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Similasan adds ‘heavy hitters’ to team

BY Michael Johnsen

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — Similasan recently added three heavy hitters to its team, including Haley Ball as product manager, Dora Newlin as director of marketing and Kim Stark, who will direct Similasan’s quality assurance and regulatory initiatives.

In addition to managing the Similasan brand across the United States and Canada, Ball works as the social media community manager for Similasan USA. Prior, she worked as market category manager for Coca-Cola.

Newlin will oversee product development, marketing strategy and execution in North America. Newlin came from Procter & Gamble, where she worked on both the CoverGirl and Pringles brands, Orange Glo International and The Integer Group.

Stark spent the past five years as director of global quality and regulatory affairs for Nspire Health.

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Sanitizers ‘cleaning up’

BY Michael Johnsen

AKRON, Ohio — With the successful launch of Purell Advanced hand sanitizer last year, Purell Consumer has helped bring some excitement back to the category.

Sales of Purell’s core brand were up 28% to $31.1 million across total U.S. multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ended March 24, according to IRi, with Purell Advanced adding more than $10.3 million.

"[The] new formulation, TV support and [free-standing inserts] are driving shoppers back to the category," said Tim Cleary, Purell Consumer sales VP. Impulse purchases of the small sizes packaged within a jelly wrap carrier, school and small office supply dispensers and large-size containers for communal replacement are driving that conversion, he said.

Overall, sales of hand sanitizers totaled $185.7 million, up 8.3%. And while this past robust cold-and-flu season certainly helped drive those sales, it’s not the whole story. Sales of Purell reach significant seasonal spikes during the back-to-school period.

Purell Advanced also holds a point of differentiation over other brands — last year the company released results of a series of independent lab studies testing the ability of instant hand sanitizers to meet Food and Drug Administration Healthcare Personnel Handwash germ-kill requirements at various dosage levels. Purell Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer formulations contain a patent-pending blend of ingredients that maximize the impact of alcohol on bacteria while maintaining skin moisture for optimal skin health, Cleary said.

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Geritol brand looks to make a comeback

BY Michael Johnsen

MARIETTA, Ga. — Meda Consumer Healthcare is quickly developing a reputation for re-energizing iconic brands across new consumer groups. They’ve done it with Feosol. And now they’re looking to reinvent Geritol.

"Geritol is a beloved brand that has been in the market for 60-plus years and actually originally targeted stay-at-home moms in their 30s," explained Cigdem Topalli, brand manager for Geritol and Feosol at Meda Consumer.

Meda Consumer acquired Geritol from GlaxoSmithKline in 2010, and has since stabilized the business. "Because it was so iconic and there was such a loyalty to the brand, we wanted to make sure … that we fully understood the consumers’ perception of the brand before we made any changes," Topalli said. The brand still resonates with consumers, she said, but primarily among seniors. "Even though market share was low, we had [more than] 53% [brand] awareness," she said. "Many people recognize the brand today."

As part of that, Meda has conducted extensive consumer research in preparation for the product’s reintroduction later this year. "We learned that [Geritol] still stood for many positive images," she said. "[One] of the negative images that we need to overcome is this concept of being outdated." For example, liquid formulations of the Geritol supplement will be identified as a "liquid" as opposed to a "tonic," which was how consumers identified with Geritol in the 1950s.

The work will come to fruition in June when Meda Consumer re-enters a category that is already experiencing healthy growth with its recharged Geritol brand. Overall, multivitamins were up 5.2% in sales, reaching $1.6 billion across total U.S. multi-outlets, as captured by IRi for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 27.

 

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