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IRI acquires Aztec from Aegis Media

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO  — IRI announced it has acquired Aztec, a provider of market measurement and related services for consumer packaged goods, liquor and pharmaceutical manufacturers and retailers in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Aztec was acquired from Aegis Media.

“This agreement directly supports our overarching ‘Growth Delivered’ business strategy and underscores IRI’s ongoing commitment to expanding its geographic footprint and capabilities to meet our multi-country clients’ evolving research needs,” stated Andrew Appel, president and CEO, IRI. “Aztec is a recognized leader in its markets and offers a host of distinctive assets, tools and relationships, including highly-differentiated offerings in the wholesaler and convenience sectors. This partnership immediately delivers a significant step change in value through an expanded presence, complementing IRI’s existing capabilities in the eight countries it currently serves.”

“Combining our complementary strengths with Aztec’s furthers IRI’s position as an innovation and market leader in all the markets it serves by offering enhanced data, combined with superior advanced analytics, consumer and shopper marketing, and consulting services to increase the pace of growth for each entity’s clients,” Appel added.

Aztec includes six service lines: CRM, scan data sourcing, data processing, market measurement, shopper insights, and advanced analytics. The company, which was founded in 1995, has more than 500 employees and was previously part of Aegis Media, a global media and digital communications specialist.


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C&D on hunt for next blockbuster acquisition opportunity

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON — Church & Dwight is on the hunt for its next acquisition, after having successfully integrated its gummy vitamin line from Avid Health, chairman and CEO James Craigie told analysts at the 2013 Barclays Back-to-School Consumer Conference held here Tuesday. 

And C&D may be as few as three years away from fielding an OTC product in a gummy format. 

"I sometimes think, honestly, acquisition is one of the greatest strengths for my company," Craigie said. "We will only buy a No. 1 or 2 share brand [and] we want brands that are higher growth, higher margins," he said. C&D is also patient, Craigie said. "We waited two-and-a-half years for our Avid acquisition since our last big acquisition [before that], which was Orajel."

Regarding the Avid Health line of gummy vitamins, Craigie continues to be bullish. "Here is a $7 billion category with consistent strong growth [with] 57% of adults using nutritional supplements," he said. "And with the aging trends and the healthcare trends this will continue to grow very strong."

Church & Dwight fields the No. 1 kids vitamin brand in L’il Critters, which fields a 64% marketshare, Craigie said. And while its adult line, Vitafusion, only has a 5% share, the adult opportunity is much greater. "The kids business is wonderful but the adult business, the category is 20 times the size of the kids business," he said. "The adult side [of gummy vitamins] is growing at 57% in the recent time period."

Overall, sales of vitamins are up 7%, Craigie noted. Avid Health products are outpacing that with 34% growth in the past year. 

Beyond gummy vitamins, there may be an opportunity within gummy OTCs, Craigie added. "Why can’t we take the gummy form and go to other OTC categories that are out there — aspirin, cough and cold, allergies … especially for kids," he said. "That’s not easy to do, we have to mask the bad flavors in many situations, we have to keep the active ingredient inside the product," he acknowledged. "But we see that as a good opportunity which we hopefully can start to leverage three or five years from now."


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Pharmavite expands VitaMelts line with both a multi and a hair, skin and nails offering

BY Michael Johnsen

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — Pharmavite on Wednesday announced the expansion of its Nature Made VitaMelts product line to include Nature Made VitaMelts Multi in a tropical fruit flavor and Nature Made VitaMelts Hair, Skin & Nails in a strawberry lemonade flavor.

"At Nature Made we set high standards for our products and are committed to producing unique and innovative offerings that not only diversify the brand’s portfolio, but further improve and enhance the vitamin experience for our consumers," stated Erin Gehan, VP marketing Pharmavite. "VitaMelts melt smoothly in your mouth without water, so they’re easy to take on the go and enjoy anytime, anywhere. With the additions of VitaMelts Multi and VitaMelts Hair, Skin & Nails, consumers can further meet their daily value of essential nutrients with a great-tasting and convenient vitamin supplement."

Nature Made VitaMelts Multi is formulated with 12 key vitamins to support the daily nutritional needs of both men and women, and contains 100% daily value of vitamins A, C, E and B and 1000 IU of vitamin D per serving.

Nature Made VitaMelts Hair, Skin & Nails is formulated with 2500 mcg of biotin, which may help support healthy hair, skin and nails, and 60 mg of vitamin C, which supports collagen production, per serving.

The latest additions of VitaMelts Multi and VitaMelts Hair, Skin & Nails will be available this fall at major retailers, including CVS and Target. The Nature Made VitaMelts line initially launched with six offerings in fall 2012: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Energy, Sleep and Relax.


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