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Target CEO talks about new partnernship with CVS

BY DSN STAFF

Target chairman and CEO Brian Cornell commented on the chain’s new partnership with CVS Health in a Q&A on Target’s blog, A Bullseye View. Here are some excerpts: 

Why isn’t Target investing its own resources in the in-store healthcare experience? Aren’t pharmacies and clinics an important part of delivering wellness for your guests?
Our current pharmacy and clinic businesses successfully drive traffic to our stores and receive favorable guest service scores. And we know guests appreciate the convenient access to healthcare services while making their Target run. That said, we also know wellness extends beyond healthcare and we believe this deal presents Target with an exciting opportunity.

Tapping an expert partner to operate pharmacies and clinics in our stores preserves its traffic-driving benefits and offers our guests access to proven, best-in-class services. Meanwhile, it gives Target greater bandwidth to focus on our strengths in product design, merchandising and marketing to grow Wellness as a signature category.  More and more, our guests want to lead healthy and active lifestyles, and they are thinking about wellness as part of everything they do.

 Moving forward, Target will focus on further strengthening our wellness offerings, giving guests more ways to eat well, be active and find natural and clean-label options – areas we know they are passionate about.

How will the co-development of stores work? And can you elaborate on these “new market offerings” you will explore with CVS Health?

CVS Health has a strong store development pipeline that includes great locations in communities ideally suited for small, flexible format stores. Target and CVS Health plan to carefully evaluate and select from sites in CVS Health’s current consideration set to jointly build five to 10 TargetExpress stores with a CVS/pharmacy inside. This will take place over a two year period following the deal close.

We have also agreed to explore a variety of future opportunities to collaborate with our guests’ needs in mind.

When will guests start to see changes?

This agreement has been approved by CVS Health management and by Target’s board of directors, and now requires regulatory approval. This process will take some time. Until then, it’s business as usual.

Both Target and CVS Health are committed to ensuring a smooth transition following the deal close, and look forward to sharing more with our guests when we can.

To read the full Q&A, click here.

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Pfizer delivers new VMS gummy option for adults

BY Michael Johnsen

MADISON, N.J. — Pfizer Consumer Healthcare in May joined the gummy vitamin lineup with the launch of Centrum MultiGummies, adding the leading multivitamin brand to the number of adult gummy vitamin options on the shelf. Pfizer’s Centrum Silver brand is the No. 1 multivitamin in the market across total U.S. multi-outlets, with $190.6 million in sales for the 52 weeks ended April 19, according to IRI data.

(Click here to read the full Category Review.)

It’s not a bad move. Bayer’s One A Day VitaCraves generated $91.7 million in sales in that same period, representing a lift of 20% for the brand.

“We continue to evolve the Centrum product line to reflect consumers’ varying needs and preferences. In our research, consumers said they wanted a more enjoyable way to get essential vitamins and minerals daily, which is why we are pleased to offer the addition of Centrum MultiGummies,” said Chris Lynch, senior product manager for Centrum. “Now consumers can get the nutrients they need, from the brand they know and trust, in a great-tasting gummy form.”

“According to nutritional health data, 9-in-10 Americans are not getting enough of key essential nutrients, such as vitamins D and E,” said Elizabeth Ward, registered dietitian and nutrition health expert. “A new multivitamin formula that is easy to take allows consumers to get key vitamins and minerals that are so important to supporting nutritional health.”
 

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VMS sales steady despite media hit

BY Michael Johnsen

Steve Mister, president and CEO for the Council for Responsible Nutrition

The credibility of the vitamins, minerals and supplements business has been attacked in recent months, with the New York Attorney General’s office in February claiming certain herbal supplements don’t contain what they purport to contain and are adulterated with undeclared ingredients, followed more recently by HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” in May reporting that the nation’s military is being duped into taking unsafe supplements by an “unregulated” industry that lobbies heavily for loose regulations.

Neither story has had a direct impact on sales of overall supplements. Current sales fluctuations can be attributed as much to weather and seasonality as to anything else, Steve Mister, president and CEO for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, told Drug Store News. But these stories are impacting the industry’s credibility among consumers and may deter new users. In coming years, that can place a drag on the growth of VMS in retail pharmacy outlets where new customers are likely to buy their first supplements, Mister said.  

DSN recently interviewed Mister about the myths and realities of the supplement business.

Myth: The dietary supplement industry is either unregulated or under-regulated.

Reality: The reality is there are very comprehensive regulations around this industry that cover everything from the labeling to the manufacturing processes to the testing of raw materials. … The reality is the Food and Drug Administration often does not rigorously enforce the law, despite the fact that they have tools available to them and that we have outlier companies who will violate the law.

Myth: The FDA has a funding issue, and enforcing the dietary supplement regulations is low on the priority list.

Reality: That is the reality. First of all, there is a tremendous lack of resources at the agency to do all of the things that are required. And the reality also is that they do put their resources where there is the [greatest] threat to public health. … Despite all of the things that people say about dietary supplements, by comparison we’re a pretty safe, regulated industry for the FDA. We have relatively few adverse events. …

Myth: The dietary supplement industry is like the ‘wild, wild west’ in that the players will do whatever they want to do without regard to the law.

Reality: The reality is we are a far cry from the wild west. … There are very minute regulations around our labeling and what has to be in the Supplement Facts panel. And the majority of companies within the industry want to do right by their consumers; they want to follow the law, and they abide by those requirements.

Myth: Supplements don’t work.

Reality: People who say that don’t really understand the science behind them and what they’re intended to do. Supplements are not intended to be drugs; if they were, they’d be regulated like drugs. But that doesn’t mean they do not provide nutrition; that they don’t fill in gaps; that they don’t provide more subtle ways for your body to stay healthy.

Myth: Supplements don’t contain what the label says they contain.

Reality: This is an issue that, on the one hand, the industry has been wrestling with for several years because we have products from these outlying players that are spiked with pharmaceuticals or with anabolic steroids, for example. The only way for consumers to really respond to that is to be very savvy in their purchases, buy from reputable companies and not buy products that seem to be making [immediate gratification] claims. …

On the other hand, there are concerns in the industry about the supply chain. … If anything good has come out of this New York investigation, it is that it has gotten the industry talking more about the integrity of supply chains and the importance of identity testing. But I don’t want to give an ounce of credibility to the New York [Attorney General]’s investigation because the more we learn about that investigation, the more we know that all those accusations were built on faulty tests. It’s a house of cards.

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