All eyes focus on natural remedies
Consumers are gravitating toward more natural eye and ear care products that have fewer chemical additives, industry observers said.
The shift comes amid increasing demand for eye care products overall, as the baby boomer population ages and younger consumers seek options for treating various eye irritations resulting from allergies, prolonged exposure to computer screens and other factors.
Some retailers have begun making it easier for consumers to find natural OTC eye and ear care products, including CVS, which is adding “alternative choices” shelf signage to highlight brands with natural active ingredients, according to Yann Pigeaire, director of marketing at Switzerland-based Similasan, which offers a range of eye drops with natural active ingredients.
“Consumers are looking for relief from a variety of different ailments, such as dry eyes, allergies, styes, etc.,” he said. “Some consumers also seek the convenience or preservative-free aspect of single-use vials.”
Eye and lens care solutions tallied more than $1.7 billion in sales for the 52 weeks ended June 11, according to IRI, an increase of 1.3% over the prior-year period.
The growth was led by category leader Alcon Laboratories — a division of Novartis AG based in Fort Worth, Texas — which saw sales growth of 6.2% in the period, with sales of $537.9 million, or about 30.9% of the total category sales. The company’s Clear Care Plus product, introduced in 2015, more than doubled its sales in the 52-week span, to $32.3 million, an increase of 113.5%.
Earlier this year, Alcon released a survey showing that 81% of patients said their contact lenses felt like new after using Clear Care Plus, compared with 24% of habitual users of multi-purpose solutions. In addition, 83% said they would continue to use Clear Care Plus, and the same percentage said they would recommend the product to others.
Clear Care Plus leverages the cleaning power of hydrogen peroxide, then neutralizes into a saline solution “without the chemical preservatives found in other solutions,” the company said.
In addition, Alcon’s Systane brand includes lubricant eye drops in preservative-free vials, appealing to consumers seeking more natural solutions to eye care.
Bausch + Lomb’s Biotrue multi-purpose contact lens solution also touts its natural composition as a selling point. The product “works like your eyes with the same lubricant they have naturally and the same pH as healthy tears,” said the company, which is a division of Laval, Quebec-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International.
“There has not been a significant amount of innovation in this category lately,” said Similasan’s Pigeaire. “Similasan Redness and Itchy eye relief has been gaining momentum at our drug retailers in the past year. Other than that, legacy brands continue to grow with existing products.”
Sales of ear drops and treatments rose 1.1% in the 52 weeks ended June 11, according to IRI, led by sales growth in products from Medtech Products and Hylands. Similasan also saw growth in its eardrops in the period, according to IRI data.
What do prediabetics, puppies, hedgehogs and baby goats all have in common?
NEW YORK — Building on a successful campaign that helped hundreds of thousands of Americans learn their risk of developing type 2 diabetes through campaign messaging and an online risk test, the first-of-its-kind initiative to raise national awareness of prediabetes returns with an entertaining new approach. The new campaign, launched earlier this week, encourages viewers to take a one-minute prediabetes risk test to know where they stand and discover how they can decrease their risk of developing type 2 diabetes — and it does so with some adorable helpers.
More than one in three American adults has prediabetes — a serious health condition that often leads to type 2 diabetes and other significant health conditions like blindness, heart attack or stroke. According to newly released CDC data, however, nearly 90% of the 84 million people with prediabetes don't know they have it and aren't aware of the long-term risks to their health. Currently, about 30 million Americans are living with diabetes.
The new campaign, once again developed pro bono by Ogilvy New York for the Ad Council campaign, features puppies, hedgehogs and baby goats. The new, lighthearted PSAs offer viewers a "perfect way to spend a minute" where they can learn where they stand by taking the one-minute prediabetes risk test while also doing something everyone loves — watching adorable animal videos. The campaign highlights that it's important to speak with a doctor and visit DoIHavePrediabetes.org to learn more about prediabetes.
The positive message behind the campaign is that prediabetes can often be reversed by making everyday lifestyle changes. Diagnosis is key, as research shows that people who are aware of their condition are more likely to make the necessary long-term lifestyle changes that can help delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. This includes losing weight and adopting new habits such as healthy eating and physical activity. Prediabetes can be a health wake-up call for many.
