Making supplements sustainable
The Marine Stewardship Council is looking to ensure that fish and krill oil supplement makers can capture an increasing number of consumers interested in knowing where their supplements came from. A 2016 Nielsen GlobeScan survey found that more than 79% of U.S. seafood consumers cited sustainable sourcing as an important motivator, with more than two-thirds of those surveyed saying they wanted to be able to trace their purchases to a trusted source.
MSC’s efforts are delivering on the interests of the 65% of those surveyed who said they think a brand’s sustainability claims should be labeled by an independent organization. In six years, the number of Omega-3 supplements carrying MSC’s label has increased to 500 from 11, and MSC has certified the Alex BioMarine Antarctic Krill fishery, as well as two Alaskan pollock fisheries, which MSC said are the source of an increasing number of supplements.
One of MSC’s largest partners is Sam’s Club, which earned the organization’s inaugural U.S. Ocean Champions award for the its efforts to ensure that its private-label Member’s Mark fish oil and krill oil supplements are entirely traceable to an MSC-certified sustainable fishery. The larger industry looks to be following suit, as according to MSC, the U.S. market has more than 65% of total sales by volume made up of MSC-certified supplements.
Getting smart about glucose monitoring
Smartphones may be smart, but sometimes they still are not always accessible.
Enter Smart Meter, a Tampa, Fl.-based company that has recently gained FDA approval for its iGlucose blood glucose meter, which eliminates syncing or paring complications when trying to share blood glucose test results.
“The future is going to be one in which there is more connectivity and more sharing of data than has taken place in the past,” Brahim Zabeli, vice president of sales at Smart Meter, said. Smart Meter gained 510(k) approval in May and is just starting to bring the product to market, he added.
The iGlucose system is a subscription-free glucose meter that is ready out of the box and automatically transmits data to a cloud-based personalized Web portal. The system also allows for real-time communication between the diabetes patient and the patient’s designated caretakers, according to the company.
In addition to enabling connectivity between practitioner and patient, the Smart Meter incorporates an automated virtual care coach and Web-based patient and population management portal into its total offering. “As patients test their blood glucose, they are given feedback that can come to them via SMS, email or both that gives them an ‘attaboy’ for taking the test, or a friendly reminder or a recommendation if their [test result] is out of range,” Zabeli said. “This virtual coaching piece is a pretty critical part of the product offering.”
New OTC hearing aids will call out existing ear care solutions
The Trump Administration in August signed legislation mandating that devices addressing mild-to-moderate hearing loss be made available over the counter, which will create a new in-store destination center for an entire class of products once only available by prescription.
That new destination center also will call out the OTC ear care set, specifically earwax removal solutions, as a natural adjacency. “When you wear a hearing aid [your ear] tends to create more wax,” said Yann Pigeaire, director marketing at Similasan USA. “That’s going to be an area that will continuously grow. The dynamics are favorable to that.” Similasan recently augmented its ear care appeal with its Ear Wax Removal Kit, which includes a one-time use bulb to assist with removal.
In addition to Similasan realizing an ear care opportunity, hearing aid manufacturer Starkey Hearing Technologies launched its Ear Health product line, which includes solutions for earwax, earaches, itchy ears, dry ears and protecting ears from damaging sounds. This move creates a brand resonance for Starkey in the ear care aisle, which may see more hearing aid manufacturers enter the space as hearing aids indicated for mild-to-moderate hearing loss migrate into OTC sets.
“[Starkey] Ear Health products were designed to give consumers an easy way to take care of their ears,” said Chris McCormick, chief marketing officer at Starkey. “It is our hope that because of these products, we will see more people take an earlier and more proactive approach to ear and hearing health, which will in turn lead to overall improved health and wellness.”