HEALTH

Optimum Nutrition launches Trusource sports nutrition brand nationwide

BY Michael Johnsen

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. – Less than a year after launching its brand exclusively at Kroger stores, Optimum Nutrition's sports nutrition brand Trusource is expanding its retail presence to Target, Walgreens, Giant Eagle and HEB.

"We have received a terrific response to Trusource and that is fueling our nationwide retail expansion," stated Nabil Wanna, senior brand manager for Trusource. "We created Trusource to address an unmet need in the sports nutrition market. This is a brand for the everyday athlete, with easy-to-mix protein powders and delicious ready-to-drink products for anyone with a fitness goal."

Wanna added that Anytime Energy products will join the Trusource lineup this fall. Anytime Energy products deliver amino acids and caffeine from natural sources and are designed to help support muscle recovery, energy and focus. Trusource Anytime Energy comes in both an powder and in ready-to-drink bottles – each containing 100 milligrams of caffeine (about as much as a cup of coffee) and only 10 calories per serving.  Anytime Energy powder currently is available in orange blast, with watermelon rush available in early 2017. The ready-to-drink version currently is available in orange blast and fruit punch.

"Trusource Anytime Energy is great for those who need a boost of energy, whether to help combat mid-afternoon fatigue or to ramp-up for a workout," Wanna said. "Trusource is committed to creating great tasting nutrition products which fit easily into our increasingly busy lives."
 

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ALA and MD Anderson Center target 7 states for increased smoking cessation efforts

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO –– The American Lung Association and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center on Wednesday formed a new partnership aimed at increasing coverage and access to evidence-based tobacco cessation treatments for Medicaid enrollees in seven states.

“Tobacco use, which will claim 480,000 American lives this year, continues to disproportionately impact those with lower incomes, leading to greater rates of many types of cancers,” stated Ronald DePinho, president of MD Anderson. “By increasing access to proven tobacco cessation treatments for our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, we will make a significant impact on the cancer problem.”  

Seven states have been identified for focused efforts and educational support: Arkansas, Louisiana, New York, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Each of these states’ Medicaid programs limit or vary in their tobacco cessation coverage, which can make it challenging for some patients to access quit smoking tools.  

MD Anderson will support the American Lung Association’s education outreach to each state’s officials about the importance of consistent and comprehensive tobacco cessation coverage in state Medicaid programs in order to help the Medicaid population access proven-effective quit smoking medications and treatment.

 According to a 2015 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 30 states covered all seven tobacco cessation medications. And every state limited treatment options, making it more difficult for patients to access the treatment, and therefore more difficult for smokers to quit.

“States need to make it easier for smokers to get the help they need to quit. Medicaid enrollees are more than twice as likely to smoke as people with private insurance, but they have less access to proven quit smoking treatments,” commented Harold Wimmer, national president and CEO of the American Lung Association. “We are pleased to join forces with MD Anderson to increase access to proven quit smoking treatments, which will help reduce the number of people who develop lung diseases like COPD and lung cancer, our nation’s leading cancer killer.”

Increased access to quit smoking treatments will be timely and especially important for the estimated 420,000 Americans who smoke and live in public housing. In anticipation of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s final rule making all public housing smokefree, both organizations are committed to ensuring everyone has access to the help they need to quit smoking.  

“The American Lung Association has been at the forefront of helping residents make their multi-unit housing smokefree, and has a long history of helping smokers quit,” said Wimmer. “Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health, and it’s not unusual for someone to try several times before quitting for good. We must make sure Medicaid enrollees have the support they need to quit when they are ready to take this important step.”

Each of the seven states identified has a large number of public housing units. By increasing coverage and access to cessation treatments, the organizations hope to help make it easier for residents who live in public housing to quit smoking, if they choose to do so.

“Tobacco use will claim an estimated 1 billion lives worldwide in the 21st century. MD Anderson is committed to our goal of Making Cancer History, and we know a critically important step in that direction is to end tobacco,” DePinho said. “Through this new effort and our EndTobacco program, which launched as part of our Cancer Moon Shots Program, MD Anderson is actively working to eliminate tobacco use and protect everyone from its devastating effects.”
 

