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Retailers offer enhanced services to help quit

BY Michael Johnsen

Even though section 1201 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — the section that enables health payers to charge a 50% premium on smokers — won’t go into effect until 2015, smoking cessation will be a growing category in 2014.

This year and next, the retail market is already primed to offer enhanced smoking cessation services to customers. As they’ll be looking to recoup the return on investment in those programs, there’ll be more messaging on quit attempts more often.

And that will spur more quit attempts. "We have 11 million smokers in our market," noted former Safeway chief executive Steven Burd regarding the introduction of the chain’s stop-smoking program in conjunction with the University of California, San Francisco. "Eight million of them would like to quit," he said. "It’s not easy, and we think that working with UCSF and doing a combination of the right smoking-cessation product with some behavioral modification is really the key."

For retail clinics, smoking cessation is one of the chronic care programs that can help increase traffic. "[We’re] piloting enhanced smoking cessation and weight-management programs, and the strong growth we’ve experienced in MinuteClinic’s non-acute services is helping us to reduce the seasonality of the business," Larry Merlo, CEO and president of CVS Caremark, told analysts earlier this year.

To help pharmacies and clinics augment their smoking-cessation solutions, the Foundation for Health Smart Consumers launched a major expansion of its smoking-cessation initiative through the Inspire Program at the annual Retail Clinician Education Congress held in May. A core component of that program is a patient counseling toolkit available to clinicians online to increase the quantity and frequency of smoking-cessation interventions in the convenient care setting.

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Young consumers seek new, different condoms

BY Michael Johnsen

There hasn’t been a lot of growth in intimacy health lately, with the exception of intimacy enhancement devices, which are up 16.5% to a relatively small $26.2 million base for the 52 weeks ended June 16, according to IRI. But there is plenty of opportunity to drive growth into the category moving forward, especially with the Millennials entering the marketplace.

"People want something new and different in the category for condoms, just like they would for laundry detergent or dish soap," observed Matthew Shiflin, general manager of Jarden and distributor of Billy Boy condoms. "Fifty-six percent of condom purchasers today are 18-year-old to 24-year-old collegiate males. These are Millennials who are charged with social media and want to be wowed. They want to identify with something that’s different than the traditional norm."

"There are consumers out there who are looking for something new," added Davin Wedel, president of Global Protection, which makes One Condoms. "And there’s the potential to bring those new, younger consumers into the category."

Church & Dwight possesses the lion’s share of the male contraceptive category — a 73.9% dollar share and a 72.7% unit share across total U.S. multi-outlets. That may seem intimidating for some manufacturers, but many of the specialty condom manufacturers breaking through to mass — in addition to Billy Boy there’s Global Protection, Kimono and Sir Richard’s Condom Co. — consider themselves category catalysts.

"What we’ve been seeing across the board is that the overall base business is down anywhere from 3% to 5%, depending on the retailer," Shiflin said. As a whole, the category is slightly down by 1.2%, according to IRI data. "The only factor that’s really been sustaining additional losses and/or growing the category is the [new-to-mass-planogram] brands."

That’s not to say larger manufacturers aren’t generating category solutions to boost sales. Market leader Church & Dwight recently expanded its brand of Trojan condoms into the personal lubricant space.

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Category awakens with energetic sales

BY Michael Johnsen

With the launch of Procter & Gamble’s ZzzQuil, a relatively quiet sleep category has exploded with energy this year. A lot of that has to do with the $121.1 million in sales that ZzzQuil — both tablet and liquid formulations — has generated this year.

But that doesn’t explain everything. The entire category is up nearly $145 million. For the 52 weeks ended June 16 across total U.S. multi-outlets, IRI measured a 707.4% lift in sleep liquid sales to $89.7 million. The slightly larger category of sleep tablets realized a 29.8% lift in sales to $294.2 million.

"[Sleep] is definitely one of the higher-growth areas that we’ve seen recently," noted Laura Mahecha, industry manager at Kline’s Healthcare practice. It had been on a strong trajectory over the past few years, Mahecha said, "but ZzzQuil really bumped it up."

And it’s not the only sleep brand with a strong growth trajectory. "The MidNite brand, a more natural sleep aid, continues to do well," Mahecha said. "People like it because of the claim that they’ll ‘wake alert.’"

MidNite’s introduction of MidNite for Menopause as a line extension was recognized as one of Parade magazine’s 2013 Products of the Year.

Meda Consumer Healthcare, which acquired the MidNite brand in late 2012, also trades on the "other side of the aisle" with its alertness brand Vivarin. Vivarin will be undergoing a package redesign this fall, Kimberly Brown, Vivarin brand manager, told DSN. "Focused on gaining relevancy in the lives of young adults, the brand is embracing a lifestyle marketing approach that includes new TV [and] pop-culture events."

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