more about products and brands.
While the concept is in the testing phase, it does add to Rite Aid’s efforts to improve the beauty section as part of its shift since 2011 to the Wellness store format.
The upscale beauty department offers such premium cosmetic lines as Senna Cosmetics, Girlactik, POP Beauty and Eddie Funkhouser.
In November, Rite Aid held a red carpet celebration at its newly remodeled Wellness store in New York’s West Village neighborhood to unveil and celebrate the exclusive launch of the Eddie Funkhouser line at select Beauty Vision stores. Funkhouser, a makeup artist and product development expert, was on hand to greet guests and provide makeovers.
Walgreens bolsters beauty strategy with Boots No7
Proving to be a robust accelerant to Walgreens’ existing beauty strategy is the 2012 merger with Alliance Boots, which has seen great success with its No7 brand — a top-selling brand in the United Kingdom for face, lip and eye makeup.
Since sealing the deal, Walgreens has been working to bring the best of Boots to America. Today, the Boots No7 skin care line for both women and men, as well as other Boots products, can be found in a growing number of Walgreens locations. In fact, earlier this year the company revealed that it was expanding distribution across its New York City store base, following the successful launch of Boots No7 and other Boots brands in its Arizona market and its flagship stores across the country.
There’s no doubt that the debut to U.S. markets of Boots No7, as well as the Mark Hill Salon Professional hair care line by British celebrity hairstylist Mark Hill, is just a hint of what’s to come.
Target expands skin care offerings to include premium brands
Competition within the mass-market beauty space continues to heat up, and Target is proving that it’s serious about beauty.
The retailer has staffed hundreds of its stores with beauty advisers and revamped the look and feel of its beauty department, and now it is stepping up its offerings by adding premium skin care products to 749 stores in the United States.
The brands include Vichy, La Roche-Posay, MD Complete by Dr. Brian Zelickson, Laneige, 29 by Lydia Mondavi, Own Skin Health and Borghese Age Defying Cellulare Complex.
The premium skin care assortment is part of a department redesign featuring brighter lighting, back-lit signage highlighting product attributes and ingredients, shelving allowing for brand customization and a Beauty Concierge kiosk where advisers consult Target shoppers.
Based on guest response to last year1s launch of the program, Target has expanded the Target Beauty Concierge program to more than 300 stores across the country, with new markets including New York, New Jersey, San Francisco and Dallas-Fort Worth.