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‘Regular’ sales increases

BY Michael Johnsen

Sales in the digestives aisle going forward look positive, especially as an aging population begins paying closer attention to healthy diets, including the right amount of dietary fiber to keep things “regular” and supplementation with probiotics for overall digestive health.


Awareness certainly is on the rise, and awareness drives sales. According to the Natural Marketing Institute’s Health and Wellness Trends Survey, awareness of the term “probiotics” grew from 9% in 2002 to 60% of American adults in 2009. And the benefits of fiber increasingly are being touted by food manufacturers like General Mills and Kellogg’s. “We’ve done a lot of education, especially around whole grains and fiber,” Karlis Nollendorfs, General Mills senior customer insights manager, told executives during a seminar at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Marketplace conference. “We recognize that a lot of people want to eat more healthy.”


But the largest piece of the digestives pie is antacids, and this is another bright spot across the digestives aisle with the number of new players sparking increased advertising across the segment. For the 52 weeks ended Aug. 7 across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), sales of each of the major brands were up, with the exception of the largest brand: Procter & Gamble’s Prilosec OTC. And sales of Prilosec OTC were down only 3.4%, according to SymphonyIRI Group data, despite the introduction in the past two years of generic competition and two new proton-pump inhibitor products. Even GlaxoSmithKline’s venerable Tums franchise is up significantly — 144.6% to $90.6 million.


And according to findings from a recent survey fielded by Braun Research on behalf of Takeda Pharmaceuticals, heartburn remains mostly a self-treatment condition. Of the 1,004 surveyed, 39% only “occasionally” discussed frequent heartburn symptoms with their doctors.


 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Digestives Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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Walgreens to discuss new health, wellness format at Chicago Ideas Week

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — As part of the 2011 Chicago Ideas Week, Walgreens executive director of pharmacy and healthcare experience Nimesh Jhaveri will discuss on Tuesday the company’s work toward transforming its retail stores into a destination for health and daily living.

Jhaveri is scheduled to participate in the "Designing an Experience" panel as part of the "Fast Company: Creativity Session," where leaders from a variety of disciplines will explore the importance of creativity and innovation in business. The event will be held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago at 5 p.m. EST.

Recently, as part of a pilot program, Walgreens revamped approximately 20 of its stores in the Chicago area, along with its stores in the Indianapolis market, to meet the changing needs of customers and offer them an improved experience.

"Walgreens has a long-standing history of innovation, and with this pilot initiative we’ve aimed to evolve the traditional pharmacy and retail store format to meet the needs of our customers who are more involved than ever in managing their own care and are seeking cost-effective healthcare options delivered in a simple, customized way," Jhaveri said.

"When a customer walks into one of our new stores, we want them to have a very palpable feeling of wellness," Jhaveri added. "With this in mind, we have focused on improving the design, convenience and quality of our pharmacy services, more effectively utilizing the space in the store and fully leveraging the expertise of our highly trained pharmacy staff to help deliver an experience that reflects our capabilities and commitment to cost-effective health care."

In addition to Jhaveri’s participation on today’s panel, Walgreens also will host an iPad booth at the CIW Health and Wellness Talk on Oct. 16, which also will be located at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

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Price Chopper sponsors free flu shot clinics for Irene victims

BY Alaric DeArment

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Price Chopper is giving free flu vaccines to victims of Hurricane Irene, the supermarket chain said.

Price Chopper, which was the first supermarket pharmacy in New York to certify pharmacists to administer flu shots, is sponsoring free flu vaccination clinics at a local church in Schoharie, N.Y. The first clinic was on Saturday, and another will follow this coming Saturday. Participants also will receive free deli lunches. Other clinics will take place across the six states in which the chain operates, though the company did not give details.

"We recognize that our neighbors whose homes and businesses were ravaged by Irene have much rebuilding to do over the coming months, and with the flu season upcoming, we want to help ensure that they stay healthy in light of the challenges that lay ahead," Price Chopper public relations, consumer and marketing services manager Mona Golub said.

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