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GMDC: From wearables to VR, digital is shaping tomorrow’s shopping experience

BY Michael Johnsen

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Today’s connected consumer is plugged-in to a variety of technologies to keep them moving forward in an increasingly digital world – and wearable technologies are fueling that trend – according to new research released by the Global Market Development Center on Tuesday.

“Our industry is rapidly transforming through new technologies, apps, digital and online capabilities, and the connected consumer is driving the market,” stated Patrick Spear, president and CEO of GMDC. “In fact, our research reported nearly half of all in-store retail sales were influenced by digital in 2014, and by the end of 2015, 64% of in-store sales were expected to be affected. As we continue to spotlight tomorrow’s trends and point toward the store of the future, this report answers the ‘now what’ question for member trading partners.”

GMDC’s latest “next practices” report called “How Wearables and Digital Technology Are Changing Consumer Behavior & Retail Environments,” produced in collaboration with Brick Meets Click, explores the evolving technologies reshaping consumer behavior in the marketplace: social media, wearables, augmented reality, virtual reality, advanced voice and directional audio.

Wearables
Wearable technologies – such as Fitbit and Apple Watch – which literally keep the pulse of today’s connected consumer by monitoring physical activities with a variety of data and diagnostics at the tip of your hand – are expected to vault more than 200% from 80 million units sold in 2015 to 214 million in 2019. Sales are expected to nearly triple from $2 billion in 2015 to $5.8 billion by 2019.

Wearables, a big and diverse category, can be grouped by where they are worn/located or by their focus. Wrist-worn devices dominate today. Wearables users consider themselves early adopters. They are split evenly between men and women and skew younger – 48% are 18 to 34 and 52% are 35 and older.

New Realities: Augmented and Virtual
Closely following wearables in popularity are augmented reality and virtual reality. Huge investments in AR and VR can be seen in Q1 of 2016 – over a billion dollars. Corporate giants, like Google, are working on development while other companies, like Netflix, have launched virtual reality stores. AR is expected to be more popular than VR since connected consumers can access it at a lower cost with no special equipment needed.

Social Media
Today’s social media is all about sharing pictures, news and experiences with friends, family and colleagues – and even strangers who share common interests via a group or mutual connections. For many connected consumers, social media is replacing mass media as their main source of information. Each social platform has its own personality and plays a different role in the lives of users. Most importantly, images and user-generated content have become the new language of social media. Snapchat is a good example of both in action. Content is visual, almost always user-generate, and tends to be spontaneous and unpolished.

Advanced Voice
Most connected consumers with smartphones are familiar with voice input capabilities. The more people try it, the more times and places they find that voice is they best way to interact with their device.  Amazon’s Echo device and its voice-controlled digital assistant, Ask Alexa, act as both a listener and speaker. Voice connections are powerful because input is easy and often hands free, and help is delivered “in the moment.”\

Directional Audio
Connected consumers love the comfortable, almost private listening experience, directional audio delivers, whether at home, in the car or at the store. The ability to deliver audio directly to the individual makes it feel like wearing earphones without the gear. A study on the impact of directional audio installed in a grocery dairy department found there was an 87% increase in the number of shoppers who purchased a new organic dairy product they had not known about previously.

“Digital connections are exploding, which means there are more communications channels to reach connected consumers, but that could also mean increased fragmentation and potentially less efficient communications,” said Bill Bishop, the white paper’s lead author and chief architect of Brick Meets Click. “Retailers and suppliers are learning to talk digital. In the coming years, digital influence will play an increasingly important role in marketing and merchandising, so the two groups must not only execute the current standards but also consider how they can develop future standards.”  

Energizer and Big Time Products sponsored GMDC’s Connected Consumer “next practices,” with Nielsen contributing to the consumer insights.
 

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