HEALTH

Consumer trust intact as McNeil brands like Tylenol return back to shelf

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — McNeil Consumer Healthcare has about 75% of its consumer brands back on shelf, Dominic Caruso, Johnson & Johnson VP finance and CFO, told attendees of the Cowen and Company Health Care Conference on Tuesday. 

"We are schedule to restore our reliable supply of products in the OTC marketplace," he said. "You should start seeing more Tylenol Children’s advertising on TV. That’s a good sign. It means we are confident that the products now are not only back on the shelves but they are back on the shelves in a reliable manner."

And consumers still trust McNeil’s venerable brand names, such as Tylenol. "The various trusts … remain strong," Caruso said. "We’re communicating with consumers as these products are back on the shelf. And I’m happy to tell you that once they are back on the shelf … consumers are readopting these products as a main stay in their regimen."

The proof of Tylenol’s successful return to market is in the sales. For the 52 weeks ended Dec. 29, 2013, sales of Tylenol internal analgesic tablets were up 39.9% to $200.1 million across U.S. multi-outlet, according to IRI. McNeil is successfully converting consumers back to brand — sales of private label internal analgesic tablets totaled almost $1.3 billion, but were down 3.8%, in part because of the return of Tylenol. 

Consumer sales accounts for approximately 20% of J&J sales overall, Caruso said, with the division generating nearly $15 billion in sales and growing at a 3% clip. "We have in fact restored reliable supplier products in the market," he said. "We have really 12 major brands that we’re investing behind which we think are the major growth engines in this business."

 

 

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Norwest Equity Partners acquires Apothecary Products

BY Michael Johnsen

MINNEAPOLIS — Norwest Equity Partners on Monday announced that it has acquired Apothecary Products from Terry Noble, founder and CEO of Apothecary. The transaction closed Feb. 28, 2014; financial terms were not disclosed.

Apothecary offers its customers a one-stop-shop solution with both over-the-counter consumer health products and behind-the-counter pharmacy supplies, spanning across three categories, including pharmacy supply, medication management and home health care.

"NEP’s investment capital, coupled with their experience in the consumer healthcare products industry and working with family-owned businesses, will help Apothecary continue to achieve its growth plans and mission of designing and sourcing the most innovative and critical pharmacy products available.” Post-transaction, Noble will remain as an Apothecary investor.

NEP has been investing in middle market companies since 1961 and has experience working with both Minnesota-based companies, as well as companies focused within the consumer products and services industry. Notable Minnesota-based investments over the years include Life Time Fitness, Shock Doctor, Minnesota Rubber & Plastics, Gopher Resource, Norwesco, Select Comfort and Lindstrom Metric.

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Clif Bar introduces Clif Mojo Fruit & Nut and Clif Mojo Dark Chocolate

BY Michael Johnsen

EMERYVILLE, Calif. — Clif Bar & Co. on Monday introduced its latest line of snack bars — Clif Mojo Fruit & Nut and Clif Mojo Dark Chocolate. Crafted with 70% organic ingredients, Clif Mojo Fruit & Nut and Clif Mojo Dark Chocolate deliver a convenient and gluten-free snack that supports today’s on-the-go lifestyle, Clif Bar noted. 

“At Clif Bar & Company, we aim to create quality organic food that people love to eat, nourishes their active lives and is good for them and the planet,” stated Kevin Cleary, CEO Clif Bar & Co. “Our athletes and foodies joined forces in the Clif Kitchen to build a better snack bar by carefully selecting and combining high-quality ingredients that taste great and are nutritious.”

People are increasingly recognizing the advantages of food made with organic ingredients, Clif Bar said. A survey released in January 2013, conducted by the Organic Trade Association, found that 81% of U.S. households surveyed said that they are purchasing organic food. To date, the total organic ingredient usage for Clif Bar & Company totals more than 425 million pounds.

All five flavors of Clif Mojo Fruit & Nut and Clif Mojo Dark Chocolate are 200 calories or less, low glycemic and a good source of fiber. Suggested retail price for a single bar is $1.49, while a multipack of five bars should sell for $5.99.

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