HEALTH

Soothing relief

BY Michael Johnsen

OAK BROOK, Ill. — Chapped and cracked lips have long been a side effect associated with the common cold, especially for those congested sufferers who have to breathe strictly through their mouths. Now Blistex is introducing Blistex Cold & Allergy Lip Soother, a lip balm that incorporates an external analgesic (pramoxine HCl 1%) to help relieve the pain that comes with those cracked lips. That incremental opportunity should be complementary to the category — lip remedy sales totaled $537 million for the 52 weeks ended April 16 across food, drug and mass (including Walmart), up 0.3%, according to Nielsen Group data.

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HEALTH

Pump up the iron

BY Michael Johnsen


It’s not often a niche brand manufacturer attempts to resuscitate what has been for years a commoditized category. But that’s exactly what Meda Consumer Healthcare will be attempting to do with iron — establish a good/better/best proposition to a supplemented category best defined as mediocre. For the 52 weeks ended April 16, mineral supplement sales were down 3.3% to $534 million across food, drug and mass (including Walmart), according to Nielsen Group data.


“Every category thrives on innovation because new science brings new benefits that attract a new generation of consumers,” Jeff Cohen, VP and general manager of Meda’s consumer arm, told Drug Store News. “Without news, the [iron] category has defaulted to becoming commoditized.”


Meda is setting the stage for that good/better/best proposition in part through its recent acquisition of a few GlaxoSmithKline legacy brands last year — Geritol Tonic and Feosol — and its pre-existing premium-positioned Bifera iron supplement product. “Strategically [that creates] an opportunity to re-segment the market,” Cohen said. “We envision bringing a differentiated line with differentiated benefits, and a price value with those benefits,” he said.


And the consumer need for iron is on the rise, Cohen said. Young women with heavy menstruation, pregnant women, the aging population — these are all traditional iron markets. But yet-to-be targeted is a rapidly growing segment: active baby boomers and recreational athletes. For example, the approximate 75 million endurance athletes, such as marathon runners or bicyclists, experience heavy iron loss and need supplementation. “There is a segmentation opportunity,” Cohen said.


According to the World Health Organization, iron deficiency is the leading nutritional disorder in the world, with up to 80% of the world’s population being iron deficient and as many as 30% suffering from iron deficiency anemia.

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CRN, AANP launch online supplement resource

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition earlier this month announced the launch of a microsite as part of its joint education campaign with the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Foundation. The new microsite, available via the CRN website, is a hub for resources and information about nurse practitioners in general, as well as their attitudes about and usage of dietary supplements, the association stated.


“This microsite will provide information showcasing the important role that nurse practitioners and dietary supplements play as part of a comprehensive approach to wellness,” said Judy Blatman, SVP communications at CRN. “It will allow us to have a central location to house information and news related to this effort. As a healthcare practitioner group, nurse practitioners are growing in numbers, and as more consumers learn about the value of nurse practitioners, their influence will continue to grow as well.”


The microsite additions will be comprised of fact sheets and statistics about nurse practitioners and will contain joint press releases from the organizations. It will have a different feel than CRN’s primary website, with a unique layout and format.

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