HEALTH

Homeopathy helps grow baskets

BY Michael Johnsen

Groupings of homeopathic pediatric cough-cold solutions, like those pictured here at a central Pennsylvania CVS, have become more the norm given the safety and efficacy debate around several children’s cough-cold ingredients over the past few years, the spate of recalls and the more recent media-driven concern over accidental overdosing.


“Pediatric homeopathic cold-and-cough medicines continue to grow in popularity with moms because the product relieves their children’s symptoms in a safe, natural way,” said Mary Borneman, media relations and communications manager for Hyland’s.


According to a survey commissioned by Boiron, that newfound homeopathy consumer may hold a market basket full of promise. Overall, people who buy homeopathy buy more, Boiron found, and especially in drug stores, where baskets with homeopathic medicines have an average value of $42 in comparison to $21 for those that don’t.

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Retailers, consumers seeing purple

BY Michael Johnsen

Customers are seeing purple again — reminiscent of another switch that took advantage of the eye-catching color purple. Sanofi-Aventis through its Chattem division in March launched Allegra, the last of the second-generation antihistamines. And purple-powered displays, like this in a Walmart in Lancaster, Pa., dotted the retail pharmacy landscape.


“We will make very, very massive investments in terms of advertising and promotion, and we are in fact very confident and even optimistic that in a very, very short [time] we will reach sales levels [as high as] the two leading products in this field,” boasted Hanspeter Spek, president of global operations for Sanofi-Aventis, a few weeks before the actual launch. 


Though Allegra is not expected to reach the sales heights of $200 million-plus like its two second-generation antihistamine predecessors, Claritin and Zyrtec, an incremental $100 million-plus to OTC allergy sales is not out of the question.

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‘Pro’-active health at Wegmans

BY Michael Johnsen

Wegmans hosts a bevy of natural solutions (e.g., gluten-free foods, supplements and homeopathic solutions) just outside its produce department, including this refrigerated unit replete with probiotics and flax-seed oil supplements. That places the mass-oriented grocer more in line with the kind of natural wellness position you would expect to find at a Whole Foods or other natural grocer. 


Even during a time when consumers are cutting back on healthcare expenditures, the probiotics category has continued to grow. According to a report in New Hope 360, sales of probiotic refrigerated juices and beverages were up 43.6% in the natural channel for the 12 months ended August 2010, citing SPINS data. Sales of all probiotics across food, drug and mass in that time were up 37% to $223 million.

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