HEALTH

‘Tis the year to lose weight

BY Michael Johnsen

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, leading up to January 2013, 45% of Americans made a New Year’s resolution. Of those, 38% were weight-related resolutions. In fact, losing weight was the No. 1 resolution, beating out “getting organized” and “spend less, save more.”

(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)

But this year’s resolutions may carry a little more weight with the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Not only will there be an overall emphasis on realizing and maintaining a healthy weight from employers and healthcare payers, but also Medicaid will expand weight-loss counseling to its constituents at little or no cost.

That suggests sales of weight-loss aids will be less impacted by seasonality, while the overall category continues to grow. The category currently stands at $5.4 billion on a growth rate exceeding 8%, according to DSN estimates.

And it’s a savvier consumer shopping weight loss. “[As many as] 95% in the diet category now actually research online before they buy,” noted Jeff McHarg, general manager North America for Soho Flordis. And they’re looking for clinical evidence, he said, and for a simplified regimen. “They want something they can understand how it works,” he said. “People don’t see [weight-loss products] as a magic pill anymore, they see it as a weight-loss aid.”

Nutrisystem continues to make waves at retail, joining its five-day weight-loss starter kit with more traditional meal replacement bar and ready-to-drink shake offerings. Nutrisystem is placing a lot of weight behind its retail roll out — president and CEO Dawn Zier told analysts in October that retail sales accounted for 5% of the company’s revenues in 2013. She expects that to double in 2014.

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HEALTH

Sales of adult gummies rise

BY Michael Johnsen

The gummy delivery form of vitamins is the single-largest source of growth for the vitamins, minerals and supplements category, having realized a 29% rate of growth, which translates to $125 million in annualized sales growth.

(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)

“Within the gummy delivery form, 65% of the sales are now represented by the adult life stage products, and only 35% are children-based,” Doug Jones, Pharmavite spokesman, shared with DSN. “While adult gummy sales have increased 51% for that 52-week period, children’s gummy sales are flat versus a year ago.”

It’s that opportunity to ramp up sales in adult gummy vitamins that has Church & Dwight significantly bullish on the category. The company last month announced plans to expand its gummy vitamin production capacity through the addition of a new production line to be constructed at its manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania. Construction began in 2013, and the line is scheduled to be operational in the first quarter of 2015.

“Our gummy vitamin sales are growing at a 20% rate to approximately $300 million in annual net sales in 2013,” James Craigie, chairman and CEO told analysts in December. “We believe the future prospects of the gummy vitamin category are strong, as more adults switch from traditional vitamin pills to gummy vitamins.”

Pharmavite recently increased its presence in the gummy vitamin space with the introduction of three gummy products — Nature Made Adult Gummies Multi+Omega-3; Immune Complex with Zinc; and Energy B12.

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HEALTH

Science, natural solutions boost probiotic sales

BY Michael Johnsen

Probiotics is another large-scale source of growth for the vitamins, minerals and supplements category, having realized a 33% rate of growth, or an increase in sales of $121 million in the last year, noted Doug Jones, Pharmavite spokesman.

(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)

The growth in probiotics has been powered by emerging science, said Michael Petschek, marketing director for i-Health — not only with regard to digestive health, but also immunity health. “Household penetration [of the probiotic supplement category] has grown rapidly. It’s about 10% of the population now. Just for perspective, two or three years ago it was only 3.5%,” he said.

In addition to digestive health and immunity health, the Winning Combination recently launched a probiotic targeting cholesterol health. “Consumers are driving the growth in probiotics because they are increasingly looking for more natural solutions to help manage their health,” said Shazad Bukhari, COO of the Winning Combination. “In a Strategic Intent survey conducted among 677 supplement users, 75% indicated they would prefer a more natural way to lower cholesterol. Cardioviva is the first natural probiotic that has been shown in peer-reviewed and published clinical trials to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels in adults.”

The Winning Combination’s Cardioviva recently partnered with the National Volunteer Fire Council and its Heart Healthy Firefighter Program to promote cholesterol management — heart attacks account for more than half of on-duty firefighter deaths. In support of this, Cardioviva conducted cholesterol screenings and nutrition and lifestyle education at regional and national fire service and EMS events throughout the past year.

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