Q&A: The scoop on 

Bill Tullis, Pharmavite

Earlier this year, Pharmavite named Bill Tullis its new EVP sales, succeeding Skip Aldridge. Drug Store News caught up with Tullis to get his take on how the supplement industry is trending. 

DSN: What are the trends today — the hot product categories and users? 

Bill Tullis: According to Nielsen ScanTrack scanning data (the total U.S. food, drug and mass, excluding Walmart and BJ’s), all major [vitamin, mineral and supplement] segments continue to experience sales growth, although the rate of growth has slowed in 2011. Vitamins and minerals are up 6.6%, and nonherbal supplement segments represent less than their fair share of VMS category growth. Letter vitamins, up 16%, are performing strongly compared to vitamin and mineral segment growth. 

Vitamin D was the fastest-growing segment in the VMS market in 2010 — up 73% [for the] 52 weeks ended Dec. 25 and continuing momentum in 2011, up by 49% to date [for the] 52 weeks ended April 16. 

Vitamin B is up 14% [for the] 52 weeks ended April 16. Along with the overall popularity of this vitamin group, consumers are seeking formulas at higher strengths. 

Fish oil is up 11.3% [for the] 52 weeks ended April 16. The growing trend in this category is with omega combos, which, per Nielsen, is up 143% [for the] 52 weeks ended April 16. 

DSN: How do you plan to position Pharmavite to capitalize on those opportunities?

Tullis: [Pharmavite] has access to multiple sources from which the brand can deliver strategic insights to retail partners and buyers in order to drive category sales and turn consumer trends into buyer conversion. [Pharmavite also] understands the value of attitudinal shopper insights and utilizes various tools to analyze this important information and to develop strategic consumer based initiatives ... that help retailer partners meet consumer expectations.

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