Meet the Market gives glimpse of new products
BOSTON — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Meet the Market program on Saturday afforded the more than 250 retail buyers in attendance a bit of a preview of what new product ideas and launches will be showcased at the conference.
Executives in attendance were upbeat when speaking of what’s to come, with one retail buyer suggesting that by mid-morning he had seen enough innovative new products to make the show worthwhile — and give his category managers plenty to do on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Carma Labs used the event to introduce its national launch into skin care with a line of Carmex-branded Healing Lotions. The line of three skin care products became a top brand in a test market with a major retailer, Carma Labs’ Kirk Hodgdon told Drug Store News.
New-to-the-industry Help Remedies was identified as another innovator with its line of over-the-counter medicines designed and merchandised to appeal to a younger demographic.
Smart Health fielded a new line of visually appealing wristwatches replete with a heart rate monitor. The watches still are fairly conservative looking — designed for mass channel appeal. But for those retailers looking to break out of the box, one of the Smart Health executives was sporting “the Bling,” a heart rate monitoring watch styled with what looked like cubic zirconia circling the watch face.
And Hyland’s was showing the new packaging for its soon-to-be-reintroduced Hyland’s Teething Tablets. Last week, Hyland’s asked its Facebook fans for broadcast commercial ideas to be incorporated into the media program heralding that product’s return to market.
There also was a fair representation of “fresh” on hand as more retailers seek to augment their convenient food offerings. Crunchies Food Co., which is making a push into mass with its line of freeze-dried fruit snacks, was identified as one of those “innovators” by one retailer.
All told, NACDS hosted 76 retail companies and 281 supplier companies on Saturday for the annual Meet the Market program. The more than 250 retail buyers fielded more than 7,000 appointments, NACDS stated.
“We continue to evaluate feedback from both the retail buyers and the exhibitors, and have worked closely with both to insure that exhibitors meet with the appropriate buyer,” Larry Lotridge, NACDS VP conference services, told Drug Store News. “The feedback was extremely positive, and the Meet the Market program continues to be a vital factor in the success of the Marketplace conference.”
NACDS again hosted a Meet the Market Presentation Template webinar prior to this year’s Meet the Market, in which NACDS introduced a meeting template created in conjunction with NACDS membership that succinctly captures all of the information retailers typically use to evaluate a new product or company.
Hot at Marketplace: Stinky Boyz kicks off personal care for men
BOSTON — Looking to appeal to boys and young men with its innovative product design is Stinky Boyz, a line of all-natural personal hygiene products that are shaped like sports balls. Stinky Boyz hygiene products contain essential oils and black seed, a strong antioxidant that helps cleanse the body of toxins.
The collection includes hair and body wash that has a silicon wrist handle for easy grip and hanging. After the hair and body wash is gone, the handle can be used as a wristband. The collection also includes deodorant (pictured).
Unilever overhauls company structure, management
LONDON — Unilever has announced changes to its category and go-to-market structure to further support its growth plans and allow for a more efficient rollout of increasingly bigger and more scalable innovations.
The changes include several executive moves, including the appointment of Harish Manwani as COO.
"Unilever now has over half its turnover in the emerging markets, where, over the last 10 years, growth has been close to double digits. We have an opportunity to better support this footprint of the business, to keep our strong momentum, with a more globally aligned country and category organization," Unilever CEO Paul Polman said.
As part of these changes, Manwani, who currently serves as president for Asia Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, will be appointed COO, effective Sept. 1, and will take responsibility for all markets, in order to drive speed-to-market behind further simplification and efficiency.
The category organization will be broadened to four categories directly reporting to Polman. The new structures will be put in place during the third quarter and will be fully operational before year-end:
Dave Lewis, currently president, Americas, will be appointed president, personal care consisting of skin, deodorants, oral and hair;
Kevin Havelock, currently EVP ice cream, will be appointed president of the newly established refreshment category, which includes ice cream and beverages;
Antoine de Saint Affrique, currently EVP skin, will be appointed president, food, which includes savoury, spreads and dressings; and
In the home care category, Randy Quinn, currently EVP laundry, and Sean Gogarty, SVP household care, will report directly to Polman.
As reported by Drug Store News, Michael Polk, president of global foods, home and personal care is leaving Unilever after eight years with the company to become president and CEO of Newell Rubbermaid, effective July 18.