February 18, 2011

Rising commodity costs and brutal competition have been squeezing profits from the ready-to-eat cereal category.

February 18, 2011

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — Prestige Brands became one of the first cough-cold marketers to develop a branded smart-phone app to help moms hone in on the most appropriate 
PediaCare remedy for their sick children. It’s not a bad play; a recent Millennial Media report indicated that in 2010, 32% of moms owned a smart phone, versus 20% in 2009.


February 18, 2011

All the hype around H1N1 
that was so prevalent in 2009 is gone, leaving only the tough comparisons a year later.

February 18, 2011

Move over Snuggie and ShamWow — more direct-response products are coming to retail.

February 18, 2011

HAZLETON, Pa. — Troy Healthcare in January acquired the distribution of its Stopain brand, an external analgesic Troy has been manufacturing since 2002 that is already an up-and-coming pain-relief spray. The brand cracked the top 10 list of external analgesic rubs for the 12 weeks ended Dec. 26, 2010, moving into the No. 10 spot with $1.3 million in sales across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), according to SymphonyIRI Group data. SKU growth of 16.1% in that period also is outpacing category growth of 11.3%.


February 18, 2011

Generic drug usage already has been on the rise year after year, with no sign of slowing down. As Jody Fisher, VP marketing for healthcare analytics at market research firm SDI, has told Drug Store News, generics accounted for more than 70% of products dispensed at retail pharmacies and are set to increase further this year.


February 18, 2011

Gojo Industries this past fall reacquired its Purell hand-sanitizer brand from Johnson & Johnson and is currently putting the pieces in place to reassume a category leadership role for waterless hand washing.


The endeavor is not without its challenges. Today, hand sanitizers are a highly commoditized category. And though sanitizers certainly benefited from increased awareness associated with last year’s H1N1 pandemic, that awareness didn’t translate into sales; the $100-million-plus category is down 35.4% in 2010, according to SymphonyIRI Group data. 


February 18, 2011

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — McNeil Consumer’s absence from cough-cold and analgesic aisles, including several pediatric formulations, will extend into the fourth quarter, Johnson and Johnson executives told analysts in January. 


February 18, 2011

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens this month rounded out the pharmacy purchasing team led by Jeff Berkowitz, who joined the company in the fall as SVP pharmaceutical development and market access.


February 18, 2011

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in December ruled in favor of Wegmans and supermarkets across the state over whether or not the grocers could sell beer on their premises — the ruling expands what many consider to be the most restrictive alcohol distribution laws in the country. 


In Pennsylvania, beer can be purchased only from a restaurant/bar or beer distributor. Beer distributors can sell only by the case or keg, while restaurants and bars cannot sell more than 16 12-oz. beers per purchase. 


February 18, 2011

Consumers may have a bit more to spend for the 2011 back-to-school season, so retailers should tweak their merchandise plans to accommodate.


February 18, 2011

When ScriptPro started 
in­troducing pharmacy robots, it entered an industry where the pharmacist was mostly dolling out medications. Today, pharmacy automation and technology continue to evolve, freeing pharmacists’ time and taking on everything from workflow automation to smart-phone applications.

February 18, 2011

Dollar sales in the snack/granola bar category have grown nearly 8% in the past year, according to Sue Viamari, editor of Symphony­IRI Group’s Times and Trends report.

February 18, 2011

SUPPLIER NEWS — Pacific World is launching exclusively at Walmart in March its new GeoGirl eco-friendly beauty line for tweens. The 69-SKU collection, which has suggested retail pricing between $3.98 and $5.98, includes makeup for face, lips, cheeks and eyes, as well as skin and body care. The formulas are made with 100%-natural fragrances, and the packaging is made of recyc­lable materials.



February 18, 2011

SUPPLIER NEWS — Drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to certain formulations of a GlaxoSmithKline drug used to treat cold sores. Valeant acquired the rights to nonophthalmic topical formulations of Zovirax (acyclovir) from GSK for $300 million through its Canadian subsidiary, Biovail Labs.



February 18, 2011

SUPPLIER NEWS — Australian winemaker Daryl Groom and Walgreens have launched a new table wine blend in line with American Heart Month. Colby Red, which was developed in partnership with Treasury Wine Estates, is dedicated to raising awareness for heart disease. The wine is named after Groom’s son, who was born with a hole in his heart and has undergone multiple surgeries to treat the defect.

February 18, 2011

SUPPLIER NEWS — Marcal has reformulated its Small Steps line, which is made of 100% recycled paper, the company said. Marcal Small Steps paper towels now are stronger when wet, while Marcal Small Steps two-ply bath tissue is softer. The company also will reformulate its facial tissues.



February 18, 2011

GUILFORD, Conn. — Mitchell-Vance Labs this past fall launched a new scar product to add to its ScarAway lineup appealing to a whole other segment of women in search of scar therapy: ScarAway for C-sections. 


February 18, 2011

Judging by the numbers, the wobbly economy largely has benefited the men’s grooming segment.


February 18, 2011

NEW YORK — The second half of the 2010-2011 cough-cold-flu season actually may realize greater sales of symptom relievers than last year, judging from the four weeks ended Dec. 26. According to Matrixx president and CEO Bill Hemelt, sales of remedies were on the rise in those four weeks. Hemelt noted that the total cough-cold category was 5% higher than the same period last year and growing. 


February 18, 2011



Americans are hard-pressed these days to call in sick, especially for something as innocuous as a cold or even the flu. A recent CareerBuilder survey found that nearly 72% of workers typically go to work when they are sick. Workplace pressures and “presenteeism” may be causing workers to go in under the weather, as more than half (55%) of workers said they feel guilty if they call in sick.


The CareerBuilder survey was conducted nationwide from Nov. 15 to Dec. 2, 2010, among more than 3,700 workers.


February 18, 2011

Homeopathy products, especially in the cough-cold space, appear to be doing very well. That’s good news in and of itself, but according to recent Boiron research, it gets better: People who place homeopathy in their market baskets tend to buy more by the time they get to the checkout.


February 18, 2011

A recent Prestige Brands survey linked certain professions to a propensity for sore throats. The careers most commonly associated with sore-throat pain were singers (53%) and auctioneers (40%). Healthcare workers (47%) and teachers (37%) also were perceived to be at risk due to their potential exposure to airborne illnesses. Almost 3-out-of-4 of those sore-throat sufferers also were under the weather from a cold or flu.

February 18, 2011

FAIRFIELD, Calif. — Jelly Belly’s new Peas & Carrots mellowcreme mix is a whimsical, retro product that has been revived right from the company’s antique candy molds. The “baby carrots” in the mix are orange sherbet mellowcreme, while the “peas” are green apple flavor — a sweet version of a classic veggie combination.