HEALTH

Study: Personal Care marketers should watch their spending

BY Drug Store News Team

LITTLE FALLS, N.J. Personal care marketers will be affected by the ability to increase retail prices, unless unique product benefits are highlighted, according to research firm Kline & Company.

The research firm, which released a study entitled “Personal Care: U.S. Competitor Cost Structures 2008”, points out that most companies have only an 11 percent operating margin, since personal care marketers spend over half of their budget on marketing. This, combined with the perpetual need to spend significantly on advertising and promotions in order to drive consumer awareness and demand in highly competitive categories, will continue to lead to margin pressures for personal care marketers.

Additionally, companies whose product lines are heavily focused on luxury products, such as Estee Lauder, will feel the sting of the recession more than those whose products tend to be priced lower, such as Avon, Johnson & Johnson, and Procter & Gamble.

The study also concludes that high oil prices over the past two years drove production and distribution costs for personal care marketers up significantly.

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Matrixx considering partnership with other OTC companies to release Zicare and Xcid

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Matrixx Initiatives is exploring partnering with other over-the-counter companies on the national roll out of its Zicare oral care product and Xcid antacid.

“We continue to explore the possibility of partnering with other parties on both of those projects,,” Bill Hemelt, Matrixx acting president, CFO and COO, told analysts last week. “As we’ve said before, we don’t want to move forward on them by ourselves because of the significant risks associated with that,” he said. “Xcid was a disappointment. … We did roll it out on a limited basis this past year, but it did not meet our expectations. Not because it’s a bad product, it just simply will require greater investment to take that nationally. So we are exploring partnership possibilities for both of those projects.”

Both products are “market ready,” Hemelt said, replete with consumer research and product research.

Zicare, when used in conjunction with a daily oral routine, helps dissolve up to 30% of visible tartar that has already formed and helps inhibit future tartar formation above the gumline, according to the product web site. Zicare is a gel that is applied at the gumline and between the teeth after brushing and before bed.

Xcid is an antacid featuring a unique delivery form — a creamy pudding-like gel available in three flavors: strawberry, orange and chocolate.

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Following salmonella outbreak, Obama calls for review of FDA

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The spate of peanut butter recalls associated with salmonella contamination has prompted President Barack Obama to call for a “complete review” of the Food and Drug Administration for failing to detect the contamination before sickening more than 500 people in an interview with TODAY co-host Matt Lauer over the weekend, which aired Monday.

Over the course of the interview, Obama suggested that the comprehensive peanut butter recall was only the latest incident to highlight misgivings about the agency. “The FDA has not been able to catch some of these things as quickly as I expect them to catch,” he said during the interview.

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