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Twenty-one years supporting JDRF, Walgreens raises $18 million over that period, $1.3 million in 2012

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Walgreens and JDRF on Friday announced that Walgreens’ community-based programs helped raise more than $1.3 million in 2012 for JDRF. The year marked the 21st anniversary of Walgreens’ participation in JDRF’s nationwide campaign to raise funds for research to put an end to diabetes.

During the month of July, as part of the Walgreens Way to Well Commitment, customers at more than 7,500 Walgreens stores could make donations of $1 or more at checkout. 

"Walgreens is proud to support JDRF, and we’re thankful to our customers and employees who have helped raise more than $18 million toward Type 1 diabetes efforts over the past 20 years," stated John Gremer, director of community affairs for Walgreens. 

"The support that Walgreens provides JDRF year after year is remarkable," said Jeffrey Brewer, president and CEO of JDRF. "For more than two decades, their commitment to JDRF’s mission has helped fuel critical research toward preventing, better treating, and curing Type 1 diabetes. We value our collaboration with Walgreens and look forward to the continued growth of Type 1 diabetes research progress."

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Successfully connecting with Latinas spells a big win for beauty companies

BY Antoinette Alexander

A study of 900 women by Siempre Mujer magazine, a Spanish-language publication that covers beauty, fashion and lifestyles for Latinas, found that Latinas prefer details in beauty products, follow a multipronged beauty regimen and tend to outspend women in the general population when it comes to beauty, with more than 52% spending $25 or more per visit. In other words, Latinas represent a significant opportunity for retailers and beauty manufacturers.

Giving the growth of the Hispanic market and the rising buying power, it is important that retailers and manufacturers understand how to effectively connect with this beauty shopper.

By 2016, this demographic group will comprise 17.8% of U.S. residents, furthering its impact on the U.S. economy as its presence and buying power, according to research released in 2011 by IBISWorld, an independent source of industry and market research. Over the next five years, the nation’s buying power is projected to grow 27.5% to $14.7 trillion, while that of the Hispanic population is forecast to grow 48.1% to $1.6 trillion, according to the IBISWorld research. These are significant numbers.

Further illustrating the importance of effectively reaching this year is Mintel’s "Hispanics and Personal Care–U.S., January 2011" report. This report highlights that “Hispanics are brand-conscious, passionate about their appearance and believe that looking good leads you onto the path of success. As such, it is not surprising that Hispanic women have especially strong attitudes toward wearing makeup, most notably for complementing an outfit and enjoying the ritual of putting on makeup.”

With such tremendous buying power and a significant interest in beauty, those retailers and manufacturers that can effectively connect with is beauty-conscious shopper undoubtedly stand to benefit — in a big way.

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Reckitt Benckiser vs. Bayer: Having VMS in the product portfolio good insurance for future growth

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Reckitt Benckiser on Friday made an offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of VMS maker Schiff Nutrition for $42 per share in cash, or approximately $1.4 billion — a premium of 23.5% more than the $34 per share offer Bayer HealthCare announced Oct. 30. 

Think that’ll be the final offer? Not a chance if you consider the outcome of the most recent presidential election — ObamaCare’s here to stay, and that means any business that trades on well care over sick care is a good business to be in. 

Think about it. With health insurance mandates kicking in beginning in 2014, insurers who generate a larger base of healthier patients are going to be able to realize friendlier margins. In other words, the fewer claims you have to pay out because your coverage base is relatively healthy, the greater proportion of the premiums fall to the bottom line. 

So like the vanishing deductibles touted by Nationwide that the auto insurer ties to safe driving, expect health insurers to similarly drive better health behaviors. Don’t smoke. Eat right. And for the love of McDonald’s, take your vitamins. 

Not convinced? It was only a few months ago that DSN suggested VMS had become the hotbed for merger and acquisition activity because of the potential of the category. Procter & Gamble had finished its purchase of an entire supplement platform with its acquisition of New Chapter, and then Church & Dwight came onto the M&A scene with its acquisition of gummy vitamin manufacturer Avid Health. 

And the executives leading those companies are already tapping into some pretty significant synergies. "Gummy vitamins represent about 58% of all children vitamin sales today with only about 3% of the adult vitamin category," C&D CEO James Craigie excitedly told analysts. "However, the total adult vitamin category is about 19 times [the] size of the kids’ vitamins — or about $5 billion. So we are confident there is a huge opportunity to grow the gummy form in adult vitamins. … That growth has already happened as we speak, as the gummy form is the fastest-growing segment of both kids’ and adult vitamins."

Still not convinced? 

"On a stand-alone basis, Schiff is planning more than $370 million in sales in fiscal year 2013. The relevant market is growing at 6% per annum," Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers told analysts in October, just after he said, "Schiff’s products will effectively complement our existing OTC portfolio. One example is the possible interplay between Aleve to relieve acute joint and muscle pain and Move Free to support joint health."

That’s the play a lot of traditional OTC companies appear to be reaching for. Sure, have the acute care solution at the ready because when people are in pain, they will buy pain relief. But if the overriding consumer focus favors never needing that pain reliever in the first place, it may be a good idea to have that preventive offering as part of the product portfolio, too. 

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