HEALTH

Niche demographics shake up diets

BY Michael Johnsen

The market for meal replacement ready-to-drink shakes is expanding beyond the need for a shake-shake-sensible-meal diet plan, or the need for a protein booster, with a number of niche marketing opportunities.


“In the evolving healthcare landscape, more healthcare providers and consumers are recognizing the significant role that nutrition plays in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and in overcoming health setbacks,” noted Sondra Miller, divisional VP therapeutic nutrition for Abbott. “To stay independent longer and control rising health expenditures, many adults are actively seeking nutrition solutions that deliver healthy aging or recovery benefits and offer convenience and great taste.”


For example, Abbott launched Ensure Muscle Health for adults beginning to lose muscle after age 40, a much younger demographic from Ensure’s traditional baby-boomer customer. And in September, responding to the growing diabetes and obesity epidemic in the United States, Abbott introduced Glucerna Hunger Smart specifically for people with diabetes. The shakes offer 15 g of protein to help people manage hunger as part of a diabetes weight-loss plan.


And while these niche demographics represent additional growth opportunity for the liquid nutritional category, there also still is growth to be had within that traditional diet and protein position. For the 52 weeks ended Oct. 30, 2011, sales of the venerable Slim Fast diet shake were up 20.3%, and the popular protein RTD Muscle Milk was up 28.8%, according to SymphonyIRI Group data across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart).

  

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Diet/Weight Loss Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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HEALTH

Season expands into fall

BY Michael Johnsen

While the need for weight loss is year-round in a country where 1-out-of-every-3 adults is considered obese, the business of weight loss still is seasonal. The first few weeks of January see a spike from the guilt-laden who had over-indulged during much of the holidays. That demand peters off slightly until just before bikini season in the spring. 


A third spike now is seen in the back-to-school period. “We’re seeing in certain states right before school starts a little bit of lift in August [and] September,” noted Michelle Douglas, brand manager with Iovate Health Sciences.


Lifestyle management company Weight Watchers — which recently nabbed Walgreens chief innovation officer Colin Watts — also has identified fall-time advertising as a growth area, along with men who are interested in dieting. “September was particularly strong, benefiting from higher marketing investment and from continued interest in our products for both men and women,” David Kirchoff, Weight Watchers president and CEO, told analysts in November. “Men now account for approximately 15% of our Weight Watchers online sign-up volume in the [United States], despite the fact that our awareness with this population is still relatively low.” 


Watts is now Weight Watcher’s SVP wellness and global innovation, and is in charge of consumer insights for the company. So that awareness among men will soon be on the rise.

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Diet/Weight Loss Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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HEALTH

Painless storytelling

BY Michael Johnsen

ADISON, N.J. — Pfizer Consumer Healthcare is giving pain a bad name in marketing its pain-relief brand Advil as the “good” medicine, with Jon Bon Jovi signing on as a company spokesman. The message is part of Pfizer’s “Advil Stories” campaign, which has helped drive growth of the brand in a historically stagnant category — for the 12 weeks ended Nov. 27, Advil sales were up 2.9% to $74.3 million, according to SymphonyIRI Group across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart). The advertisement aired Dec. 9.

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