SymphonyIRI: Retailers, manufacturers should tap baby boomer market
CHICAGO According to research released Thursday from the SymphonyIRI Group — “Healthcare III: Understanding the Age-Driven Health & Wellness Needs of Baby Boomers” — retailers and manufacturers that understand which ailments will be driving growth among baby boomers, and know how to link new and existing products to the treatment of these ailments, will be in a position to capitalize on this opportunity.
“Americans aged 55 and older represent more than one-third of the U.S. population,” stated KK Davey, managing partner, SymphonyIRI. “This number alone is quite staggering, and when you couple it with the fact that they control 50% of discretionary income and fill 30% more prescriptions than the average person, you have a golden opportunity. Retailers and manufacturers need to build shopper loyalty and a new competitive advantage around increased variety and in-store messaging that support categories, segments, and products with specific benefits that link to aged-driven health and wellness needs.”
“More and more aging consumers are searching for food and beverage solutions to help them maintain a quality of life in managing what are often multiple chronic disease states,” added Sean Seitzinger, partner, SymphonyIRI. “In fact, two-thirds of disease-state shopper spending is earned by the grocery channel, which indicates grocery retailers have the largest disease-state management dollar opportunity during the next decade.”
Surveyed shoppers across all ailments rank whole grains, reduced fat and reduced sodium as attributes they look for to manage their conditions, SymphonyIRI reported.
Other “top of mind” factors ailment shoppers take into consideration include:
- High Blood Pressure — 87% of chronic sufferers depend heavily on prescriptions to treat their condition, but nearly 50% also focus on a healthy diet to manage and control their weight. They need to avoid high-sodium products, eat plenty of fiber and minimize high-fat, high-calorie products. Sugar-free diet candy, ground decaf coffee and sugar substitutes are popular products for these consumers;
- Diabetes — These consumers manage and treat their serious health condition with a regular regimen of medication and a well-managed diet. They look to foods that are naturally high in fiber, protein and nutritional ingredients and avoid sugar-added foods and beverages and high-fat foods to control weight. Sugar-free chocolate candy, sugar substitutes, low-calorie soft drinks and single-serve dinner entrees that offer reduced calories and high protein appeal to these consumers;
- High Cholesterol: 102 million chronic sufferers recognize that prescriptions can help reduce cholesterol levels but only in combination with a healthy diet. Since many high cholesterol sufferers have high blood pressure as well, there are frequent overlaps in how they treat their condition. Eating reduced-fat and low-cholesterol products are at the top of their list;
- Heartburn/Acid Reflux: 77 million chronic sufferers rely on prescription and recent prescription-to-OTC products to manage their ailment. Proper diet plays a smaller role, so antacid tablets, antacid liquid/powder and laxative tablets are sought-after products.
Alabama to implement e-tracking program to block PSE sales
WASHINGTON The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Tuesday expressed its support for Alabama law HB 528, signed into law by Gov. Bob Riley, that calls for implementation of a real-time electronic sales tracking system to block illegal purchases of cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine.
CHPA also commended Rep. Frank McDaniel, D-DeKalb and Marshall, and Sen. Lowell Barron, D-DeKalb, Jackson and Madison, for securing bipartisan support for this important piece of legislation which passed through both chambers unanimously.
Alabama joins nine other states — Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Washington — that have adopted e-tracking.
“We applaud Gov. Riley and the Alabama legislature for implementing a solution that will fight domestic meth production while maintaining consumer access to important cold and allergy medications,” stated Linda Suydam, president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. “This system offers an effective solution to reducing meth labs and is the only solution that works across state lines.”
The makers of PSE-containing medicines are providing an industry-funded system to allow law enforcement to identify “smurfers” or those who try to illegally violate limits in state and federal law on the amount of PSE-containing medicines individuals can purchase in a given period of time. E-tracking poses no new barriers to consumers, collects only the information already required under federal law, and enables law enforcement to find the meth labs that would otherwise go undetected.
According to a recent poll conducted by David Binder Research, more than three-fourths of Alabama voters support an e-tracking system. The poll also found that voters believe e-tracking will help law enforcement receive the information they need to identify those who are purchasing illegal amounts of medicines containing PSE. As many as 78% of those surveyed agree that e-tracking will be “a huge help to law enforcement.”
CDC continues to urge citizens to receive H1N1 flu shots
ATLANTA The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still is recommending people who have not yet gotten their H1N1 flu shots that they do so. H1N1 vaccine is widely available, CDC officials noted.
In a conference call with reporters on Monday, the CDC that H1N1 has “not gone away,” with regional activity still being reported throughout the southeast, most notably in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Hospitalizations attributed to H1N1 have been on the rise for three consecutive weeks.
“The H1N1 flu has made 2009-2010 flu season one of the most challenging in recent memory,” suggested U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. “It’s persistent in the southeast and now those states are experiencing more local and regional activity,” she said. “We’re at a critical moment in our national response to this virus and we need to continue to urge Americans to get vaccinated, especially people at high risk from complications from H1N1.”
To date, approximately 60 million Americans have been infected and there’s been 265,000 hospitalizations, the CDC reported. Close to 12,000 people have died from H1N1, about one-third the number of deaths attributed to influenza in a typical year. However, 11,000 deaths occurred in people under the age of 65, Anne Schuchat, CDC director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, noted. “That’s much more deaths in a particular year among younger people than what we typically see with seasonal flu. We estimate that the rate of death in young people is probably five times higher than what we would typically see with seasonal influenza.”