"The number of Americans estimated to be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes is staggering," stated William Cefalu, M.D., chief scientific, medical and mission officer of the American Diabetes Association. "By working together with these esteemed organizations, we hope to heighten awareness about prediabetes and help more Americans learn their risk so they can make the lifestyle changes necessary to reduce their risk and delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes."
"Through this campaign, we want to not only ensure that more people learn whether they have prediabetes, but we also want to emphasize the importance of talking with their physician as soon as they discover they may be at risk for the condition," added AMA president David Barbe. "After taking the risk test, we encourage anyone who learns they may be at risk for prediabetes to consult their doctor to confirm their diagnosis and learn about lifestyle changes that will help them prevent type 2 diabetes."
The PSAs encourage people to take a short online test at DoIHavePrediabetes.org and learn their risk. The campaign website also features lifestyle tips and links to CDC's National Diabetes Prevention Program, which connects visitors to a registry of CDC-recognized programs across the country. Per the Ad Council's model, all media will run entirely in donated time and space.
"Last year's work for our type 2 diabetes awareness campaign was such a hit with its combination of humor and the real-time prediabetes risk test. It led to a remarkable number of people learning where they stand with prediabetes," said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council. "This year's concept builds on that work with its adorable and quirky animal stars, and we think it will be incredibly effective in continuing to build awareness around a condition that affects so many Americans."
The campaign will also include a special radio PSA featuring NBA player Julius Randle. Randle, whose mother has type 2 diabetes, discusses simple actionable steps to help reverse prediabetes and avoid the kind of scare he experienced when an unexpected diagnosis of type 2 diabetes impacted his family.
The ADA, AMA and CDC are also working with their local offices, affiliates and partners to promote and activate the campaign in their communities, with evidence-based materials to aid physicians and other health care providers to aid in the screening, diagnosis and treatment process.
CRN’s Supplement OWL recognized by ASAE with industry award
WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Wednesday announced that the Supplement OWL (Online Wellness Library), the dietary supplement product registry, is the recipient of a 2017 Power of A Silver Award.
The Power of A Awards, presented by the American Society of Association Executives, showcases association initiatives that leverage their resources to solve problems, advance industry and professional performance, kick-start innovation and improve world conditions.
“We thank ASAE for honoring the Supplement OWL with a Silver Award,” stated Steve Mister, president and CEO, CRN. “This award is something the entire industry can be proud of, as the registry is the product of our collective collaboration and desire to improve ourselves from within. Proactive, effective self-regulation deserves to be acknowledged, and we appreciate ASAE for recognizing this important, industry-wide program.”
The Supplement OWL was one of 32 Power of A Silver award winners this year, out of a total 149 submissions. Winning entries include programs from all corners of the association world, and are evaluated on reach, how the initiative embodies the power of associations, and the overall objective and outcome. The Power of A Awards were first launched by ASAE in 2009 to increase awareness about issues pertinent to associations and to spotlight the expertise and resources available for policymakers and other key audiences.
"As the Supplement OWL gains momentum within the industry and among stakeholders, I hope this award further motivates companies to participate in the registry,” Mister said. "Despite having only just launched in April, the Supplement OWL is already being recognized for its merits and potential benefits. The OWL is still maturing, but this award speaks to its great potential and the impressive progress it has made in only a few months.”
The Supplement OWL is an industry-wide dietary supplement product registry that will help create a more accurate and complete picture of the supplement marketplace for regulators, retailers and industry. The Supplement OWL will serve as an online resource for a variety of stakeholders to identify products, their ingredients and the companies who market them, and permit registry users to examine and evaluate labels and other product information, CRN reported.
CRN has spearheaded the effort by coordinating a collection of companies who provided design and conceptual vision, providing the initial funding and project management and implementing a marketing campaign to raise awareness in the industry. Partnering with CRN, UL, a global independent safety science company, is developing and administering the registry and the technology that will drive the Supplement OWL.