HEALTH

Mark Wahlberg, GNC team on Marked sports nutrition line

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH — GNC on Wednesday announced its partnership with actor/producer Mark Wahlberg on the launch of Marked, a new nutritional supplement line designed to meet the demanding lifestyles of fitness consumers.
 
"I’m excited to join forces with GNC, a brand I trust for quality and integrity, to develop the Marked products," Wahlberg said. "I attribute much of my own success to my dedication to living healthy and fit, so it is important for me to create products that will help motivate others to pursue their own personal wellness goals."

The Marked line — consisting of seven sports and active nutrition products — was designed by GNC scientists and wellness experts in partnership with Wahlberg.

"I have known Mark for several years and during that time period I have been impressed by Mark’s continued personal efforts in regards to maintaining a healthy lifestyle," GNC president and CEO Joe Fortunato said. "This also represents a unique strategy for us as we introduce this comprehensive line of leading nutritional products that will be available through various channels of distribution in the U.S. and overseas."

Marked will launch in GNC stores and on GNC.com, and is expected to be widely available through other leading retailers. A portion of all sales are being donated to the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for inner city youth.

"Our new partnership with Mark Wahlberg is a natural fit given our shared commitment to ‘living well’," added Tom Dowd, GNC EVP, general manager and chief merchandising officer. "We are pleased that Marked will also help contribute to a great resource for inner city youth and look forward to growing this brand with the combined marketing resources of GNC and Mark Wahlberg behind it."

As part of this partnership, Wahlberg will serve as the leading brand ambassador and will drive the marketing approach for the Marked product line. Wahlberg also will appear at GNC stores at various locations across the United States throughout 2012.


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Magnacca, CHPA discuss OTC’s role

BY Michael Johnsen

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — Two weeks before the Food and Drug Administration met on expanding the switch paradigm, attendees of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association’s Annual Executive Conference discussed how over-the-counter medicines can help shape health care as part of a panel featuring Joe Magnacca, Walgreens president of daily living products and solutions.

Walgreens has been a prominent architect in re-engineering the retail pharmacy experience in the past year through its flagship stores in New York and Chicago. A key piece of that is increasing customer/pharmacist engagement over all health topics. “We do everything we can to allow the pharmacist to practice at the highest level of their degree,” Magnacca said.

That’s the potential game changer for the self-care space: to recast retail pharmacy as a destination for health-and-wellness solutions on top of its role in supplying acute care remedies and servicing as a prescription depot.

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E-cigarettes billow their way into retail

BY Barbara White-Sax

Electronic cigarettes, sometimes called personal vaporizers, are making their way into the drug channel. As tobacco smoking in public is steadily becoming a thing of the past, smokers are looking for alternatives, and more retail channels are carrying the products.

Rite Aid has begun to carry several models of electronic cigarettes, replacement batteries and replacement cartridges, and is merchandising the products at the checkout near tobacco products.

The devices, frequently designed to look like traditional cigarettes, work by delivering nicotine in a tobacco-free vapor that’s inhaled. Most devices contain three parts: a battery, often with an LED on the end that lights up to simulate traditional smoking; a heating element; and a cartridge containing a liquid nicotine mixture that, when heated, turns into a vapor that is inhaled.

Since the devices don’t use tobacco, users aren’t exposed to the toxins present in traditional tobacco smoke. The vapor emitted from e-cigs is virtually odorless, so consumers can use them in public settings where traditional smoking is prohibited.

Electronic cigarettes come in both rechargeable and disposable models. Rechargeables come in starter kits, which include the rechargeable device and a number of pre-filled nicotine cartridges that are inserted into the device. Additional cartridges are available in varying nicotine levels; some come in different flavors. Starter kits range in price, retailing anywhere from $30 for a basic starter product to $250 for a top-of-the-line kit.

Disposable products are available in a number of styles and are categorized by “puff count” or the average number of puffs the device delivers before it needs to be replaced. Disposables are less expensive, retailing for between $9 and $30.

Vapor Corp., which markets the Krave, Fifty-One, Trio and GreenPuffer brands, recently added a line of zero nicotine e-cigs in 10 different flavors under its VaporX brand. Vapor Corp. boasts the largest and most complete lineup of electronic cigarette products across its brands, including rechargeable batteries, chargers, carrying cases and replacement cartridges, available in an array of strengths in various flavors. 

“Our electronic cigarette refills are all-in-one atomized filters or ‘cartomizers’ that include a built-in atomizer within each cartridge,” said Adam Frija, director of business development at Vapor Corp.

Frija said the company can create customized program for retailers and has rolled out an in-store marketing program that includes door clings and in-store signage, as well as product display units and promotional videos that help consumers understand how the products work.

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