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Starting the day off right with both nutrition and convenience

BY Michael Johnsen

Families count on cereal for convenient, affordable nutrition.

Quickly prepared or eaten on the go, cereal is a convenient breakfast option for today’s busy families that also provides important nutrients.

Studies have proven that eating breakfast is closely linked to healthy body weights, improved mental alertness and physical performance. Plus, people who skip breakfast don’t make up for the missed nutrients later in the day.

As families look to save money by eating more in-home meals, breakfast — particularly the ready-to-eat cereal category — has become a more popular and important option.

Ready-to-eat cereal, like Kellogg’s Apple Jacks, Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies, generates nearly 54% of sales of all breakfast foods and prompts more than 12 shopping trips per year, according to mid-year 2010 data from the Nielsen Homescan consumer facts panel. That’s more than twice as many as any other breakfast foods category.

In addition, more than 92% of households made at least one ready-to-eat cereal purchase during the 12 months ended June 2010, with the typical home spending $66.69.

Consumers also understand the value of eating healthy food, especially for breakfast.
For example:

  • Sales of items that include flax or hemp seed were up 49.6% for the 52 weeks ending Sept. 4, according to Nielsen;
  • Sales of foods making antioxidant claims were up 26.6%;
  • Sales of foods making fiber claims were up 5.3%; and
  • Sales of granola/natural cereals, like Kashi, were up more than 9%, with sales rapidly approaching $250 million for what was once a niche category largely for shoppers of the natural foods channel.

Cereal is also a great-tasting option that meets consumers’ taste and nutrition needs. Children and adults enjoy the variety, flavors and textures, as well as the convenience of ready-to-eat cereal. Plus, cereal with milk is also the leading source of 10 nutrients in the diets of U.S. children, including vitamins A, B6, B12 and D, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, folate, iron and zinc.

Fiber, a much-needed nutrient that 90 percent of American adults and children aren’t getting enough of in their diets, also contributes to overall health. Recognizing the important role of fiber in digestive health, weight management, heart disease and diabetes, the majority of Kellogg cereals are at least a good source of fiber (3 grams), and more than half also include a half serving (8 grams) of whole grain. And, at just 50 cents a serving for cereal and milk, ready-to-eat cereal provides convenient, affordable nutrition to help millions of families around the globe start their days off right.

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Big bowl of wellness

BY Dave Schulz

Now that more drug stores have moved into the grocery business, consumers are gaining more convenient access to food.

As a result, drug stores, which have always been synonymous with health and wellness, also have a tremendous opportunity to meet the nutrition needs of time-starved shoppers by stocking their shelves with healthier foods.

Food manufacturers, like Kellogg, see an opportunity for retail pharmacies to help reinvent the way groceries are merchandised to shoppers and help consumers make better decisions when buying food.

“Cereal is one of the best choices available,” said Doug VanDeVelde, Kellogg SVP of marketing and innovation for ready-to-eat cereal. “In fact, ready-to-eat cereal and milk is the leading source of 10 nutrients in children’s diets. Kellogg, which offers more than 80 cereal choices, continues to respond to consumer requests for better-for-you, convenient products that fit their nutritional needs.”

Since 1906, Kellogg has been providing consumers with high-quality, nutritious and great-tasting food, and Kellogg’s ready-to-eat cereal help millions of families around the globe start their day off right.

Studies have proven that eating breakfast is closely linked to healthy body weights, improved mental alertness and physical performance. Plus, people who skip breakfast don’t make up for the missed nutrients later in the day.

Additional facts support the importance of breakfast:

  • If essential nutrients are missed at breakfast, people don’t compensate for the loss at other meals;
  • Cereal is a typically low-fat, cholesterol-free food that encourages breakfast consumption; and
  • Breakfast cereal eaters have higher intakes of riboflavin, calcium, B vitamins, vitamin A and vitamin D.

In the United States, ready-to-eat cereal is the preferred breakfast with 82 percent of women and 79 percent of men starting their day with a cereal breakfast. Ready-to-eat cereal is also growing approximately three percent per year and is the third largest center-of-the-store category.

Drug stores are helping educate and assist consumers by communicating the relationship between breakfast and overall nutrition.

CVS, for example, is promoting its grocery initiatives to its ExtraCare loyalty cardholders with coupons, including one for Kellogg’s Fiber Plus cereals. Other Kellogg products that are logical choices for both in-store and coupon or sales circulars include Special K for weight management and All-Bran for digestive health.

In addition to nutrition, price is also a consideration among consumers, a trend that drugs stores are noticing.

“Consumers have become more conscious of their spending; this recessionary mindset has become part of their routine,” VanDeVelde added. “Today, there is an increased focus on brands that provide overall value, including elements of price, nutrition, education, health prevention and family appeal. Cereal and milk fit the bill perfectly. For these reasons, cereal will continue to be a focus category for retailers to drive store traffic.”

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Pharmaca tweaks branding, plans expansion spurt

BY Michael Johnsen

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Earlier this month, Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy unveiled its latest store design here, marking the company’s 23rd location and heralding more new-store growth to come. Pharmaca is targeting three new store openings in 2011, Mark Panzer, Pharmaca president and CEO, told Drug Store News.

And Pharmaca will be looking to grow by three to six new stores each year through 2015, Panzer said — a pace that would put them at approximately 44 locations in that time frame. “It’s all predicated on operating results and investment,” Panzer said.

Early on, that new store growth will help augment the company’s presence in the five Western states it serves, including California, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington. But it won’t be too long before Pharmaca begins targeting new market expansion, including the possibility of opening an East Coast operation. “We will be expanding outside of the states in which we currently operate in the future,” Panzer said. “People across the United States are looking at health care as being more preventive than an acute need, so any market is ripe,” he said.

“[The new Menlo Park location] is going to be a little bit different,” Panzer said, noting that prior to becoming a Pharmaca pharmacy, Pharmaca’s new corner location housed an art gallery. And the new store features several new branding elements, Panzer said, such as moving away from a script logo and toward more traditional block lettering. The new store also features expanded categories, such as “rest and relaxation,” health monitoring and beverages, which incorporates the fast-growing probiotic niche. “And we’ve improved pharmacy workflow,” Panzer added.

“[The neighborhood] has the right demographics and psychographics for our customer base. It matches up well with what we’re looking for,” he said. Pharmaca’s pharmacy concept — one that populates its sales floor with licensed naturopathic doctors or other holistic healthcare practitioners as part of a more natural leaning toward health care — caters more to customers with advanced college degrees and annual household incomes exceeding $100,000.

Pharmaca also recently revamped its e-commerce site, Panzer said. Representing a burgeoning revenue stream headed into 2011, the site already offers more than 4,500 products, ranging from vitamins, supplements and herbs to personal care items, eco-home products and beauty essentials in hard-to-find brands. “We’ve got product that is high-value, low-cube and easy to ship that should be able to compete with the [specialty vitamin chains] on e-commerce,” Panzer said. “We’ve got a very robust site now. It’s not just geared toward product [but also] content, meaning education for the consumer on their disease states and healthcare management."

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