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C&D on hunt for next blockbuster acquisition opportunity

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON — Church & Dwight is on the hunt for its next acquisition, after having successfully integrated its gummy vitamin line from Avid Health, chairman and CEO James Craigie told analysts at the 2013 Barclays Back-to-School Consumer Conference held here Tuesday. 

And C&D may be as few as three years away from fielding an OTC product in a gummy format. 

"I sometimes think, honestly, acquisition is one of the greatest strengths for my company," Craigie said. "We will only buy a No. 1 or 2 share brand [and] we want brands that are higher growth, higher margins," he said. C&D is also patient, Craigie said. "We waited two-and-a-half years for our Avid acquisition since our last big acquisition [before that], which was Orajel."

Regarding the Avid Health line of gummy vitamins, Craigie continues to be bullish. "Here is a $7 billion category with consistent strong growth [with] 57% of adults using nutritional supplements," he said. "And with the aging trends and the healthcare trends this will continue to grow very strong."

Church & Dwight fields the No. 1 kids vitamin brand in L’il Critters, which fields a 64% marketshare, Craigie said. And while its adult line, Vitafusion, only has a 5% share, the adult opportunity is much greater. "The kids business is wonderful but the adult business, the category is 20 times the size of the kids business," he said. "The adult side [of gummy vitamins] is growing at 57% in the recent time period."

Overall, sales of vitamins are up 7%, Craigie noted. Avid Health products are outpacing that with 34% growth in the past year. 

Beyond gummy vitamins, there may be an opportunity within gummy OTCs, Craigie added. "Why can’t we take the gummy form and go to other OTC categories that are out there — aspirin, cough and cold, allergies … especially for kids," he said. "That’s not easy to do, we have to mask the bad flavors in many situations, we have to keep the active ingredient inside the product," he acknowledged. "But we see that as a good opportunity which we hopefully can start to leverage three or five years from now."


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Pharmavite expands VitaMelts line with both a multi and a hair, skin and nails offering

BY Michael Johnsen

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — Pharmavite on Wednesday announced the expansion of its Nature Made VitaMelts product line to include Nature Made VitaMelts Multi in a tropical fruit flavor and Nature Made VitaMelts Hair, Skin & Nails in a strawberry lemonade flavor.

"At Nature Made we set high standards for our products and are committed to producing unique and innovative offerings that not only diversify the brand’s portfolio, but further improve and enhance the vitamin experience for our consumers," stated Erin Gehan, VP marketing Pharmavite. "VitaMelts melt smoothly in your mouth without water, so they’re easy to take on the go and enjoy anytime, anywhere. With the additions of VitaMelts Multi and VitaMelts Hair, Skin & Nails, consumers can further meet their daily value of essential nutrients with a great-tasting and convenient vitamin supplement."

Nature Made VitaMelts Multi is formulated with 12 key vitamins to support the daily nutritional needs of both men and women, and contains 100% daily value of vitamins A, C, E and B and 1000 IU of vitamin D per serving.

Nature Made VitaMelts Hair, Skin & Nails is formulated with 2500 mcg of biotin, which may help support healthy hair, skin and nails, and 60 mg of vitamin C, which supports collagen production, per serving.

The latest additions of VitaMelts Multi and VitaMelts Hair, Skin & Nails will be available this fall at major retailers, including CVS and Target. The Nature Made VitaMelts line initially launched with six offerings in fall 2012: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Energy, Sleep and Relax.


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ViiV Healthcare expands funding for HIV/AIDS organizations in South

BY Alaric DeArment

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — A joint venture founded by GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer focused on treatments for HIV has expanded its support of community organizations in the South.

ViiV Healthcare announced Wednesday the first recipients of grants under its Positive Action Southern Initiative in Texas and Virginia, as well as seven grant awards to current network members in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Recipients could receive up to $50,000 per year for a provisional commitment over the next two years to support and expand existing programs focused on linking people with HIV and at risk of contracting it to prevention and care services or enhancing their treatment adherence and delaying disease progression. The program has donated more than $2.3 million since its 2010 founding. GSK and Pfizer formed ViiV in late 2009, and Shionogi joined as a 10% shareholder in October 2012.

The recipients include the San Antonio AIDS Foundation, San Antonio; International AIDS Empowerment, El Paso, Texas; AIDS/HIV Services Group, Charlottesville, Va.; Basic NWFL, Panama City, Fla.; Big Bend Cares Inc., Tallahassee, Fla.; Rural Women’s Health Project, Gainesville, Fla.; Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network, Jacksonville, Fla.; Nashville CARES, Nashville, Tenn.; South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council, Columbia, S.C.; and Western North Carolina AIDS Project, Asheville, N.C.

"Over the past three years, we’ve witnessed the power of innovative community programming as an effective way of providing strong HIV education, local hands-on support to the HIV community and resources that greatly impact disease prevention in the southern U.S.," ViiV Healthcare SVP and general manager for North America Bill Collier said. "We have seen the impressive results our partners on the ground have achieved thus far and are excited to expand on this important work and build on the foundation that has been established by providing renewed funding as well as welcoming new organizations to the network."

The expansion into Texas and Virginia is designed to reduce disparities in HIV and AIDS care and treatment among disproportionately affected African-American and Latino populations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the South represents 45% of all new AIDS diagnoses, with new infection rates highest among African-Americans and Latinos.


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