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Tying kitchen items to key selling seasons

BY Barbara White-Sax

Housewares have moved beyond the Christmas selling season at drug stores. The products are becoming a year-round category for the channel as drug chains find ways to tie in kitchen items, tabletop accessories and appliances to key selling seasons.

Back-to-college has become a big season for small appliances at the channel. Since drug stores are conveniently located near many schools, they are a destination for student dorm shopping. The National Retail Federation’s latest back-to-school survey predicted that 22% of college students will shop at drug stores, and retailers are ensuring students can find coffee makers, water filter systems and hot pots on endcaps in their stores.

Reusable lunch bags, thermoses and water bottles also are in demand as students head back to school. Food storage has become a bigger part of the category as consumers find ways to make school lunches greener. In the food storage segment, consumers increasingly are moving away from plastic in favor
of glass.

The holiday selling season offers opportunities for the channel beyond small kitchen appliances. “Retailers are adding step-up products during the holiday season,” said Mike Duff, an editor for Home World Business magazine.

With wine sales soaring, decorative corkscrews and wine glass charms are great holiday impulse and gift category additions. Duff said the products generate easy add-on sales during the holiday season when merchandised near the wine section.

During the summer selling season, more chains have added a grilling/backyard entertaining section to their center aisles, including such items as grilling accessories and coolers. 

 

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Home/Kitchen Accessories Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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Chocolate sweetens candy sales at drug

BY Barbara White-Sax

Candy is a sweet spot for drug retailers. The drug channel is outperforming food and mass in total category dollar sales, according to data from the National Confectioners Association. “Total category dollars are up 2.6%, while drug is up 3.3%,” said Jenn Ellek, a spokeswoman for NCA. “Drug stores do a great job with promotion, in-store display and multiple points of interruption.”

The chocolate category has been a top performer for the drug channel. Tim Quinn, VP of trade development for Mars Chocolate North America, said that seasonally wrapped chocolate and stand-up bags/pouches are particularly strong in the channel. “We’re seeing an increased consumer demand for bite-size unwrapped chocolate,” said Quinn. Mars recently introduced M&M’s Snack Mix, M&M’s Stand-up Pouches and Dove milk chocolate-covered raisins and peanuts.

Ellek said the drug channel could grab a bigger share of non-chocolate sales with increased selection, sharper price points and increased promotion during the summer months.

A good assortment of higher-priced novelty items with solid play value also can help retailers differentiate themselves. “About 80% of what stores carry are must-haves, but there’s a lot of flex in the remaining 20%. Novelty plays a big part in that,” said Rob Auerbach, president of Candyrific.

Auerbach said novelty items in the $3 to $4 price range are an affordable luxury for consumers and provide large margins for retailers. The company will focus on Disney/Pixar’s “Monsters University” products next year.

 

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Candy Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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Toothpaste, mouthwash sales benefit from whitening properties

BY Antoinette Alexander

The teeth-whitening strips segment has lost some of its luster, according to data from SymphonyIRI Group, likely due in part to the economy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that products that promise to whiten teeth are losing popularity.

According to 52-week data ended July 8 from the Chicago-based market research firm, sales of tooth bleaching/whitening products dropped about 11% at food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart).

The dip in sales is likely due in part to the economy, as consumers watch their dollars. However, products that offer multiple benefits, including teeth whitening, are resonating with consumers.

In fact, Mintel recently released research that found that slightly more than 4-out-of-10 respondents (41%) have tried to whiten their teeth in the last 12 months using toothpaste, while 17% have given it a whirl with at-home mouthwash and 15% have tried OTC whitening strips.

“Some of the key growth drivers in the oral care market include an increased interest in whitening capabilities and products that deliver multiple benefits,” stated Gabriela Mendieta, home and personal care analyst at Mintel, in announcing the findings. “Also, many consumers are becoming more aware of how oral care effects their general health, and marketers can use this opportunity to push products that not only help with teeth and gums, but also one’s overall well-being.”

 

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Oral Care Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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