Okinawa Life launches immune support supplement
PICO RIVERA, Calif. — Okinawa Life announced the introduction of Immunisol, an immune support supplement. The product has been shown to help increase natural killer cell activity, according to the company.
Immunisol is an extract obtain from a hybridization of several subspecies of mushroom mycelia (i.e., the roots of the mushroom). Several clinical trials illustrated that Immunisol can significantly increase the activity of certain white blood cells, helping to strengthen the body. Immunisol is available for a suggested retail price of $29.99 for a 30-ct. container.
Competition for seasonal sales heats up
The drug channel could be losing its edge in seasonal sales. GMDC’s recently released “Seasonal Best Practices” report revealed that, according to Nielsen data for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 26, 2013, while drug store seasonal merchandise dollar sales are slightly ahead of supermarkets, the channel’s sales have slipped 16%.
Seasonal dollar sales at the drug channel, according to the report, were down for Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day and Easter, but were slightly ahead for summer seasonal promotions.
GMDC’s part one of a report on seasonal sales could serve as a wake-up call for a channel that has traditionally done very well with seasonal merchandise. Other channels are turning up the heat and grabbing share.
In its report, Robin Gutridge, category manager of seasonal, home decor and social expressions at Raley’s said: “We’ve grown our GM seasonal business by 45% over the past three years. Our CEO, family stakeholders and the SVP over our 119 stores all support GM seasonal.”
Yet drug store retailers willing to make a commitment to seasonal sales can win back consumers with strategic programs that are well-executed.
“The better retailers plan, execute and collaborate with suppliers, the better stores perform,” GMDC’s report said. The report said that chains, realizing they can’t be all things to all consumers, must decide what role their stores play in consumers’ holiday shopping and create a strategy that plays to those strengths.
When defining a role, the report said, “destination” is “the most aggressive, where shoppers could meet all their needs for a season.” GMDC’s report said that while retailers can’t feasibly aim to be a destination for every season, less intense roles can still be profitable. Roles can be identified as “routine,” where a retailer’s assortment is ample for shoppers already in the store, and “convenience,” where modest, basic merchandise offerings could fill a quick need, the report said.
Some best practices GMDC identified were displaying unique items early to spark impulse purchasing, taking markdowns in a controlled manner, and using category management scorecards and metrics to demonstrate the value of seasonal departments to decision-makers.
The report stressed the importance of a speedy and accurate review of what works and what doesn’t following each season so chains can re-plan rather than start from scratch each time. “The quicker and keener they review and analyze results, the stronger success prospects will be the following year,” the report said of retailer performance.
Extended season drives sales
With the ragweed season getting longer and longer, according to government reports, allergy has become a significant driver behind trips to the eye care aisle, and represents a much broader potential patient base. In response to rising temperatures, ragweed pollen season length increased between 1995 and 2011 by as much as 11 days (to 27 days) in parts of the United States and Canada.
(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)
According to a Vistakon online survey, more than 2-in-5 consumers suffer from mild to moderate eye allergy symptoms on a daily basis.
The eye care aisle may not be the only place for eye allergy solution sales. There is an opportunity to generate incrementality by placing eye allergy products in-line with allergy remedies, suggested Yann Pigeaire, director of marketing at Similasan. “Some of the bigger merchants are dual merchandising some of the eye drop products in the allergy section,” he said.
Similasan recently introduced a $10 million campaign supporting its eye allergy business, Pigeaire said, featuring a strong television component. There are two commercials, a 10-second and 15-second spot, that will be running across daytime cable, Pigeaire said. “Something like this is a good way to [generate] high awareness in a relatively short period of time,” he said.
In addition to the TV campaign, Similasan has begun phasing in new packaging across its line to help generate awareness. “The eye products will be rolling out in the summer with packaging that’s more contemporary … and easier to find on shelf,” he said.