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Hair conditioner category shows modest growth

BY DSN STAFF

Procter & Gamble and Unilever (and its subsidiaries) led the hair conditioner category in the food channel with $110 million and $86 million, respectively. L’Oréal and its subsidiary, Garnier Fructis, came in third with $66 million. The category showed modest growth versus last year at 1.7%, driven in part by a significant increase in sales for Vogue International (OGX), up 14.4%.

(Click here to download additional data.)

The category leaders, P&G and Unilever, both had similar average weighted margins in the food channel, averaging 26%, while Vogue International saw much higher average retail margins at 37%.

Drug Store News has partnered with Competitive Promotion Report and IRI and to create a brief report highlighting the market and margin performance of major brands in the hair conditioner category.

CPR is a leading provider of competitive market intelligence and insights in the health, beauty and wellness industry. Learn more by visiting competitivepromotion.com.

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19-in-20 people don’t remember your presentation

BY Dan Mack

One of the best predictors of sales success isn’t likeability, attention to detail or even industry expertise, but how one authentically tells a story. Most people in sales and marketing work in facts, details and stats; in doing so, they overwhelm their customers with the weight of information. And it is forgotten as quickly as it is received. Researchers Dan and Chip Heath found that after a presentation, only 63% of attendees remember stories, while a small group totaling only 5% remember statistics.

The pioneering work of neuro-economics leader Paul Zak has uncovered that stories actually trigger the release of Oxytocin, which encourages empathy in the receiver of the story. In other words, stories actually release what researchers refer to as the “trust hormone.”

Because of the chemical release catalyzed by stories, we relate to stories, not facts. Ironically, facts are oftentimes debatable, but stories allow us to connect with reality. And we prefer pictures. In fact, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. A good story speaks to our intellect, our emotions and our basic psychology.

Business is about relationships. Business is about storytelling. It is about connecting my story to yours. So how do we all utilize stories in our professional life? Two ideas to consider:

Share pain: Do you have the courage to open a discussion, sharing how you and your team have failed? This includes the missteps, the confusion and the frustrations you have encountered. This is much more believable, authentic and human. If you have finally uncovered an idea worth discussing with your customer, it was more than likely birthed out of quite a lot of pain. Why not share the whole story, not just the boring sanitized version? Now that is a story worth listening to and remembering.

What if? What if all of us are missing something, which is hidden right before our eyes? What if, with one decision, we could double our sales, improve loyalty with our customers and reduce complexity within our lives? What if we could transform a current partnership with one decision?

Effective storytelling often times begins with a question. The right question opens up the door for co-creation with your customers and leads you into the future. Stories are journeys, and they oftentimes begin by questioning something. A thoughtful, disruptive “what if” question opens up the audience for discovery.

Quit dumping lots of data; bring others into your story. Take them on a journey.

Dan Mack is the managing director of Elevation Forum, and author of the book “Dark Horse: How Challenger Companies Rise to Prominence.” For more insights, visit mackelevationforum.com

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Q&A: Opportunities in alternatives with Piping Rock’s Scott Rudolph

BY Michael Johnsen

With more than 150 million consumers purchasing one or more dietary supplements, the vitamins, minerals and supplements business has grown to $6.6 billion on 4.4% growth across total U.S. multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ended Nov. 29, 2015, according to IRI. And still, the supplement business is a dynamic category with a number of untapped growth opportunities. DSN sat down with Scott Rudolph, CEO of Piping Rock Health Products — makers of the Nature’s Truth brand — for his perspective on where the industry is headed and how to sniff out at least one opportunity that may generate returns this year.

DSN: Vitamins, minerals and supplemenets represent a sizeable portion of overall OTC sales, and the category tends to skew toward a consumer who is interested in
better health. Why is that consumer important to retailers?

Scott Rudolph: It’s no secret that health care today is so expensive. Between insurance costs, co-pays and medical bills, consumers are looking to stay healthy any way they can, and that means being proactive instead of reactive when it comes to general health. The health-conscious consumer tends to have high basket rings and shops the entire store, making it important for retailers to capture their fair share of the purchase intent.

DSN: Overall, what is the opportunity for VMS in 2016? And how can Nature’s Truth and its retail partners best position themselves to capitalize on that opportunity?

Rudolph: There is huge opportunity for retailers to continue to explore alternative forms and segments to bring incremental growth to the category. Given the opportunities we see in the marketplace with leveraging our company insights, … we can bring the hottest trending items that sell to market very quickly in our Nature’s Truth brand.

DSN: Nature’s Truth recently introduced a complete aromatherapy line to the mass market. What is the difference between the customer buying aromatherapy in specialty health food stores and the customer buying at mass? Why is now a good time for food, drug and mass retailers to seize this opportunity?

Rudolph: Aromatherapy is one of the fastest-growing trends in wellness today, and consumers are looking for essential oils to support their specific aromatherapy needs and desires.

We have recently launched our new aromatherapy site NaturesTruthAroma.com with the intention of giving consumers a guide to the different essential oils available, as well as share DIY ideas and blend recipes to engage their interest in the practice. We are extremely active on social media, talking with and educating our customers on aromatherapy in the hopes we can instill Nature’s Truth as a household name.

Compared to our main competitors in the general market, our aromatherapy line is much more extensive and available at a greater value. When compared with health food brands, convenience and price is a huge factor in our competitive advantage.

There are extremely strong upward trends in the essential oil marketplace — we are seeing over triple digits. This growth continues as aromatherapy has now become mainstream, and consumer awareness is growing. This segment is strongly influenced by family and friends, with word-of-mouth as a driving force.

DSN: What does the Nature’s Truth brand mean to retailers?

Rudolph: The Nature’s Truth mission is to deliver the highest quality, innovative products with the best value to our customers.

In 2014, we introduced the Nature’s Truth brand into the marketplace with the intention of becoming a nationally recognized brand. Having our finger on the pulse of what today’s evolving consumer is looking for — thanks to the custom-built infrastructure of our consumer data portal — has enabled us to launch innovative and proven new products to market first.

In just under a year, we have secured distribution in over 60 accounts with the support of our retail partners across the United States.

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