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VMS sales to continue upward trajectory

BY Michael Johnsen

Sales of dietary supplements and meal replacement bars were up pretty significantly for the 52 weeks ended Nov. 1, 2015, according to the latest IRI data. VMS sales were up 4.1% to $6.6 billion across total U.S. multi-outlets, and sales of bars were up 9.3% to $2.2 billion.

(To view the full Category Review, click here.)

Heading into 2016, that sales trend will continue on an upward trajectory of between 5% and 6%, according to several category analysts. That sales trajectory will be fed not only by traditional drivers like the aging of the baby boomers, but other macroeconomic factors like the continued migration of healthcare costs to consumers.

“Preventive is going to be as important as [acute care],” said Andrew Archambault, NBTY chief customer officer, and that’s placing a greater emphasis on education on shelf. “[Create] a compelling education section in categories that consumers want to enter but don’t have the info — when you do that, … more and more households take the product. That’s proving out.” Clearing sales-per-square-inch hurdles are still important, Archambault added, but there’s more insight today that it can be accomplished through signage.

That’s because the entryway for new consumers to the supplement category is through brick-and-mortar. Retailers who place a greater emphasis on successful planogramming and shelf education will be positioned well.

“There is usually an ingredient or product, for example lately probiotics, that tends to bring in people into the category,” Kurt Jetta, CEO Tabs Group, said. “That speaks to the importance of innovation and just keeping an eye on what’s emerging as far as brands and manufacturers. For vitamins in particular, the drug channel has done a good job of making sure they’re well represented with some of the niche players.”

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Matcha green tea powder picks up on new trend

BY Michael Johnsen

RONKONKOMA, N.Y. — Piping Rock has brought a taste of traditional China to the United States with its introduction of Nature’s Truth Stone Ground Matcha Green Tea. Use of Matcha green tea extends all the way back to the Tang Dynasty. Made from the stone-ground leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, green tea has been attributed both to healthy brain function and metabolic health.

(To view the full Category Review, click here.)

According to the Sage Group’s market analysis on Matcha products released earlier this year, sales of products containing Matcha green tea are expected to grow 25% annually between 2015 and 2018.

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Weight-management solutions sought over dieting

BY Michael Johnsen

The weight-control category is growing at a healthy 4.5% clip with $3.3 billion across total U.S. multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ended Nov. 1, according to IRI. But with a third of the country still considered obese, according to the latest CDC statistics, there is still a significant opportunity to reach aspirational consumers — not with a weight-loss solution per se, but a weight-management solution.

(To view the full Category Review, click here.)

“Consumers are looking for guidance on how to control their weight, they are looking for products that work and work together as part of a simple yet effective plan,” Paul Gagliano, EVP sales at SlimFast, told Drug Store News. “Retailers can capitalize by merchandising products together and communicating to the consumer how the products work together as part of a plan.”

“While consumers are deeply interested in weight loss, their mindset has changed,” added James Chambers, president, CEO and director at Weight Watchers. “They want to get there in new ways. Less attractive is the approach of dieting and restriction. Rather, they are seeking solutions.”

This past fall, SlimFast launched 15 new items as part of the SlimFast Advanced line, including ready-to-drinks, powders, bars, 100-calorie snacks and a capsule to round out the complete SlimFast plan.

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