Segmenting by need keeps sales moving

Segmenting foot care by calling out products specifically targeting women is still a viable strategy for a category presently climbing at a 2.8% clip toward $672.7 million in device sales for the 52 weeks ended July 14 across total U.S. multi-outlets, according to IRI.

(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)

According to the 2012 National Foot Health Assessment commissioned by the Institute for Preventative Foot Health, more than l-in-4 consumers complain of overall foot fatigue or achy feet, with women significantly more likely to report having an adverse foot experience.

Creating differentiation by need, such as sports and fitness for the weekend warrior, is another way foot care devices has been segmented. Merck features a whole line of orthotics under the Dr. Scholl's Active Series line "designed for athletes."

But there are other possible segmentations yet to be tapped — plantar fasciitis, for example. "We're now giving the customer an option to address the plantar fasciitis issue. We're excited about it," noted Steve Head, EVP Implus.

Plantar fasciitis is experienced by 2 million people at any one time and is the most common source for heel pain, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. And the condition has more and more frequently appeared on the sports page of many newspapers with a number of professional athletes sporting the condition. The list includes Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels, Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates and NBA stars Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers and Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls, as recently reported by USA Today.

"It's getting a lot of press," Head said. "[And that] gets people exposed to the fact that the issue is out there and that they're not alone."

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