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Church & Dwight acquires Vitafusion, L’il Critters line of gummy supplements

BY Michael Johnsen

PRINCETON, N.J. – Church & Dwight on Monday became the latest large-scale CPG company to field a line of gummy vitamins with its acquisition of Avid Health for $650 million in cash.

“The acquisition of Avid’s gummy vitamins business represents a great addition to our existing portfolio and brings to our company a new growth platform in one of the fastest-growing segments of the attractive vitamin/mineral/supplement category," stated James Craigie, Church & Dwight chairman and CEO. "It is also consistent with our strategy of strengthening our business by adding No. 1 or No. 2 brands in areas of high growth potential.”

Avid’s net sales for the trailing 12 months through June 30, 2012 were approximately $230 million. Avid’s major brands are the adult gummy vitamins Vitafusion and the line of children’s gummy vitamins L’il Critters.

Gummy vitamins formulated for adults has been trending in the supplement space. Pharmavite earlier this year launched a line of gummy supplements that included a multivitamin, a fish oil, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin D, B-Complex and a CoQ10 formulation.

The Church & Dwight/Avid Health transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions, is expected to close early in the fourth quarter, the company stated.

 

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Bayer Aspirin emphasizes role of internal analgesic

BY Michael Johnsen

Bayer has been stepping up its game behind its Bayer Advanced Aspirin brand in an attempt to recreate its brand identity from a healthy heart supplement for people who’ve had a heart attack to what Bayer Aspirin had been in its heyday: the internal analgesic of choice.

According to a Bayer survey, only 8% of respondents reported taking aspirin more often than other OTC pain relievers. Whatever they’re doing, it’s working. Bayer Advanced sales totaled $5 million, up 66.4% for the 12 weeks ended July 8, according to SymphonyIRI Group across food, drug and mass (minus Walmart).

In June, Bayer tapped New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia for a consumer challenge and sweepstakes as part of its Fast Relief Challenge, which asks consumers to try Bayer Advanced Aspirin for pain relief and provide feedback on how it worked for them. For every consumer rating received, Bayer will donate $1 to the American Red Cross, up to a total of $50,000.

“Outside of the United States, Bayer’s Aspirin is one of the top brands consumers turn to again and again for tough pain relief,” stated Reese Fitzpatrick, Bayer Aspirin director of marketing, when first announcing the Fast Relief Challenge in the spring. “In the United States, aspirin’s pain-relief heritage has to a large extent been forgotten, with many consumers only thinking of its heart benefits,” he said. “Bayer Advanced Aspirin was developed to provide the fast pain relief consumers want. We’re confident that consumers will see just how effective the product is when they try it.”

 

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Analgesics Sell-Through Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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Personalization makes mark on BTS spending

BY Barbara White-Sax

Despite an economy that’s still in the doldrums, the back-to-school season means parents will once again open their wallets for the annual shopping ritual. “We expect spending to be up again modestly this BTS season — most likely in the low- to mid-single digits,” said Perry James, president of the NPD Group division that follows the category.

James sees product personalization still driving the school supplies category. He said consumers are willing to pay more for products they can customize. “Products that allow consumers to show their individual style, such as patterned Duck brand duct tape and Sharpie Fabric markers, have become popular,” he said.

Mechanical pencils still are strong, James said, with high single-digit growth. “Mechanical pencils continue to be very popular for back to school, and parents are willing to spend more money on them as opposed to traditional wood-cased pencils,” said Susan Lanzarotto, director of stationery marketing at BIC Consumer Products USA.

Lanzarotto said colors and bold writing also are driving the segment. BIC has introduced BIC Cristal Bold and BIC Velocity Bold ballpoint pens, which feature a 1.6-mm ballpoint for extra-smooth and extra-bold writing. BIC’s Shimmers and Velocity ball pens in assorted fashion inks also address the fashion trend.

On the home-office front, James said that as companies become more accepting of working at home, a boom in small office/home offices has begun — a trend NPD calls SOHO. Drug stores, James said, are in an ideal position to capitalize on the trend since they are high-traffic, high-
frequency outlets.

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Back To School Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

 

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