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Study: Smoking poses greater heart disease danger for women

BY Michael Johnsen

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Women who smoke have heart attacks at younger ages and are more likely than men to suffer complications months after a cardiac event, according to a new University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center study released Tuesday.

Although fewer women than men smoke in the United States, the gender gap is decreasing and the U-M findings suggested the toll of smoking is greater on women’s health.

“Smoking is not good for men or women but our analysis shows that women who smoke do worse six months after a heart attack than men,” stated senior study author Elizabeth Jackson, cardiologist at the U-M Cardiovascular Center. “We were not able to look at the basic biological mechanisms that would account for this, but other studies can give us some ideas."

Smoking reduces circulation by narrowing the blood vessels and contributes to an atherosclerotic build-up of plaque in the arteries. Cigarette smokers are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease than nonsmokers.

“The differences in outcomes among women smokers may reflect inherent biological differences between genders, or possibly less aggressive medical management of women that’s been described by other investigators,” stated lead author Michael Howe, cardiology fellow at the U-M Health System. “Either way, it clearly emphasizes the need for increased physician awareness and vigilance, in women in particular, after an acute coronary event.”

The good news is that when you stop smoking, your risk of heart disease and stroke can be cut in half just one year later, and continues to decline until it’s as low as a nonsmoker’s risk, according to the American Heart Association.


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Huemanitas to lead PepsiCo’s multicultural retail, shopper marketing efforts

BY Allison Cerra

DENVER — PepsiCo has entered a partnership with an independent cultural marketing group that will allow the beverage company to develop relevant platforms that will target multicultural shoppers at retail.

PepsiCo has that Huemanitas will partner with PepsiCo’s general market retail and shopper marketing agency of record, TracyLocke. PepsiCo senior director of cultural branding Javier Farfan noted that with Huemanitas working alongside TracyLocke will allow PepsiCo to close the gap with "multicultural shoppers along their path-to-purchase, to fully engage multicultural audiences at retail."

The goal of the partnership is "to deliver fully integrated, culturally relevant programming for the portfolio," Huemanitas partner and creative principal Marcus Jiménez said.

Gail Brooks, Huemanitas partner and principal of insights and strategy, said that engaging a multicultural consumer must go beyond a general approach.

"Engaging the multicultural consumer at retail requires a hyper-local strategy involving in-depth understanding of culture’s impact on shopper, retailer, and channel dynamics," Brooks said. "It’s not just about taking down national programs, but rather leveraging local market cultural intelligence to build platforms that can be scaled up and across markets as well."

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PLMA consumer survey: Host of factors feeds consumer ‘buy’ decision

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — A recent consumer survey debunked the two long-assumed scenarios surrounding the moment a shopper actually makes a shopping decision — before they’ve entered the store as part of a planned purchase or at the shelf on an impulse.

For years, the retailing industry has debated between those who argue a shopper’s mind is mostly made up before they even enter the store and those who assert the real decision what to buy comes down to a final few seconds at the shelf. In fact it is neither, according to a recent survey of U.S. consumers.

A study released Monday by the Private Label Manufacturers Association and Buxton consumer research determined that the decision-making process is influenced by a variety of factors from the kitchen table where the shopping list is created to the shelf where the product is taken. The nationwide poll of 1,170 shoppers found that shoppers tend to be engaged fully in a process for purchase decisions that starts with that list of items at home, visiting stores and walking the aisles, then considering a variety options and alternatives to their planned purchases prior to deciding what to buy at the shelves. 

Among the highlights from the survey findings:

Despite changes in consumer demographics, lifestyles and store formats, two-thirds of those surveyed say they rely on a list when doing the main household shopping for their family;

Brands are not often specified;

  • Six-out-of-10 shoppers say they list products by brand name only occasionally, rarely or never. However, half of these shoppers admit they frequently have a brand in mind, even when they don’t list it;

  • Lists — and brands — are less of a factor for drug chain shoppers. Nearly two-thirds say they don’t make a list for drug store purchases, and of those that do, only 2-out-of-10 will specify a brand;

  • Once inside a store, shoppers become browsers and walk through the store looking for items on their list but also pay attention to special displays, promotions, product sampling and demonstrations; and

  • Half of all shoppers say they would buy a store brand if the national brand were not available. Only 23% say they would buy another national brand instead. A mere 14% would go to another store.

To follow up on the Buxton research and its implications for the private-label industry, PLMA will host a special seminar program on Nov. 13, in conjunction with the association’s 2011 Private Label Trade Show in Chicago.

For the full report, click here


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