HEALTH

Lolleez fills niche sore throat need with kid friendly solution

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON, Conn. — Lolleez on Tuesday announced the launch of a new line of throat soothing lollipops for kids that capitalizes on the current "cleaner ingredient" trend with Certified Organic ingredients and alleviates a risk of choking associated with lozenges and cough drops.

"Few ailments cause overall unhappiness to both kids and parents like a sore throat," stated Melissa Evans, Lolleez founder. "There is nothing worse than watching your child suffer, so I'm really excited to be able to offer an organic and worry-free throat remedy that can help soothe both physical (child) and emotional (parent) pain, with the launch of Lolleez."

Lolleez are made from USDA Certified Organic ingredients such as organic honey and natural fruit pectin. They are also non-GMO as well as gluten, dairy and nut free. In addition, Lolleez is flat and on a stick versus a round ball, which is a potential choking hazard.

Lolleez will be available in three kid-friendly flavors: watermelon, strawberry and orange mango. After surveying hundreds of kids, Lolleez founders determined that traditional flavors like cherry and grape have a negative association that is tied to medicines.

Lolleez is available through Amazon and at CVS and Stop & Shop and soon-to-be Babies 'R' Us. Lolleez come in packs of 15 pops for a suggested retail price of $6.99.

 

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10 Truths of OTC No. 4: It’s about prevention and wellness, not category and cure

BY Sara Jones and Nick Vaus

Truth 4: Everyone cares about prevention and wellness, not category and cure

Several hard realities have resulted in a mindset shift away from perceptions of medicine as a reactive cure doled out by healthcare practitioners, and towards people taking an active role in preventing illness via changed behaviors and products.

The first reality? Avoidable ‘lifestyle’ conditions like cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes cause over 70% of all deaths, according to the 2015 Global Burden of Disease study.  

The second reality is a demographic shift without precedent – by 2050 there will be more than 2 billion adults over the age of 60 worldwide, making up 22% of the population, according to the World Health Organization.  

These two issues exert pressure upon already stretched healthcare systems. In developed countries, it’s ever harder to access face-to-face healthcare services, and high co-pay levels mean self-medication and prevention are cheaper and more attractive.

Consequently, focus on prevention has mushroomed. Despite a strain on public spending, public gyms and free healthy cooking lessons are on the rise. Healthcare providers, insurance companies and employer businesses incentivize healthy lifestyles through wearables linked to behavioral programs, gym memberships and weight loss support.

Even young consumers, unhindered by necessity, focus on achieving peak physical perfection, evidenced by social media trends like ‘Strong is the New Skinny’ and clean eating.

This prevention orientation actively promotes wellbeing, not just a lack of disease. Wellbeing is about feeling great inside and out, and taking constructive action toward being your best self, whatever your age.  So OTC products face competition from traditional peers and entrants from many emerging product categories. Products thriving in this area are similarly positive in intent, tone and the way they’re designed and marketed.

The beauty industry is already in the mix. DECIEM’s Fountain supplement offers resveratrol and hyaluronic acid to promote health, youth, and longevity. Beauty giant Sephora stocks HUM Nutrition – “Clinically researched nutrients to make you look and feel great” – tackling everything from acne to digestion. Move over Centrum.

Food and beverage manufacturers are also firmly in the mix. Functional products focus on digestion, immunity and fatigue – from cheese to candies like Ricola’s Herbal Immunity Lozenges with ginseng and vitamins C, B6 and B12.

Medical marijuana now competes with analgesia products, like Apothecanna’s range of cannabis-based pain-relieving skincare products. And meal replacements like Burts Bees’ protein powders are positioned as health-boosting and sports-enhancing, rather than as weight loss regimes with overtones of deprivation.

Despite OTC’s far more robust claims, the critical thing is that most of these new products are much more enjoyable and appealing than their OTC counterparts. Consumers focused on prevention don’t really care about product categories, just that it works. This simply cannot be ignored, since OTC's biggest sales and growth opportunities are in categories with low barriers to entry like VMS, weight management, sports nutrition and skin health.

Consumers understand deeply that they must proactively and positively manage their lifestyle for money, time and health reasons. Factor in a latent mistrust of pharmaceutical companies, and OTC medications may not be the first port of call unless they absolutely have to be. OTC brands must reposition themselves as a positive aid to prevention, rather than just a "have-to-use" cure, or risk being vulnerable to all sorts of competition.

Over the last 20 years, DewGibbons + Partners has helped design some of the world’s most iconic and successful OTC brands, resulting in a deep appreciation of the visual and physical cues — and regulatory limitations — in the self-care and OTC marketplace. The need to challenge those cues and limits is becoming far more frequent.

This is the fourth in a 10-part series from Sara Jones and Nick Vaus of DewGibbons + Partners, which has worked for the last 20 years to help design iconic and successful OTC brands. The series, “10 Uncomfortable Truths that OTC has to deal with to survive and thrive in the 21st century,” will publish weekly and feature in the DSN Health and Wellness newsletter every week.

The first truth was recognizing there’s a problem in the first place.

The second truth unveiled that OTC medicines are more often in the brand-building business as opposed to the pharmaceutical business.

The third truth spoke to the duality of technology, the pace of technological advances may leave some OTC brands behind even as those same advances are seized as opportunities by new brands.

Next week's truth will help purveyors of OTC medicines better navigate the pathway consumers take toward their better health.


Sara Jones
Partner and client services director, DewGibbons + Partners
Sara runs DewGibbons + Partners alongside NickVaus, and heads up the client services team, leading branding and communications programmes for household names in OTC and health care. She’s always had a bit of a secret passion for OTC branding. Her Grandma was a pharmacist in London’s West End, leaving her with an abiding curiosity about active ingredients and how medicines work. She’s (in)famous for reading patient information leaflets cover to cover. Email her, follow her on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.

Nick Vaus
Partner and creative director, DewGibbons + Partners
As well as running the agency with Sara Jones, Nick leads the studio in providing solutions that are innovative, creative, economic, and effective. Powered by Beautiful Thinking – a unique combination of right and left brain thinking that seamlessly binds together strategy, design and brand communications – he ensures that his clients’ businesses, brands and consumers are at the heart of each and every brief. Email him, follow him on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.

 

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Vitamin Shoppe adds RangeMe to its merchandising efforts

BY David Salazar

SEACAUCUS, N.J. — ECRM’s RangeMe online CPG platform has a new client. The Vitamin Shoppe has added the platform to its merchandise innovation and sourcing process, allowing its category managers to discover new products and brands that meet customers’ needs while fostering vendor relationships.

"With RangeMe, we are in a unique position to hone in on the most innovative and compelling products on the market, which allows us to bring the best solutions to our customers faster than other retailers," the Vitamin Shoppe chief merchandising officer Doug Jones said. "The platform not only enhances our product discovery process, it helps us stay ahead of the competition by identifying the right products for our customers' needs."

RangeMe’s platform is created to put innovative products in front of the right buyers by offering broad exposure for vendors to a variety of retailers. The Vitamin Shoppe said it hoped to enhance its sourcing capabilities by using the platform, enabling the company to offer its shoppers the most relevant and inventive products early on.

"We are thrilled to partner with the Vitamin Shoppe as a premier specialty retailer on RangeMe," RangeMe CEO and founder Nicky Jackson said. "Their passion for health and wellness, and commitment to bringing new products to their customers is a perfect fit with the RangeMe platform. By providing access to an incredible array of suppliers, we want to help the Vitamin Shoppe further their dedication to consumers and enhance their journey as a leading health-and-wellness retailer."

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