BEAUTY CARE

IRI Research releases 2009 Private Label Report

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO Private-label share in the United States has risen dramatically across retail channels and product categories during the past two years, as consumers continue to struggle with high food prices and other economic pressures, according to a new report released Tuesday by Information Resources Inc. called the “2009 Private Label Report.”

The trend toward store brand is expected to continue through 2009 and beyond, representing an unprecedented opportunity for retailers and a threat for branded manufacturers, IRI stated.

“With budgets strained to the breaking point, shoppers are scrambling for ways to save money,” stated IRI consulting and innovation president Thom Blischok. “The need for affordable packaged goods solutions is high, and private-label products are going a long way toward answering that need,” he said.

“Since many private-label products are truly becoming mainstream these days, IRI refers to these products as private brands, such as Target’s Archer Farms, Safeway’s O Organics and Supervalu’s Wild Harvest to name a few,” added Blischok. “The retailer halo is now foundational, and private brands are becoming as familiar and relevant as national brands in some categories.”

The IRI Private Label Report provides a review of private-label performance and best practices across channels, categories and retailers as well as current viewpoints from more than 1,500 consumers. The study also takes an in-depth look at the opportunities that exist for retailers and how branded manufacturers can more effectively compete against private-label in a tough economy.

Some of the learnings include:

  • private-label’s strongest growth performance tends to be such categories as cream cheese/spread, paper napkins, refrigerated entrees and shortening and oil. Developing categories include pet supplies, cold/allergy/sinus tablets, refrigerated salad/coleslaw and salad dressings.
  • Grocery channel private label share is highest in the West at 25.2% and lowest in the Northeast at 19.2%. For individual U.S. markets, Wichita, Kansas had the highest share of private label unit sales at 34.3% in 2008, and New York had the lowest at 14.2%.
  • Four out of five shoppers are now “sold” on private label quality indicating that product marketing during the current recession is successfully expanding the positive reputation and reach of these products.
  • Although nearly 80% of shoppers in 2008 have positive attitudes towards private label versus 73% in 2007, dollar and unit shares are still below 25%.
  • In personal care categories, branded manufacturers have successfully differentiated themselves in the minds of shoppers, which has made it difficult for retailers to successfully penetrate these categories with private label.
  • Consumers’ perception of private label quality is consistently high across U.S. regions and channels. Some regional variations do exist, which are driven by best-in-class regional retailers.

“The evolution of the U.S. private label market has accelerated in the face of growing financial turmoil,” stated Sean Seitzinger, senior vice president, IRI consulting and innovation. “As shoppers opt out of some products and stores, they will opt into others. It is critical for the ongoing success of CPG manufacturers and retailers to not only react to, but anticipate these trends and be ready with products, assortments and store layouts that meet the shopper’s changing needs.”

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NACDS awards top honors to industry leaders at annual meeting

BY Allison Cerra

PALM BEACH, Fla. At its annual meeting, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced the 2009 recipients of chain pharmacy’s most prestigious honors – the Sheldon W. Fantle Lifetime Achievement Award and the Robert B. Begley Award.

James Mastrian received the Sheldon W. Fantle Lifetime Achievement Award, and Harvey Alstodt received the Robert B. Begley Award. They were both applauded at the NACDS Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., by family, friends and colleagues.

Past NACDS board of director James Mastrian was honored with the Sheldon W. Fantle Lifetime Achievement Award for his exceptional accomplishments and contributions to the chain drug industry. Mastrian’s successful career of more than 40 years spans from starting as a pharmacy intern with Peoples Drug, to becoming COO of Rite Aid Corp. The Lifetime Achievement Award — established in 1989 — was renamed in 1996 in honor of the late Sheldon “Bud” Fantle.

Harvey Alstodt was presented with the Robert B. Begley Award, which recognizes an individual with the qualities of generous spirit and long-time service to the chain drug industry.  Alstodt’s career includes over 40 years in the industry. He served both the industry and his fellow man on a number of boards and committees, including the executive board of the Boy Scouts. The Begley Award — established in 1980 — is named in memory of former NACDS Chairman of the Board Robert B. Begley.

“Jim and Harvey are great men whose leadership, service, commitment and dedication have well-served our industry and the patients and consumers it serves,” said NACDS president, CEO Steve Anderson.  “We are truly honored to give these two hard-working and successful industry leaders the recognition they deserve, and to benefit the entire industry with the inspiration of their examples.”

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Pure & Petal launches travel size hair fragrance

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTREAL Pure & Petal has introduced its new travel-size hair fragrance that women can take with them wherever they go, including the airplane or gym.

The refillable 0.1-ounce fragrance comes packaged in a set with the full-sized 4-ounce fragrance and a tiny funnel for refilling the little bottle. The set retails for $49.99 and is sold at select retailers across the United States and Canada, as well as at www.purepetal.com.

The hair fragrances are available in four scents: Sublime Citrus, Heavenly Clean, Linden Blossom and Summer Passion.

“In these tough economic times, Pure & Petal wanted to give clients a good value,” stated Elizabeth Pyshnov, founder of the Montreal-based company. “The refillable fragrance saves clients money by eliminating the need to buy a new package every time, and it keeps our landfills free of unnecessary repeat packaging.”

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