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Category awakens with energetic sales

A Target store in Harrisburg, Pa., recently featured a sleep aid endcap to capitalize on the growth in the category.

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With the launch of Procter & Gamble's ZzzQuil, a relatively quiet sleep category has exploded with energy this year. A lot of that has to do with the $121.1 million in sales that ZzzQuil — both tablet and liquid formulations — has generated this year.

But that doesn't explain everything. The entire category is up nearly $145 million. For the 52 weeks ended June 16 across total U.S. multi-outlets, IRI measured a 707.4% lift in sleep liquid sales to $89.7 million. The slightly larger category of sleep tablets realized a 29.8% lift in sales to $294.2 million.

"[Sleep] is definitely one of the higher-growth areas that we've seen recently," noted Laura Mahecha, industry manager at Kline's Healthcare practice. It had been on a strong trajectory over the past few years, Mahecha said, "but ZzzQuil really bumped it up."

And it's not the only sleep brand with a strong growth trajectory. "The MidNite brand, a more natural sleep aid, continues to do well," Mahecha said. "People like it because of the claim that they'll 'wake alert.'"

MidNite's introduction of MidNite for Menopause as a line extension was recognized as one of Parade magazine's 2013 Products of the Year.

Meda Consumer Healthcare, which acquired the MidNite brand in late 2012, also trades on the "other side of the aisle" with its alertness brand Vivarin. Vivarin will be undergoing a package redesign this fall, Kimberly Brown, Vivarin brand manager, told DSN. "Focused on gaining relevancy in the lives of young adults, the brand is embracing a lifestyle marketing approach that includes new TV [and] pop-culture events."

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