Zulka premieres new packaging
LOS ANGELES — Zulka pure cane sugar has debuted a new look.
The company said its all-natural and unrefined granulated "morena" sugar now is packaged in a clear bag that features an updated, modernized logo and a new equivalency icon that illustrates how Zulka is a perfect cup-for-cup replacement for refined white sugar.
"We want everyone to know that Zulka is real sugar pressed from fresh sugar cane, so it’s as close to nature as you can get," said Carlos Rionda, VP sales and marketing for Zucarmex USA, the parent company of Zulka. "Refined white sugar is extremely processed and sometimes made with genetically-modified ingredients like sugar beets. Zulka Pure Cane Sugar is truly a better replacement for regular white sugar because it’s all-natural, non-GMO and never refined, so it retains the fresh flavor and natural properties of raw sugar cane. Our new packaging showcases the clean and natural character of Zulka, and shows that we have nothing to hide."
Zulka pure cane sugar is available in 1-lb., 2-lb. and 4-lb. bags at such retailers nationwide as Walmart, Safeway, Kroger, Albertsons, Food 4 Less, Supervalu, Superior, Winn-Dixie, El Super, WinCo and many others.
NCPA posts new ‘Phil Mypockets’ video satirizing PBMs
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Some common patient complaints regarding mail-order pharmacies and their captive consumers’ lack of choice to switch to another pharmacy if they encounter poor service are highlighted in a new video released Wednesday by the National Community Pharmacists Association.
The short feature entitled “Mail Order Madness” touches on several concerns that patients have voiced to pharmacists and elsewhere regarding mail-order pharmacy: unsatisfactory customer service; wasteful “auto-shipping” of medication even when a prescription has changed or is no longer needed; and the wait for prescriptions to be processed and mailed (or sometimes lost in the mail or misdelivered).
The video is available for viewing at www.whorunsmydrugplan.com – NCPA’s website that educates health plan sponsors and patients about how the cost and value of their prescription benefit can be negatively impacted by middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers, which often also own mail-order pharmacies.
“The point of this video is simple: Patients need and deserve the ability to choose a pharmacy in their health plan that best meets their needs and those of their family for quality, convenience and cost-effective care,” NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey said. “Surveys indicate that the vast majority of patients prefer to use a local pharmacy for a face-to-face health care experience. The choice of going to your local pharmacy or using mail-order pharmacy is a decision that should be left to patients because mail order is not for everyone. Unfortunately, mandatory mail-order plan designs limit patients to one pharmacy. Unlike a community pharmacy where patients can ‘vote with their feet,’ mail order’s captive customers have no ability to go anywhere else.”
Survey: Retailers focusing on mobile site optimization and in-store technologies
DENVER, Colo. — Retailers remain conservative when it comes to financial investments in mobile and tablet initiatives despite the industry buzz, according to a survey by Shop.org and Forrester Research.
In the "2012 State Of Retailing Online" survey, 50% of the retailers surveyed said they spent less than $100,000 on smartphone investments in 2011, and 74% spent the same on tablet initiatives. One year later, the numbers remain conservative, but companies are increasing their investments: On average retailers plan to invest $207,000 in 2012, compared with an average of $55,000 spent in 2011.
"It’s easy to forget that mobile retailing is still in its infancy, and unlike what we saw with e-commerce 10 short years ago, mobile is almost entirely consumer-driven," Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell said. "As mobile grows, so too will retailers’ investments in technologies that make sense for their shopper, but to get to that level of commitment, retailers must first take smart, calculated steps to maximize the mobile shopping experience both now and in the future."
The survey also found that more retailers have entered the playing field over the last year. In fiscal year 2011, 18% of those surveyed said their company made no investment in tablet initiatives and 14% said the same for smartphone initiatives. In 2012 only 9% of companies said they will make no investments for tablet or smartphones.
The report finds that, as part of their mobile investments, retailers also are focusing on in-store technologies, such as mobile point-of-sale and perfecting site optimization features for smartphone- and tablet-touting shoppers. According to the survey, 45% of companies already have or are planning to implement e-receipts in their stores in the next two years, and 57% said they have or will have mobile point-of-sale options for their stores within the next two years.
With the majority of retailers’ Web traffic coming from Web browsers, even when a mobile app exists and is promoted, retailers are focusing on mobile site optimization features as a more cost-effective solution than building apps. Six-in-10 (60%) companies surveyed said they have a special mobile site that is optimized for Web browsers.
When asked what their company’s greatest internal challenges are as they relate to deploying and managing their mobile initiatives, the answers run deep. Six-in-10 (60%) said their business objectives for mobile initiatives are unclear and another 4-in-10 (40%) said a lack of experience in other areas such as designing for smartphone and tablet formats are presenting challenges.
Additionally, 36% said obtaining adequate budget for mobile initiatives, including staff, is a top concern.
"While consumers are rapidly adopting smartphones and tablets, and there is no shortage of companies eager to provide mobile offerings to retailers," Forrester Research VP and principal analyst Sucharita Mulpuru said. "Retail executives are taking a measured view of the immediate benefits of these efforts — in part because of the myriad of challenges that must be considered when investing in mobile for their company."