HEALTH

J&J hands over germ protection

BY Michael Johnsen

Gojo Industries this past fall reacquired its Purell hand-sanitizer brand from Johnson & Johnson and is currently putting the pieces in place to reassume a category leadership role for waterless hand washing.


The endeavor is not without its challenges. Today, hand sanitizers are a highly commoditized category. And though sanitizers certainly benefited from increased awareness associated with last year’s H1N1 pandemic, that awareness didn’t translate into sales; the $100-million-plus category is down 35.4% in 2010, according to SymphonyIRI Group data. 


And retailers currently are holding an overabundance of inventory, all of which is expected to soon flood the clearance racks in the dollar store channel as the sanitizers move closer to their expiration dates. 


“It’s really about driving household penetration through education and innovation,” said Tim Cleary, who joined Purell Consumer 
as VP sales this past fall. “There’s great brand-name recognition. Aided is 82%; unaided is 58%,” Cleary said. “But household penetration is only 29%. You’ve got this huge gap there.”


Cleary is looking toward opportunities across the 2011-2012 cough-cold season now and plans to relaunch the brand with new packaging and line extensions in 2012.

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Allegra joins allergy aisle

BY Michael Johnsen

PARIS — Allegra is less than a week away from reaching shelves on March 4, and with the latest allergy switch will come a significant number of Rx allergy sufferers this summer.


Though the allergy aisle is relatively saturated between Zyrtec, Claritin and private label, allergy consumers certainly are brand loyal, noted Laura Mahecha, Kline Group analyst. Mahecha suggested ongoing annual Allegra sales of between $100 million and $200 million without much cannibalization is realistic — and that’s great news for retailers who recorded almost $400 million in 2010 sales between Zyrtec and Claritin.

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Cough-cold marketer opts for app

BY Michael Johnsen

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — Prestige Brands became one of the first cough-cold marketers to develop a branded smart-phone app to help moms hone in on the most appropriate 
PediaCare remedy for their sick children. It’s not a bad play; a recent Millennial Media report indicated that in 2010, 32% of moms owned a smart phone, versus 20% in 2009.


The new PediaCare iPhone app coincides with the launch of PediaCare’s new, safe and effective cold-flu-fever medicines — with and without acetaminophen — that match the formulations of children’s Tylenol products that were recalled.

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