Watson launches generic Keppra XR
MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Watson Labs has begun shipping a drug designed to treat partial onset seizures in patients with epilepsy.
The drug maker said it launched levetiracetam extended-release tablets in the 500-mg and 750-mg strengths. The drug is a generic version of UCB’s Keppra XR. The drug is indicated to treat patients ages 16 years and older.
Watson said it began shipping the drug on Tuesday following approval of its abbreviated new drug application from the Food and Drug Administration.
GSK Consumer Healthcare taps new chief customer officer
PITTSBURGH — GlaxoSmithKline’s Consumer Healthcare division has appointed a former Kraft Foods executive as its new chief customer officer.
In his new role, Keith Loranger will be responsible for leading the GSK Consumer Healthcare’s sales function to increase sales and profit for the company’s oral health and wellness categories, including such brands as Aquafresh, NicoDerm CQ and Tums, among others. Prior to joining the company, Loranger served as Kraft Foods’ customer VP international strategy after joining the company in 1985.
“GSK Consumer Healthcare is focused on delivering market-beating growth and stronger brands by enhancing our go-to-market strategies for customer, trade and sales channels,” GSK Consumer Healthcare CHNA president Colin Mackenzie said. “Keith is a dynamic business leader whose extensive experience and leadership skills will help drive us toward our goals and help us become the fast-moving consumer healthcare company of the future.”
Cooking up sales growth
Americans spend three to four hours a day in the kitchen, so housewares — particularly kitchenware — can be a key gift category for drug stores. The channel had a 4.2% share of the housewares business, according to the International Housewares Association’s “2010 State of the Industry Report.” Much of the channel’s sales come from cookware, bakeware and kitchen tools.
Perry Reynolds, VP marketing and trade development at the IHA, said the return to preparing meals at home and the popularity of celebrity chefs is driving growth of kitchen gadgets.
As-seen-on-TV kitchen products particularly are strong in the channel. “Housewares are one of our most popular categories,” said Janet Scott, a spokeswoman for Joseph Enterprises. The company’s Ove Glove has been a dominant product on drug store shelves, and Joseph Enterprises is planning another kitchen product introduction for the fourth quarter. Thomas Haire, editor-in-chief of Response magazine, cited Euro-Pro’s Ninja as another hit.
Telebrands’ Chef Basket also has been hot. “If we can hit the $10 price point and solve a common household problem, we can get great turns,” said Telebrands CEO AJ Khubani. Telebrands recently launched Slice-O-Matic, a mandolin-style slicer, and Bake Pop. Both retail for $14.99 and are expected to perform well in the fourth quarter.
While the fourth quarter continues to be the leading season for sales of kitchen and housewares items, Reynolds said that back-to-school has emerged as a key selling season, with moderately priced appliances leading the way. “Summer also offers opportunities for several kitchenware categories,” he said.
Reynolds also said that as drug stores add more fresh food, layering in more kitchen prep tools — particularly well-designed, colorful products — can lead to more add-on sales.
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Housewares Buy-In Report, including extensive data and more analysis, click here.