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Instant.ly launches new tool that predicts consumer intent

BY Ryan Chavis

LOS ANGELES — Instant.ly, an on-demand consumer insights platform, on Tuesday debuted the Instant.ly Shelf Score, an index that measures consumer intent to purchase new consumer packaged goods. The platform evaluates the latest CPG market offerings and ranks 10 of the most innovative from that group based on overall consumer interest. Instant.ly is provided by uSamp — a company that supplies automation, mobile and global sample and insight solutions for marketers.

The inaugural results of Shelf Score highlighted the purchase intent of a nationally representative sample, according to the company. Among the brands taking the top spots were Chewy Chips Ahoy! with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Cheerios Protein Oats & Honey and the Limited Edition Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreo Cookies, which had box scores of 82%, 75% and 74%.

"Many of our CPG clients are looking for better ways to pinpoint consumer passions, desire and purchase intent.  Instant.ly Shelf Score was designed to give these companies instant access and an early reading on consumer sentiment about new products and brands," said Justin Wheeler, uSamp VP product innovation and business development. "Traditionally, CPGs track consumer sentiment using mechanics that can take weeks or even months to generate feedback.  Now, we can spot products that are often released in test markets or as limited editions, and readily score them for national interest."

Complete results from the Instant.ly Shelf Score can be found here.

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Inergetics to launch Martha Stewart Essentials

BY Ryan Chavis

NEWARK, N.J. — Inergetics, a developer of nutritional supplements, announced that the company will be presenting Martha Stewart Essentials, a line of whole-food based vitamin supplements developed in tandem with Martha Stewart herself at Cardinal Health's Retail Business Conference, which will be held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington, D.C., July 23 through July 26.

The supplements contain natural ingredients, including fruits, vegetables and herbs, the company said. The supplements focus on specific needs affecting women, including multivitamin; graceful aging; digestive health; bone support; menopause support and more.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase the Martha Stewart Essentials product line at such a prominent event," said Scott Zitiello, national sales director of Inergetics. "We're looking forward to partnering with Cardinal Health to reach even more women, helping them to lead the vibrant, healthy lifestyle our line of products promotes."

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NRF looks for sales to accelerate following sluggish start to the year

BY Mike Troy

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation has joined the growing chorus of voices expecting a surge in consumer spending during the next five months to compensate for a weak start to the year.

That weak start prompted a major downward revision in NRF’s full-year sales forecast on Wednesday, as the trade group said it now expects sales to increase 3.6% versus an earlier forecast of 4.1% shared back in January. The change was necessitated by weaker than expected growth of 2.9% during the first half of the year, due primarily to extreme weather conditions that caused extensive store closings by many retailers.

Whether retail sales achieve NRF’s new target hinges on an assumption that sales will accelerate during the coming months. NRF contends retail sales will grow at 3.9% during the back half of the year.

“No retailer was immune to the doldrums witnessed during the first quarter, and as a result, the year’s growth trajectory was impacted,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “That said, there is plenty of evidence that the second half of the year will be better for the industry as consumers begin to feel more optimistic about their spending decisions. And though we maintain realistic expectations of retail sales growth in 2014, we are optimistic that the chances for a stronger economy still exist.”

NRF’s chief economist, Jack Kleinhenz suggested that severe weather and other factors that took a toll on retailers are behind the industry, and the overall outlook has become favorable.

“A second look at our forecast shifted our expectations slightly, but it’s important to note that the outlook is positive. Sales are growing, and we expect them to continue at a moderate pace,” Kleinhenz said.

Positives Kleinhenz cited for the industry going forward include the fact that employment has grown at its strongest pace since 2005, business and consumer confidence have edged higher, manufacturing activity has expanded and inflation pressures remain tame. Improvements in those areas contributed to NRF’s favorable expectations in the coming months.

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