HEALTH

Healthnotes study finds that kiosks help drive retail sales

BY Michael Johnsen

PORTLAND, Ore. Healthnotes on Wednesday released an independent study of its wellness-driven kiosks that found that the kiosks, signage and promotions helps drive incremental sales at retail.

“Retailers have known for a long time that shoppers love having easy, reliable access to ideas and information to help them make decisions in the store,” stated Jim Wisner, president for Wisner Marketing Group, the research firm conducting the study. “What this new study demonstrates is that retailers can achieve these benefits in a way that helps create a destination shopping experience while profitably driving new sales.”

Wisner’s test showed that stores with the Healthnotes “Fresh Ideas” program had nearly 2 percent higher sales growth and were 16 percent more likely to outperform control stores.

The Healthnotes “Fresh Ideas” program was implemented in 67 stores of a major retail chain. To assess impact on sales, year-over-year changes in the sale of health-related categories including OTC medications, vitamins, supplements, and nutritional products were compared between test and control stores during the fourth quarter of 2006. New stores, newly remodeled stores, and those impacted by new competition or other extraordinary factors were excluded from the comparison. The sales changes in test stores were compared to a control group of stores in the same geographic area as each test store.

The Healthnotes “Fresh Ideas” program is a kiosk-centered wellness marketing program for food and drug retailers that provides shoppers with seasonally relevant point-of-sale articles, recipes, and product information for key departments throughout the store—including meat & seafood, produce, wine, pharmacy and nutrition.

“We are excited that the results of this study clearly demonstrate sales lift and ROI of the Healthnotes program,” stated Skye Lininger, Healthnotes president and chief executive officer.

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HEALTH

NatExpo East enjoys record numbers

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Natural Products Expo East last week posted 7 percent growth in overall attendance this year with more than 25,000 attendees and 1,790 exhibits, the organization announced Tuesday.

“The record-breaking success of this show reflects the escalating economic clout of natural, organic and healthy products,” stated Fred Linder, president of New Hope Natural Media.

With the natural and organic products industry growing at 9.7 percent annually and topping more than $56 billion in consumer sales, according to The Natural Foods Merchandiser’s 2007 Market Overview, Natural Products Expo East benefited from national trends toward healthier lifestyle choices across multiple channels of trade, including food and pharmacy.

Winners of the 2007 New Products Showcase Awards were: BeeCeuticals Organics Bee-Yond Body Rub (Personal Care/Health & Beauty); FoodShouldTasteGood MultiGrain Tortilla Chips and Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils Organic Hempmilk (Food – tie); Nelsons Rescue Remedy Pastilles (Supplement/Herbs); Sweetriot 100 percent Dark Chocolate Cacao Nibs (Green/Environmentally-friendly); Wise-Acre Frost Teas (Innovation); and Zhena Gypsy Tea (Packaging).

Natural Products Expo East will relocate to Boston in 2008. Scheduled for October 15-18 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, the move accommodates the industry’s growth, the organization noted. 

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Innovia introduces first home-use ear infection monitor

BY Michael Johnsen

LENEXA, Kan. Innovia Medical on Tuesday launched EarCheck Middle Ear Monitor, the first clinically proven, physician-recommended, home-use device that accurately detects the presence of middle ear fluid, a key sign of a middle ear infection.

While EarCheck is for home use, it is based on the same patented and proven technology, acoustic reflectometry (or sound waves), used in doctor’s offices since 1997 and included in the American Academy of Pediatrics’ and American Academy of Family Physicians’ Clinical Practice Guideline for the Diagnosis and Management of Acute Otitis Media (middle ear infection), the company stated.

EarCheck works by sending a pleasant chirping sound into the ear canal. Some of this sound bounces off the eardrum and travels back to the instrument’s built-in processor. EarCheck then analyzes the reflected sound to determine if there is fluid in the middle ear.

The presence of fluid is represented by a 1-5 scale on an easy-to-read color display, where level 1 (Green) indicates Fluid/Ear Infection Unlikely and where levels 3-5 (Red) indicates a high Likelihood of Fluid/Ear Infection and suggests you consult with your child’s healthcare professional.

The device was developed because more than 80 percent of children under the age of three have had one or more ear infections, and nearly 50 percent have had three or more. While an infection can develop anytime, the majority occur during the cough/cold season, from October through March, when fluid lingering in the ear after a cold or flu becomes infected with either bacteria or virus.

The EarCheck Middle Ear Monitor is currently available at Wal-Mart and Babies “R” US or through one of the many online retailers that can be located from EarCheck’s website, www.earcheck.com. EarCheck’s suggested retail price is as high as $59.

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