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Penciling in more BTS spending

BY Barbara White-Sax

Consumers may have a bit more to spend for the 2011 back-to-school season, so retailers should tweak their merchandise plans to accommodate.


Perry James, an analyst at the NPD Group, said that over the past few years, dollar trends in school supplies have not kept pace with unit supplies. Consumers also have been waiting until the last minute to shop. “As the economy gets better, retailers should be careful about too many promotions late in the season,” James said.

While private label has continued to steal share in many segments, top-tier branded products are bouncing back in such segments as writing instruments and self-stick notes.

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Back-To-School Sell-Through Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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Changing Channels: Digi-Piggy, Puroast, Grill Daddy and more

BY DSN STAFF

Digi-Piggy

TORRANCE, Calif. — Earlier this month, Cisco Sales Corp. introduced Digi-Piggy at the 108th Toy Fair in New York. Digi-Piggy calculates the value of all U.S. coins inserted and then displays the total on a digital readout on the pig’s snout. The Digi-Piggy is made of durable plastic with a simple twist-off lid, and is designed for children ages 3 years and older. The price point is $14.95.

Contact: CiscoUSA.com



Puroast

WOODLAND, Calif. — People who receive diagnoses of heartburn or acid-reflux disease usually must give up coffee. But for millions of Americans, parting with the habitual cup of Joe can be hard. Online retailer Amazon.com and Puroast have teamed up to expand distribution of Puroast low-acid coffee, offering varieties ranging from house blend to French roast to hazelnut to espresso. Puroast uses a proprietary process to preserve the flavor and caffeine in coffee, but leaves it with 50% less acid than other commercial brands. The price point is $9.99.

Contact: (877) LOW-ACID, Puroast.com



Grill Daddy

CHICAGO — Barbecuing is a time-honored tradition for American families during spring and summer. But with every steak, hot dog and shish kebab cooked comes the need to clean all of the gunk off the grill. Former Chicago Bears defensive tackle William “The Fridge” Perry has been tapped as the spokesman for Grill Daddy, a barbecue-cleaning brush. Users can preheat the grill, fill the brush with water and brush away food residue and grease; the heat and water combine to form steam. The price points are $14.99 for the basic-model brush, $24.95 for the pro-model brush and $59.99 for the grand model.

Contact: BuyGrillDaddy.com



Pocket Dots

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. — Of all the difficulties that can arise from pregnancy, one of the most easily addressed is pants or maternity bands that slip and fall. Entrepreneur Annie Tandy has responded by inventing Pocket Dots, which grip pants and prevent them from slipping. Tandy developed Pocket Dots through field-testing and conversations with moms over the years, consistently hearing that maternity bands didn’t keep pants in place. The price point is $6.95, and the dots come in off-white and black colors.

Contact: [email protected]



Lazy Cakes

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The words “chocolate brownie” and “dietary supplement” may seem contradictory, but one company has managed to bring the two together. Memphis, Tenn.-based HBB is touting Lazy Cakes, a chocolate brownie packed with a blend of such herbs as passion flower, rose hip extract, valerian root extract and melatonin. Lazy Cakes are designed as a relaxation and sleep aid for people with busy, stressful lifestyles. The price point is $9.99.

Contact: MyLazyCakes.com

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From screens to shelves, direct-response is a hit

BY Barbara White-Sax

Move over Snuggie and ShamWow — more direct-response products are coming to retail.


“Over the past five years, there’s been an explosion of these products at retail,” said Tom Haire, editor of Response Magazine, a publication that covers the direct-response industry. “Retailers see products that fly off the shelves because they’ve been advertised so heavily, and manufacturers see an opportunity to extend the life of the brand.”


A recent article in Response predicted that products that have a retail component built into their distribution plan likely will be most successful in 2011. Those products touted in two-minute spots that carry a retail price of $19.99 or less will be winners at retail, according to Haire.


Retail sales account for about 95% of the blockbuster Snuggie’s sales, according to Allstar Products Group. “Products sold on TV are going to retail quicker than ever, some in as little as 60 to 90 days” said Peter Koeppel, president of Koeppel Direct.


With plenty of products to choose from, retailers are increasing the number of “As Seen On TV” products they carry. Drug chains are devoting endcaps and permanent sections to the category.


One industry expert predicted that the product segments likely to be the most successful in 2011 will be the “old standbys of home appliances, fitnesss, diet and beauty.”


Foot care has been particularly hot, according to Jordan Pine, president of SciMark Corp. Telebrands’ successful Ped Egg is being followed by IdeaVillage’s EasyFeet, one of the company’s hottest launches. Idea­Village also has added a new HD Vision product to its successful line. The new HD Aviation, which ships in March, will retail for $9.99.

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete As Seen On TV Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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