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Playmaker Nutrition targets teen, tween market with new supplement line

BY Michael Johnsen

PASADENA, Calif. — Playmaker Nutrition recently announced its planned foray into retail outlets in September with a line of supplement products targeting teens and tweens. In addition to launching the line of supplements, Playmaker Nutrition plans to use its Web presence as a springboard to fitness and nutrition tips to help improve athletic performance, adopt a healthier lifestyle and maintain optimum wellness.

Playmaker Nutrition has a strong professional sports heritage — company founders include Summer Olympics gold medalist and NBA star Kevin Love, Winter Olympics gold medalist Lindsey Vonn, Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden and Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.

The current line consists of a calcium and vitamin D SKU and a sugar-free multivitamin.

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Consumer channel surfing has dollar channel and club riding bigger waves

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Consumers shop as many as seven retail channels in pursuit of the best value, SymphonyIRI Group reported Wednesday.

"Even though the recession has long since softened, the economy is far from stable, so consumers are holding on to the frugal behaviors they adopted earlier in the downturn,” stated Susan Viamari, editor of SymphonyIRI’s Times & Trends. “Shoppers’ ongoing quest for low-cost CPG solutions is evidenced in share gains by supercenter and dollar store channels, which are both successfully acquiring shoppers from across competing retail channels.”

Dollar store penetration has been on an upward trend for several years now, with 2-out-of-3 Americans shopping this channel during the past year, SymphonyIRI Group noted in its latest Times & Trends report, titled “Channel Migration: Charting a Course on the Voyage for Value.” Increasingly, dollar stores are going head-to-head with other channels for share of routine shopping trips. For instance, Family Dollar is adding cooler space to more than 1,000 locations this year, and Dollar Tree is adding to its food and beverage assortment, as well as opening a third-party pharmacy in a Florida location.

Efforts like these have contributed to dollar channel retailers winning heavy shoppers from across retail channels. The most sizeable shift is that of heavy drug channel shoppers — the top one-third of spenders within the channel — into the dollar channel. This is not a huge surprise, as the two channels carry many of the same CPG categories and both are well positioned, geographically, for easy-access fill-in trips.

Over the past year, consumers have been making less frequent but larger CPG shopping trips. Trips declined across grocery and mass merchandise channels and are likely being influenced by an ongoing decline in frequency of pantry stocking trip missions. One might think the decline in stock-up trips would negatively impact the club channel, but trips actually have increased by 2.1% during the past year due to a culmination of factors. First, club channel retailers are expanding their number of outlets. In addition, club trips are being bolstered by lower gas prices and moderating food inflation, which makes it easier to absorb bulk-item pricing. The dollar channel also saw trips increase significantly during the past year, which reinforces the notion that consumers are viewing dollar stores as a “smart” choice for affordable CPG solutions.

Channel share shifted slightly during the past year, with drug, dollar and club channels each gaining ground at the expense of grocery and mass merchandise. For instance, the grocery channel continued to lose dollar share and now captures 47.9% share of grocery dollars, a decrease of 0.3% versus 2011, which emphasizes the ongoing struggle against nontraditional channels for share of food and beverage sales.

SymphonyIRI is offering a free webinar, entitled “Channel Migration: Charting a Course on the Voyage for Value,” at 2 p.m. EST on Aug. 22. To register for this webinar, hosted by Susan Viamari, editor of Times & Trends, click here.

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Armada integrates prior authorization system with KeyCentrix pharmacy software

BY Alaric DeArment

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Armada Health Care has integrated its ApproveRx prior authorization system with a pharmacy software system made by KeyCentrix, the companies said.

Armada and KeyCentrix announced the integration of ApproveRx with RxKey. ApproveRx is a Web-based platform designed to streamline the prior authorization process for prescribers and pharmacies. Armada is a group-purchasing and channel-management organization for specialty pharmacies.

"The integration of the ApproveRx solution is a powerful complement to the configurable workflow of RxKey," KeyCentrix president Elie Khalife said. "KeyCentrix continuously seeks opportunities to improve workflow and efficiencies for our customers. We are pleased to be leading the industry in offering this integrated solution to positively impact pharmacy operations."


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