CVS Pharmacy introduces health-and-wellness vending machines
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Pharmacy is rolling out a new way for busy patients to easily buy on-the-go necessities. The company on Thursday introduced its automated retail vending machines, which contain such necessities as over-the-counter health products, better-for-you snacks and popular personal care products, and will be used as a vehicle to showcase products from the company’s exclusive store brands while meeting customers at well-trafficked areas.
“We are always looking for new ways to combine convenience and innovation to help better serve our customers,” CVS Pharmacy SVP front store business and chief merchant Judy Sansone said. “Our new CVS Pharmacy vending machine program allows us to extend that convenience beyond our brick-and-mortar locations to offer customers on-the-go essentials in the locations where they often need them most, like airports, hotels and other transportation hubs."
By the end of October, 25 CVS Pharmacy vending machines will pop up throughout New England and New York at such targeted areas as airports, including New York City’s LaGuardia; public transit stations, including Boston’s South Station Bus Terminal; office parks and college campuses. CVS Health said that in addition to the initial 25 machines, it is considering more than 50 more across the country on college campuses, corporate offices, hotels and other transportation hubs.
Each vending machine will be customized by location and contain more than 70 products — many of which are sourced from CVS Pharmacy’s exclusive store brands, including CVS Health, Beauty 360, Gold Emblem and Gold Emblem abound.
"These new vending machines allow us to make our innovative CVS Brand products available to customers outside of our store locations for the very first time," CVS Health VP store brands and quality assurance Cia Tucci said. "The CVS Pharmacy vending machines will be located in places where we can bring our customers smart solutions and convenient access to the products they trust when they are on-the-go."
OTC remedies will include allergy, pain relief, digestive health and cough-cold products, and machines will sell beauty and personal care items that include shaving cream, deodorant and makeup remover. They also will carry vitamins and supplements, eye care and oral health care products, sleep products, children’s health and first aid products, healthy snacks and drinks. Other essentials included will be batteries, phone chargers, earbuds, lint rollers and stain removal sticks.
The vending machines will accept all major debit and credit cards and feature a 22-in. multi-touch screen, high-resolution images with product information and a QR code reader to allow for scanning of barcodes and promotional codes. They also will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, allowing those in wheelchairs to fully access the touchscreen and its functionality.
Coty launches Katy Perry’s INDI as Walgreens exclusive
NEW YORK — Coty is growing its fragrance portfolio with a new scent from Katy Perry that asks consumers to be “Different. Together.” The fragrance, Katy Perry’s INDI, has launched exclusively at Walgreens and Walgreens.com.
“We are so excited for the launch of Katy Perry’s INDI, which is a completely new approach for celebrity fragrance,” Coty SVP North America, consumer beauty, Shannon Curtin said. “By placing the important message of individuality at the forefront of our campaign, we celebrate consumers and reflect the core values of Coty – to celebrate and liberate the diversity of beauty. Walgreens is a valued partner and we are thrilled to work with them to support their mission and deliver a unique experience for their shoppers.”
The fragrance contains top notes of white tea, oriental plum and Italian bergamot; heart notes of fresh muguet, cyclamen and white cedar wood; and base notes of amber sultan, vanilla tonka and seductive musks. The opal glass bottle contains a special embossed message from Katy Perry and an embossed matte black cap.
“As the exclusive retailer launching Katy Perry’s INDI, Walgreens is excited to be part of this campaign, which allows us to provide our customers with such a unique product and experience that they can’t get anywhere else,” Walgreens group VP beauty and personal care Lauren Brindley said. “This fragrance is all about promoting inclusivity and the idea of being different together. In today’s culture, we find this message to be incredibly relevant as we know our customers are looking for products to speak to them in a very personal way.”
The fragrance is available in 1- and 1.7-oz. bottle for $24.99 and $45, respectively.
Nielsen: Label transparency can boost sales
NEW YORK — A new report from Nielsen is highlighting the big role that easy-to-understand labels can play in driving product sales. The report shows that consumers want clarity from their product labels about what they contain, and that products with specific product claims are seeing dollar growth.
According to insights from Nielsen strategic partner Label Insight, 39% of consumers in the United States say they would switch from their current brand to one that provides clearer, more accurate product information, and 68% are willing to pay more for foods and beverages that don’t have ingredients they perceive as bad for them. For 53% of consumers, the exclusion of undesirable ingredients is more important than including beneficial ingredients.
This interest is taking place across categories. While food and beverage categories tend to be the ones most commonly associated with label transparency demand, sales of organic vitamins and supplements have grown 25% over last year, and sales of personal care products free of artificial fragrances that also tout a natural claim have increased 6% since last year, the report says.
Among food and beverage products, packages that say “free of additives and artificial ingredients” see an 8% dollar growth, with “all natural” claims spurring 7.8% dollar growth and products without artificial colors see nearly 6% dollar growth. However, Nielsen data has found that only 7% of products free of artificial colors advertise that fact.
“So the insight here for manufacturers and retailers is clear: Identify explicit consumer needs and then make sure their product labels appropriately publicize desirable attributes,” the report says. “That’s because today’s consumers are just as concerned about ingredients and formulations as they are about being able to understand those formulations when they’re printed on a package.”
So-called “clean-label” products — those that are free of artificial ingredients and items on the Nielsen and Label Insight undesirable ingredients list — and products without artificial colors and sweeteners have each seen 1.2% sales growth compared to a year ago, as conventional products see a 0.3% decline.
And Nielsen notes that small companies are making the most of the space opening up with the clean-label revolution. Among companies that market food and beverages that are at least free of artificial ingredients, the smallest companies are seeing 9% sales growth — outpacing the largest companies’ 5% sales growth. The largest companies also are seeing a 1.7% decline in sales for conventional products where the smallest companies are seeing 2.6% growth.
These sales gains aren’t limited to healthy food. In fact, the category that has seen the most dollar growth among clean-label products is salty snacks, followed by candy and new age beverage.
“Contrary to what you might expect, the salty snack, frozen food, cookie and candy categories are seeing marked growth with clean label products,” the report says. “Clean label ice cream, for example, drove an incremental $106 million to the ice cream category in the last year, growing dollar sales by 26.5%. This purchase behavior confirms the notion that consumers will gravitate toward products with ingredients they trust and can easily understand, even when they’re seeking an indulgence.”
Nielsen also notes that the importance of health claims varies by generation, with millennials and Generation X indexing highest in the importance of such claims as organic, GMO-free and hormone-free, as well as income level, with consumers making less than $20,000 a year noting that these are of low importance to them. The consumers making between $20,000 and $100,000 are the ones that index highest in terms of the importance of these claims.