ReportersNotebook — General Merchandise, 8/1/11
SUPPLIER NEWS — SC Johnson’s latest Windex product touts 90% less plastic than the traditional 26-oz. trigger bottle. New Windex Mini is a concentrated refill pouch that “saves six times as much plastic waste that goes into a landfill, compared with a traditional bottle,” according to SC Johnson chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson. Windex Mini will be available nationwide in three-packs of “snip ‘n’ pour” pouches.
Procter & Gamble’s Pampers Cruisers diaper line now includes improved softness, a 20% longer absorbent patch and new “Sesame Street” designs. The revamped Cruisers line is available nationwide. As part of the launch, Target will feature in-store displays and offer coupons. Through August, special offers also will appear on both Target and Pampers Facebook pages.
Splash Guard introduced a soft, form-fitting device that fits over a child’s ears and forehead and keeps shampoo, suds and soapy water from getting to the eyes, ears, nose or mouth. Lil Rinser comes in one-size-fits-all, bright color combinations that appeal to kids. The product retails for $9.99.
Do or Die Fitness’ line of fitness tools are designed to help people with knee, wrist and neck problems modify workout moves. New Wrist Wedges, Knee Donuts and Neck Circles provide support, stability and comfort for those who are unable to put weight on these sometimes sensitive areas. Wrist Wedges and Knee Donuts retail for $19.99 per pair, while Neck Circles retail for $9.99.
Drug stores experiment with As Seen On TV items
As Seen On TV products have gained valuable shelf space at drug chains, becoming a formidable department instead of just an item-driven business.
Its evolution is thanks to industry leaders Telebrands, Ontel, IdeaVillage (each individually owned by one of three Khubani brothers) and Allstar Products Group. Together they account for a significant portion of sales for the category whose customers are early adopters and seek new, innovative and value-driven products.
“We’ve seen varying levels of commitment from drug chains,” said Angelo Bianco, sales manager at Telebrands. “Some dabbled with 4 ft. of space and expanded it to 20 ft. when they recognized the potential, while others choose to approach it more cautiously.”
Drug chains continue to have a barrage of new products to consider each selling season. Hot for IdeaVillage for holiday 2011, said COO and EVP Ronald Boger, will be Wuggle Pets, an at-home stuffing machine with skins to create plush animals. A second round of support also is planned for the Criss Angel Platinum Magic Kit, the highest sell-through of all products last year.
TeleBrands is excited about Slice-O- Matic and My Zone, wireless headphones with a built-in FM tuner.
Allstar Marketing Products is focusing on existing strong seller Snuggie, as well as newcomers EZ Moves, Eggies, Perfect Meatloaf and Swivel Store. “The items are heavily advertised so the impulse nature … will drive sales,” said Anne Flynn, VP marketing for Allstar Products Group.
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.
Study finds cholesterol drug torcetrapib may help control diabetes
NEW YORK — A drug designed to boost high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels also may improve blood-sugar control for diabetics, according to a new analysis of a discontinued study.
Australian researchers found that torcetrapib, a cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitor, could improve HDL or "good" cholesterol levels while improving blood-sugar control among diabetics.
Among 6,661 diabetes patients in the Illuminate trial, those that were assigned to take a combination of torcetrapib and a statin saw average blood-sugar control levels of 7.06%, compared with those that received just the statin (7.29%). These figures were recorded during a six-month follow-up. The effects were apparent for up to 12 months, study authors noted.
What’s more, torcetrapib also lowered both glucose and insulin levels in the participants without diabetes, although the effects were not as great as in those with diabetes.
“The possibility that CETP inhibitor drugs may not only reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, but may also improve the control of blood sugar in people with diabetes, is an exciting prospect that may translate into real health benefits for people with diabetes,” said the study’s lead author, Philip Barter, a professor of medicine and director of the Heart Research Institute at the University of Sydney in Australia.
It is important to note, however, that torcetrapib touts a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular problems and death, which is why the Illiminate trial was discontinued.
The research was published in the July 18 online issue of Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association.