HEALTH

Heel launches homeopathic Reboost cough-cold line

BY Michael Johnsen

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Heel on Tuesday announced the launch of the Reboost product line, which includes four of the company’s homeopathic cold, cough and flu products. The line is now available at a variety of fine natural health stores and pharmacies, including Whole Foods Market and Sprouts Farmers Market.

“There is growing consumer demand for natural alternatives to traditional over-the-counter cold and flu medications,” stated Cliff Clive, CEO of Heel. “We are excited to offer an affordable product line to the marketplace that provides multi-symptom relief for cold and flu.”

The new range of products includes Nasal Spray (0.68 fluid ounces) for the temporary relief of minor nasal symptoms, Throat Spray (0.68 fluid ounces) for the temporary relief of minor pain from sore throat and pain from canker sores, Tablets (100 count) for the temporary relief of minor flu symptoms and Cough Syrup (4.23 fluid ounces) for minor cough and chest congestion relief. 

Most recently, Reboost was recognized at the 2013 Natural Products Expo West with a NEXTY nomination from New Hope. NEXTY nominations are given by New Hope to upcoming products that they believe will create buzz in the natural products landscape. 

 

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Vitamin Shoppe opens new DC in Virginia

BY Michael Johnsen

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. — The Vitamin Shoppe on Wednesday announced the grand opening of its new distribution center in Ashland, Va. The new 311,740 square-foot facility began receiving inbound inventory in June 2013 and outbound shipments to stores began in September. 

"The opening of this distribution center was a large undertaking for the team as we positioned the company for future growth," stated Tony Truesdale, CEO Vitamin Shoppe. "I am very pleased with our supply chain team and their ability to successfully execute against this significant project. The facility opened on time and on budget," he said. "Given the success that we have experienced with the service levels, we expect the Ashland DC to be servicing 120 stores by year-end."

As of Oct. 15, the Ashland DC was shipping inventory to 56 Vitamin Shoppe stores located in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Louisiana.

 

 

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Walgreens flu survey: Last year’s season packed a wallop

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — The 2012-2013 flu season was one of the most severe in the United States in more than a decade and, according to a new study, had two to three times the impact than a more typical flu season on the workplace, school, family and other segments of people’s everyday lives. A new report from Walgreens released Wednesday suggests U.S. adults missed 230 million work days last season, while children lost more than 90 million school days due to flu-related illness.  

By contrast, 100 million work days and 32 million school days were missed during the 2010-11 flu season, according to the Walgreens Flu Impact Report. 

“The flu season is always unpredictable, and the impact it can have on individuals and families at home and in the workplace can be significant,” stated Harry Leider, Walgreens chief medical officer. “Last year, with flu peaking early, a lot of people weren’t prepared and as a result lost vacations and missed out on holidays. This underscores the importance of getting a flu shot early, and our report shows more people are planning to do so, along with taking other preventive measures this year.”

Flu activity last season peaked in December, coinciding with the winter holidays and resulting in more than 11 million vacations interrupted or canceled as a result of the flu, a 300% increase over 2011, based on survey results. 

Nationally, the report suggests the flu-related cost to employers in 2012-13 was $30.4 billion, three times the $10.5 billion impact found in 2010-11, while employees who missed time at work due to flu-related illness lost more than $8.5 billion in wages. In addition, employees missed, on average, three days of work in 2012-13, compared with an average of one day during the 2010-11 season. As many as 6.2 million Americans missed a business trip in 2012-13 compared with 2 million in 2010-11. And three out of four respondents indicated they were personally impacted by the flu last year. 

Some 42% of respondents who had the flu last year missed some sort of festive activity over the holidays as a result. These include 17 million holiday events missed vs. 4.7 million in 2011, and 11 million vacation days missed vs. 3.6 million in 2011. 

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed (60%) say they will take extra precautions to avoid the flu this year, including washing hands more frequently (87%), getting a flu shot earlier (51%), getting flu shots for family members (49%), limiting time in public places (43%) and trying working from home more often (11%).

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people get a flu shot as soon as vaccine becomes available in August, almost one-third of the 2012-13 survey respondents waited until November or later to get their vaccine. Walgreens data shows 20% of the 7 million flu shots administered at Walgreens (including Healthcare Clinics and Duane Reade) last season were administered in January. And nearly four-in-five Americans believe that it takes 10 days or less, after receiving the flu shot, for the body to build up full immunity. In reality it takes up to 14 days. 

The Flu Impact Survey was conducted online within the United States by USamp on behalf of Walgreens from Aug. 27 to Sept. 4, 2013, among 1,200 nationally representative adults ages 18 years and older.

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