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Consumers still sweet on chocolate candy

BY Barbara White-Sax

While it’s tough to be an indulgent food in a health-conscious society, chocolate candy is still seeing growth in a few key segments. While the category is finding its balance between satisfying a loyal base of consumers looking for a guilty pleasure and an increased national focus on healthy eating, new segments are emerging. Unreal, for example, is a preservative-free, natural chocolate with 25% less sugar than traditional chocolates.

Portion control is also a focus, but it’s re-sealable bag chocolates, not portion-controlled packages, that are generating growth, according to Mintel. Larry Lupo, VP of sales for convenience and drug channels at Mars Chocolate North America, called bite-size unwrapped chocolate "a major trend." "These bags offer convenience and portability, and they’re easy to share," he said.

The seasonal segment also offers growth opportunity. According to Mintel’s research, nearly three-quarters of chocolate consumers think seasonal chocolates are a fun way to celebrate the holidays; another 45% think that there should be seasonal chocolates available for more holidays.

"The opportunity to continue expanding the seasonal chocolates market is there, but chocolate companies need to be able to offer consumers more choices without raising prices," the study said. Lupo said that seasonal confectionery sales continue to grow at Mars, especially seasonally-themed singles. This year, Mars will introduce Snickers Peanut Butter Pumpkins for Halloween, Twix Santas for Christmas and Twix Hearts for Valentine’s Day 2014.

Drug stores, according to a recent study from National Confectioners Association, have the biggest opportunity to pick up "channel leakage" sales when consumers stray from their primary source, especially when drug retailers keep their prices competitive. More than 40% of respondents in a recent NCA survey said they purchased candy at another channel due to lower prices. Value ranked higher than both convenience and variety when it came to tempting consumers to purchase at another channel.

Since impulse is such a large part of the category, tempting consumers is vital. To capture shoppers’ attention when they enter a drug store, Mars developed a new Basket Entry Rack, a free-standing display that holds three shelves of candy above a stack of shopping baskets. The same rack can be placed along the path to purchase or at the pharmacy to drive additional sales.

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

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Brighten with Syneron

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Syneron Beauty entered the oral care category last year with its Tanda Pearl Ionic Teeth Whitening System and now, Syneron Beauty has created the Pearl brand. Enter Pearl Brilliant White Ionic Teeth Whitening system — the first new, at-home teeth whitening technology to be cleared by the FDA in more than a decade, according to the company.

In a clinical study, the system was shown to whiten up to 10 shades after 50 minutes.

Pearl provides whitening with a double-biting, hands-free mouth tray. Both Brilliant White and Gentle White kits include the Pearl mouth-piece and 20 gel tubes of the Ionic Whitening Gel.

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More women than men concerned by scars

BY Antoinette Alexander

Skin imperfections, such as scars and stretch marks, can impact one’s self-confidence — especially among women.

It is no secret that many women feel societal pressure to maintain their youthful looks and slim figures, so it comes as little surprise that a recent survey conducted on behalf of Mederma, a maker of scar and stretch mark treatments, found that men and women have different views when it comes to skin imperfections.

According to the survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 44% of women felt that improving the appearance of their skin imperfections, such as scars and stretch marks, would help improve their overall self-confidence. This compares with 25% of men.

The online survey, conducted Nov. 15 to 19, 2012, among 2,083 adults ages 18 years and older, also found that women in particular are more self-conscious about the appearance of their scars and stretch marks, with 33% reporting that their scars and stretch marks negatively affect their self-confidence, while only 19% of men feel this way. In addition, 47% of women surveyed ages 18 years and older have tried to hide their scars and/or stretch marks from others, compared with 23% of men.

To further meet the needs of consumers, Mederma expanded its portfolio in 2012 with the introduction of Mederma Advanced Scar Gel, which is designed to reduce the overall appearance of scars caused by injury, acne, surgery or burns with just one daily application.

Earlier this year, ScarAway Silicone Scar Sheets, designed for the treatment and prevention of both hypertrophic and keloid scars, made its debut in 3,400 Walmart locations across the United States.

Once available only through hospitals, burn centers and plastic surgeons, the silicone sheeting is designed to bring the ultimate in noninvasive, drug-free scar management home. The sheets use patented silicone technology to shrink, flatten and fade scars, both old and new.

Meanwhile, Palmer’s also aims to battle scars and stretch marks with such product offerings as its Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil Rosehip and its Cocoa Butter Formula creams.

There’s also Bio-Oil, a skin care oil that hails from South Africa and is infused with the breakthrough ingredient PurCellin Oil. It is formulated to help improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone.

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