Bayer extends antacid line with fruit chews

There can't be too many tried-and-true, immediate-action calcium carbonate formulations among heartburn remedies, no matter how many proton-pump inhibitors dot that shelf's landscape. At least that's what Bayer Consumer is counting on with its line extension of Alka Seltzer Fruit Chews.

And it's not a bad bet. GlaxoSmithKline's Tums brand recently won accolades for its latest line extension; Tums Freshers was named 2013 Product of the Year in the OTC Relief category as part of a survey of more than 50,000 people conducted by global research firm TNS. The brand also was voted the most innovative OTC product launch in the past year as part of DSN's 2012 Innovies awards.

Tums represents the No. 2 brand in the heartburn category, behind Prilosec OTC. Further, Tums continues to grow at a 4.1% clip, even as the category is down 1.6% across total U.S. multi-outlets for the 12 weeks ended April 21, according to IRI. In fact, sales of all PPIs have been trending down for that 12-week period.

Bayer and GSK may have another PPI switch to contend with in the near future. Pfizer has been shepherding Nexium through the Rx-to-OTC switch process since it bought OTC sales rights to the brand in August.

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Digestives Sell-Through Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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