HEALTH

Meda Consumer Healthcare saluted for relaunch of Bifera

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — Meda Consumer Healthcare recently was named the grand winner of the MAX Awards for excellence in marketing for the relaunch of Bifera, an over-the-counter supplement that offers two types of iron — protein- and plant-based.

Presented by Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business Department of Marketing and the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the MAX Awards honored outstanding marketing innovations developed or launched by Georgia companies in 2010.

Meda Consumer Healthcare was honored as grand winner for its nontraditional approach to the relaunch of Bifera. To communicate the product’s benefits, Meda focused on consumer education over "pharmaceutical marketing," leveraging key influencers and grassroots, word-of-mouth marketing. By narrowing its target market focus and reaching its audience through innovative methods, the company restructured the entire market, almost doubling average weekly sales.

The Global Soap Project and the Vidalia Onion Committee with Langston Communications for the Ogres and Onions Program also were named winners. Winners were selected by the Georgia State University Marketing Roundtable, which comprises senior marketing executives from many of Atlanta’s top companies.

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HEALTH

Actavis names OTC director

BY Michael Johnsen

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Actavis last week named Lisa Buono to lead its over-the-counter drug division as part of the company’s strategic expansion of the division.

As director of OTC, Buono will oversee the division’s day-to-day operations and will focus on identifying and capitalizing on new product opportunities. Actavis manufactures and distributes numerous nonprescription liquids, creams and ointments sold under the Actavis label and its customers’ own brands, as well as FeverAll brand acetaminophen suppositories.

Buono joined the company in mid-January, reporting to VP commercial development Terry Fullem. “We are delighted to welcome Lisa to Actavis and [are] confident that her experience in brand management and marketing, combined with her knowledge of pharmaceutical science and policy, make her the ideal person to lead our growth in OTC,” Fullem stated.

Buono brings nearly 30 years of experience in nonprescription pharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare marketing and management, including 10 years in various associate VP positions with Wyeth (now Pfizer) Consumer Healthcare.

Immediately prior to joining Actavis, Buono was a marketing consultant to OTC start-up Blacksmith Brands and to Prestige Brands. She holds an MBA in marketing from the Rutgers University Graduate School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and mathematics from Montclair State University.

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GNC making push into mass market

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — General Nutrition is looking to get into the health diagnostics business with Monday’s announcement of a licensing agreement with technology and consumer products manufacturer Sakar International on a line of more than two dozen branded health-and-wellness products.

The announcement comes on the heels of another distribution agreement brokered by GNC: distribution of its GNC-branded supplements through approximately 400 Sam’s Club locations.

"Until now, the GNC brand has been largely confined to our 7,100-plus GNC stores," stated Tom Dowd, EVP stores, operations and development for GNC. "This license reflects a strategic decision to leverage our strong brand recognition in order to provide consumers with health-and-wellness products offering GNC reliability regardless of where they are shopping."

"GNC is synonymous with health and wellness. It’s a name that consumers trust," added Liza Abrams, Sakar VP licensing. "Partnering with GNC gives us an opportunity to join that circle of trust with a suite of products that helps people both monitor and improve their own health profiles."

The line’s initial merchandise offerings will range from heart-rate and blood-pressure monitors to weight scales, exercise accessories and electronic pill boxes that will be distributed through drug stores, home stores, supermarkets, mass market retailers and other locations in addition to GNC stores.

The first SKUs are scheduled to hit store shelves in the fourth quarter.

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