HEALTH

Hot Concepts: Transforming the Retail Landscape

BY Michael Johnsen

There’s only one thing that can be better than a strategically placed shelf talker, and that’s a literal talking shelf. That’s exactly what Shelfbucks, a leading iBeacon promotion platform for retail stores, and Menasha Packaging are bringing to brand manufacturers with a smart display platform — a shelf talker that interacts and engages a consumer through her smartphone.

(Click here to view the full Category Review.)

Shelfbucks uses iBeacon devices, installed on retailers’ store shelves, which smartphone users can use to access expert content, promotional offers, ratings and reviews, and relevant data on near by products.

“The Menasha partnership with Shelf-bucks will deliver the industry’s first smart displays. Smart displays will change the game for brands and retailers who want to really understand their consumer and shopper, and help drive higher sales rates at the most important point on the path to purchase in store,” said Paul Murphy, Menasha senior director of retail sales and new business development. “The approach will allow brands and retailers to deliver a cost effective way to take shoppers from today’s 2-D display world into tomorrow’s 3-D interactive world,” he said.

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Sales of OTC remedies increase at the dollar store channel

BY Michael Johnsen

The dollar store channel is growing in prominence when it comes to OTC remedies, noted Bob Sanders, EVP at IRI, at the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Annual Executive Conference last March. Overall, 99.2% of all households purchased an OTC remedy in the past year, generating 2.9 billion trips, which was on par with the year prior. The average consumer spent $347 on OTC medicines last year, up 2%.

(Click here to view the full Category Review.)

The dollar channel contributed the greatest gain in channel contribution to OTC sales — 2% of all OTCs were sold in a dollar store last year, up 0.4%. And dollar stores accounted for 5% of all OTC trips, up 0.2%. OTC sales within the dollar channel have increased due to gains in both penetration and buying rate, Sanders said. As many as 28.3% of U.S. households bought their OTCs in a dollar store last year, spending as much as $23.99 per purchase.

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Ripe prospects for OTC switch consideration

BY Michael Johnsen

If you were impressed by the recent switches of Nasacort Allergy 24HR, Nexium 24HR or Flonase — well-executed and model switches — well, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Because it won’t be long now before the blockbuster of blockbusters — Pfizer’s statin Lipitor — could make its way down the switch aisle. Pfizer wrapped up consumer usage studies of its cholesterol-lowering drug in December and expects to reveal the results by the end of June.

(Click here to view the full Category Review.)

So why now? Why would the Food and Drug Administration be willing to entertain another statin switch when in the past decade the agency had denied so many other attempts?

It’s a matter of perspective, suggested Joe Papa, president and CEO of the store-brand manufacturer Perrigo and avid switch follower. The FDA and the medical community have changed their views on how to treat high cholesterol — you don’t treat the numbers; you treat the risk factors. “It’s that move to risk factors that I think is the important question,” he said.

But Lipitor isn’t the only blockbuster switch prospect. If approved as an OTC, Lipitor will be one of approximately seven switches coming to FDA decision-makers before the end of 2016, suggested Steve Francesco, president of Francesco International and chairman of the ExL Pharma’s Rx-to-OTC Switch Summit. According to Francesco, there are at least 35 switch projects in various stages right now.

Now that the nasal corticosteroids Nasacort Allergy 24HR, and more recently Flonase, are on the market, it stands to reason Bayer’s Nasonex and Meda Pharmaceutical’s Astepro might be up for switch consideration, Papa suggested. And the recent Bayer switch of Oxytrol opens the door to other overactive bladder remedies like Pifzer’s Detrol and Detrol LA or Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ Ditropan or Ditropan XL. The overactive bladder market is a $3.3 billion opportunity, Papa suggested.

Other areas ripe for OTC switch applicants include topical analgesics and ophthalmic products, Papa said. Longer term, erectile dysfunction may be up for consideration in 2017, when patents protecting Cialis expire. Chattem acquired the marketing rights to an OTC Cialis last year.

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