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Prevention playing key role in 2012-2013 cough-cold products

BY Michael Johnsen

Could cough-cold category managers be a victim of their own success? Could the reason that not nearly as many consumers came down with some sort of upper respiratory illness this past season be credited to a build-up in cough-cold prevention products?


As much as the answer is “No,” there is no denying that going into cough-cold season, prevention is top of mind among consumers, especially those not looking to take any time off of work. And that prevention play is being supported by a number of products coming to market this year.


Airborne is line extending its immune-support health formulas with two energy formulations — Airborne Plus Energy — that are formulated with B vitamins in place of caffeine for prevention-minded consumers who are looking for a little boost of energy over cough-cold season.


GoJo Industries, the original marketer of the Purell brand, is launching Purell Advanced behind a $14 million marketing campaign. Planning to generate as many as 272 million impressions, the marketing will stress that “formulation matters” with a claim that one squirt of Purell Advanced kills as many germs as any other brand.


And Oasis Consumer Healthcare’s Halo oral antiseptic ought to make a big splash in the 2012-2013 cough-cold season — the new product was voted “Best New Product” by retail buyers attending an ECRM event.

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Breath of relief

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Homeopathic supplier King Bio currently is presenting a replacement alternative for patients still seeking relief for their minor asthma symptoms in its 
AsthmaCare product.


It’s the kind of new product launch that 
almost could prevent a cough-cold buyer 
from hyperventilating — though that is not an advertised indication on the product’s Drug Facts Label.That’s because at the top of the year, production of Primatene Mist — the 
inhaler that served as the branded identity for asthma sufferers seeking 
a self-care solution — was halted. 
Primatene Mist 
still is cycling through sales data and currently represents an almost $50 million sales opportunity for King Bio.

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New merchandising could waken sleep aids

BY Michael Johnsen

Retailers are awakening to the possibility that their sleep aids — typically merchandised near the floor level of a set synergistically near tablet pain relievers — may deserve a placement closer to eye level. It may sound cliché to characterize sleep aids as a sleeper category — that is until you look at the 11.6% trailing 52-week dollar growth, and then back down to the floor where the sleep aids are typically merchandised.


Excluding private label, out of the top 10 brands in the category all but two products have a growing dollar base. And sales of those two brands are flat, which suggests more consumers are making their sleep aid purchase part of a planned trip.


The ingredient being credited with this sleep aid renaissance is melatonin. However, sleep-
deprived consumers are trying other natural sleep remedies as well. “The economy has a great deal to do with [the sleep category growth],” said Dale Nepsa, Hyland’s president. Hyland’s Calm Forté is one of the growth drivers with an almost 20% lift in annual sales.


Biotab, makers of Alteril, even identified a new seasonal sales cycle with sleep — daylight savings time. No matter whether customers are springing forward or falling back, there is a spike in sales in the following weeks that directly corresponds to DST.


There also is a future potential tie-in opportunity to sleep apnea. It’s not so much promoting natural sleep remedies against as serious a disease as sleep apnea as it is creating a sleep center destination within the OTC space. 


There is a newly approved prescription-only device expected to drive awareness to sleep apnea. Called the Winx Sleep Therapy System and not yet on the market, ApniCure is touting the device as a marked improvement to CPAP machines. And there is a return-trip opportunity — the mouthpiece and tubing need to be replaced quarterly.

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