Toy category gets crafty
Sales of craft kits and art supplies “remain strong with a slight uptick,” according to Adrienne Appell, a spokeswoman for the Toy Industry Association. This segment of the toy category was up 7% in 2010 over 2009, according to the NPD Group, and is expected to perform well in 2011.
Some big winners for the holiday season were Spin Master’s Bizu, Crayola’s Glow Book and Fashion Angels’ “Project Runway” fashion design sketch portfolio. All retail for less than $20.
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Toys, Games & Crafts Sell-Through Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.
Portable takes a go at battery sector
Portable power is the growth area of the battery category. While sales of alkaline batteries remain challenged, rechargeable batteries and chargers are becoming a bigger part of the category.
“This year, we expect overall revenue for primary alkaline batteries to decline about 3% as fierce competition among manufacturers continues to pressure pricing for round cells,” said Tim Doyle, a Consumer Electronics Association spokesman.
Lou Martire, VP trade development at Energizer, said the company has found that actually reducing promotion on C, D and 9-volt batteries has increased profitability for retailers without a loss of volume.
Fewer devices now require batteries, although consumers always will need round cells to power toys and remotes. Doyle said growth in the category exists “if you know where to look.” Rechargeable batteries, he said, are one sector seeing sales climb as consumers increasingly adopt these solutions to portable power needs. New methods, such as inductive and solar, are “fanning the flames heating up the market for rechargeables,” Doyle said.
Jason Gere, an analyst for RBC Capital markets, said he sees long-term value in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. “People will be willing to pay up for rechargeables,” he said.
A growing part of the category is portable power systems. Last year, Energizer introduced a line of Qi-enabled cord-free charging products to the market. Qi is gaining momentum as the universal charging standard enabling chargers and devices to communicate with one another regardless of manufacturer. The company recently expanded its portfolio with a new line of Energizer Universal USB wall and car chargers and a single zone inductive charger.
Martire believed that helping shoppers make the right battery choices at the shelf — whether they need alkaline batteries for remote controls and flashlights, lithium batteries for GPS systems and digital cameras, or power options for their mobile devices — will keep the category profitable.
To help retailers optimize category performance, Energizer has rolled out the Shopper Based Solutions program, a visible permanent merchandising program that Martire said has helped retailers achieve above-average category growth.
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Batteries Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.
CDC study reports drop in lower-limb amputations among diabetes patients
ATLANTA — Leg and foot amputations among patients diagnosed with diabetes saw a dramatic decline between 1996 and 2008, thanks to improvements in blood-sugar control, foot care and diabetes management, along with declines in cardiovascular disease, according to a new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study — “Declining Rates of Hospitalization for Nontraumatic Lower-Extremity Amputation in the Diabetic Population Aged 40 years or Older: U.S., 1988-2008” — which is published in the current online issue of Diabetes Care, found that the rate of leg and foot amputations declined by 65% between 1996 and 2008 among U.S. adults ages 40 years and older.
Comparing gender and race demographics, the researchers also discovered that among diabetes patients in 2008, men had higher age-adjusted rates of leg and foot amputations than women (6 per 1,000 versus 1.9 per 1,000), and African-Americans had higher rates than whites (4.9 per 1,000 versus 2.9 per 1,000). What’s more, adults ages 75 years and older recorded the highest rate — 6.2 per 1,000 — compared with other age groups.
The researchers analyzed data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey on nontraumatic lower-limb amputations and from the National Health Interview Survey on the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes from 1988 to 2008. Researchers found that the decrease in lower-limb amputation rates was greater among people with diagnosed diabetes, compared with those without diabetes. However, the rate in 2008 was still about eight times higher among people with diagnosed diabetes, compared with those without it.
“The significant drop in rates of nontraumatic lower-limb amputations among U.S. adults with diagnosed diabetes is certainly encouraging, but more work is needed to reduce the disparities among certain populations,” said Nilka Ríos Burrows, an epidemiologist with CDC′s Division of Diabetes Translation and co-author of the study. “We must continue to increase awareness of the devastating health complications of diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of lower-limb amputations in the United States.”