Health-and-wellness assortment for new, expecting moms grows

In the healthcare space, it’s a long-held tenet that female heads of household, aka moms, are the primary purchasers of the OTC remedies and balms that cure ailments. So, why not capture her loyalty from the beginning — or even before the beginning?

One of the category opportunities that Drug Store News has seen emerge in the past year is fertility, with products that support the health and wellness of mom — before and during her pregnancy. For first-time mothers, this can be a period of intense research and exploration around which products are available to help her along her journey. For suppliers and retailers, it’s an opportunity to lock in what could become a very loyal consumer.

“Capturing a new mom is extremely valuable, as it gives you the opportunity to provide the entire household with products if the mom trusts your brand,” said Dan Aziz, president of Luna Pharmaceuticals. “New moms are open to trying new brands and switching brand loyalty. For us, we have the opportunity to capture this customer for a 24-month period (before, during and after pregnancy) and have her buy several of our products in tandem, every month. [That creates] multiple trips to stores and larger baskets — which our retailers love.”

The need for proper nutrition and supplementation is profound. According to a study published earlier this year in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, many healthy maternal diets have been linked to reduced risks of preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, preeclampsia and maternal obesity. Yet fewer than 10% of the women who participated in the study met the dietary guideline for the whole grains, fatty acids, sodium or empty calories categories.

According to Aziz, the average U.S. family spends roughly $15,000 from trying to conceive to the first year of an infant’s life. With 4.5 million pregnancies each year, that makes for a market potential of more than $52 billion.

And that market extends beyond supplement solutions to potential conception wearables. Earlier this year, Ava submitted a report to Scientific Reports stating the Ava bracelet detected the five most fertile days of a woman’s cycle. “What many women and their partners don’t realize is that a woman can only get pregnant five days before ovulation
and the day of ovulation itself,” said professor Brigitte Leeners, lead researcher from the University Hospital of Zurich. “Ava is the first technology that uses temperature, resting pulse rate and other parameters — including heart rate variability, sleep and bioimpedance — to provide a convenient and accurate at-home method to identify the beginning of the fertile window.”

The market also may extend beyond what many consider to be the ideal age for a “new mom.” Last year, Rainbow Light added the 35+ Mom & Baby prenatal multivitamin to its lineup because giving birth after 35 years of age is more common than ever — up 24% in the past 30 years, according to the company. Taking into account the unique health requirements of moms older than 35 years of age, Rainbow Light formulated a supplement to support an older new mom’s healthy blood-sugar levels while promoting circulation.

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