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Nails, BB creams among standouts in beauty

BY Antoinette Alexander

So what’s the buzz in beauty? In walking the show floor there is, I’ll admit, more of the same ole stuff we see each year. But there certainly are a few trends that stand out from the crowd.

One category that continues to rise to the top is nail color. Yes, it’s a story you’ve likely heard before, but you’re going to hear it again: Nail polish continues to be the rock star of the beauty world. Nail polish is a simple, cost-effective way for beauty mavens to accessorize their wardrobe and express their individual style. But these days, polish seems to be about that and so much more. It also is about art, creativity and innovation.

Just take a moment to look at the numbers. According to SymphonyIRI Group, sales of nail polish rose nearly 43% to more than $528 million for the 52 weeks ended April 15 at food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart).

This trend undoubtedly is playing out on the Marketplace show floor. Bottles of bold, daring and sexy nail lacquers abound, and several manufacturers also are touting their versions of the latest nail trend to hit mass — at-home gel manicures.
Nail art also is popular, and manufacturers are taking cue, bringing to Marketplace several products, such as magnetic nail polish and stick-on nail art. It’s really all about enabling beauty mavens to get that salon look in minutes.

An emerging trend that still is pretty new to the mass market, but is present here at Marketplace, is BB Creams. They are relatively new, multifunctional products, also referred to as “blemish balms” or “beauty balms,” that combine the functionality of primers, SPF and moisturizers, along with the anti-aging benefits of skin serums.
BB Creams, which are not a foundation or a tinted moisturizer, were invented by German dermatologists in the 1960s as a soothing post-treatment cream. The item then caught on in Korea as movie stars sought a flawless complexion without looking made up.

L’Oréal USA has brought to retail its Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB cream and, more recently, has announced the June launch of Dream Fresh BB from Maybelline New York.

Now it seems that Palmer’s also is jumping aboard the bandwagon and is about to launch its new Eventone BB cream in two different shades. The all-in-one beauty balm, which Palmer’s is promoting at Marketplace, is designed to prime, perfect and protect skin.

Time will tell whether it is a trend that sticks, but market research firm the NPD Group is optimistic. NPD recently released a study that found that although the incidence of purchasing BB creams still is small (2% of total beauty shoppers), the majority of purchasers said they’re extremely or very satisfied with their last BB cream purchase, and 77% expressed positive repurchase intent. According to the NPD report, almost 4-in-10 beauty shoppers overall said that they would consider buying a BB cream in the future.

So those trends are some clear standouts on the product front, but what else are people talking about in beauty? Well, one high-level beauty retailer told Drug Store News that, in recent months, more consumers seem to be pulling back, and there’s been a slow down in beauty. As a result, some suppliers are looking to bring products to shelves even earlier. More specifically, some suppliers are looking to launch spring products in the fall in an effort to hit shelves earlier to help get customers excited.

So what beauty trends are you seeing and what’s the beauty buzz that you are hearing? Drop a note to Aalexand@drugstorenews.com or comment below.

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Plethora of OTC opportunities yet to be realized

BY Michael Johnsen

Maybe it’s the fact that we’re a mile above sea level that’s giving me that air-up-there feeling. But I don’t think so. Because every time I walk a new Marketplace floor, no matter the locale, I get heady with the number of opportunities that have yet to be realized. So why should this year be any different?

The most significant opportunity I see out there doesn’t even involve moving product — not directly at least, not with the number of retailers expanding their pharmacy services and creating additional touch points with their patients. That makes for a significant opportunity among OTC suppliers to create educational tools speaking to the new health-and-wellness ambassadors that are being featured within many Rite Aid and Walgreens stores. They are new healthcare advocates, and the more they know and the more tools they have at their disposal, the richer their interaction with that patient is going to be.

I look at new companies like Backjoy with its good-posture-good-health proposition. If one of those wellness ambassadors is directing a patient toward the internal analgesic set, why not talk about Backjoy along the way? Or maybe take the patient across to the pain-relieving rubs aisle and offer some insight around Hyland’s new Leg Cramps Ointment.

This isn’t a would-you-like-fries-with-that-Tylenol kind of incremental up-sell. It’s an opportunity to improve the patient experience with additional solutions. And it all starts with developing education tools to support those ambassadors. That’s opportunity.

But the proliferation of wellness ambassadors isn’t the only potential opportunity that makes my head swim. If you flip to the cover story in this issue, there’s a SymphonyIRI Group analysis on the $1.3 trillion that Hispanics will be doling out this year. There are plenty of companies on the Marketplace floor who are either marketing directly to that community or who are at least offering both English and Spanish Drug Facts on the labels. But how many of those companies are sourcing actual OTC brands from South America?

Sure, it’s a niche play — if that $1.3 trillion in buying power can be called a niche — and that’s what MarcasUSA is piecing together. Featuring such brands as Conazol Cream, Cicloferon and more recently Syncol, MarcasUSA is sourcing brands familiar with Hispanics and selling them in the U.S. market. More important, there are marketing programs behind those product introductions, too.

Product trends on the show floor include new probiotics targeting kids — i-Health (formerly Amerifit) has the new Culturelle for Kids chewables, and PharmaCare is launching Kids Smart Probiotic Choco Balls.

Then there are the number of companies and brands taking a fresh path toward the marketplace. Akorn, for instance, fields a family of brands addressing eye allergy across its acquired Advanced Vision Research platform. Meda Consumer Healthcare, which most recently recast its Feosol brand, now is focused on reinvigorating its Contac cough-cold franchise. And Prestige Brands will be infusing fresh marketing against its entire portfolio, especially across analgesics (e.g., BC, Goody’s and Ecotrin), cough-cold (e.g., Little Remedies, Chloraseptic and PediaCare) and digestives (e.g., Beano, Dramamine and Fiber Choice).

What new opportunities did you find interesting? What OTC product trends are you excited about? Let me know your thoughts! Drop a line to mjohnsen@lf.com or comment below.

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Hispanic shoppers present a burgeoning opportunity

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Products and services targeting the Hispanic market will realize much success in the coming years, noted a recently published SymphonyIRI Group “Point of View” report that outlined the growing opportunity in targeting that demographic.

And this rapidly growing group is expected to wield $1.3 trillion in purchasing power through the end of this year.
Hispanics, as a group, spend nearly 8% more on consumer packaged goods than any other population, and have particularly strong spending in the mass merchandise and club channels, the report noted.

Hispanics spend 20% and 36% more in club and mass merchandise outlets, respectively, than the general population. In the supercenter channel, however, Hispanic and non-Hispanic spending per trip is about the same. Hispanics spend less per trip in other CPG outlets than non-Hispanic shoppers.

Hispanic spending growth is strongest in dollar and club channels.

Hispanic shoppers, like any shopper in the current economic climate, are attracted to value and make channel decisions heavily based on price and proximity to their home. But Hispanic shoppers also are more brand-loyal than the overall population, and gravitate toward those retailers who actively engage them in their native dialect, such as through store signage or bilingual customer service representatives. Shelves stocked with products and brands from their countries of origin also are key store selection criteria.

“Establishing and building strong brand relationships with these shoppers early in the acculturation process is key,” the report noted. “With more than three-quarters of unacculturated Hispanics preferring to consistently purchase the same brands, investing the time, money and effort necessary to break into the Hispanic shopping basket … often will provide long-standing rewards.”

Another factor to consider, according to the report: “Hispanic families often shop as families, and that means children tend to have a particularly strong influence on purchasing decisions.”

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