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Sales decline exceeds projections

BY Michael Johnsen

While nobody thought 2013-14 cough-cold sales would reach as high in comparison to the year before, no one expected the season to come down as much as it did. “If you recall, last year cough-cold really raged from mid-December … up until the beginning of February,” said Matthew Mannelly, CEO, president and director of Prestige Brands, in discussing the season with analysts. “If you look at retailers and other manufacturers, the season is not panning out. Candidly, I think the retailers are not reordering and are now gearing up for the [spring] allergy season,” he said at the close of the season.

(For the complete category review, including data, click here.)

That may explain why many retailers are focusing on prevention. Both flu shots and products focused on preventive care are performing extremely well. Walgreens administered 6.7 million immunizations in its first quarter, up 34% as compared with the year-ago period. And Airborne generated $117.1 million across total U.S. multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ended May 18, according to IRI, benefiting from a lift of 16.5%.

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A new take on hot-cold gel packs

BY Michael Johnsen

Wahl is differentiating itself from other products on the shelf through a new approach that combines a massager with hot-cold gel packs, helping to increase circulation and reduce swelling. The massagers are designed to conform to the body and offer customized relief for such common pain points as the neck, shoulders, back, feet and legs. According to a 2013 online study conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Wahl, 80% of Americans experience muscle and joint pain. Three-in-4 people in pain suffer in three or more places.

(For the full category review, including data, click here.)

“Wahl is targeting the consumer looking for alternative pain management solutions,” Jenny McLaughlin, product manager for Walh Therapeutic Massagers, said. “All of our massagers are geared toward pain management. Our website is interactive so you can [communicate] where you have pain, and [the site] will tell you the best massager for [you].”

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VanaPain bulks up pain-relief line

BY Michael Johnsen

GM Pharmaceuticals recently launched 8-oz. bottles of its liquid pain reliever, VanaPain, which includes 16 servings of its daytime pain reliever and eight servings of its nighttime pain reliever. The new bulk products for the chronic pain sufferer began shipping in July, and the suggested retail price ranges from $7.99 to $9.99.

(For the complete category review, including data, click here.)

The original shot pain relievers, retailing at a suggested price of $2.99 per shot, are formulated with 870 mg of the NSAID choline salicylate and 65 mg of caffeine.

According to the company, caffeine added to pain relievers can make the remedy 40% more effective in treating headaches. And choline salicylate is absorbed five times faster than aspirin, the company added.

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