HEALTH

VMS consumers conduct research online

BY Michael Johnsen

The online channel more and more is becoming a key channel of distribution for vitamin and dietary supplement brands. According to Clavis Insight’s latest category analysis, only 16% of all VMS sales in 2014 were sold online. But considering that 64% of all CPG sales are digitally influenced — consumers are researching their in-store purchases online to a greater degree — it won’t be long before a greater portion of the $25 billion in annual VMS sales is conducted online.
 
Clavis Insight recently broke down which multivitamin brands were performing best online in the U.S. market. More than 60 brands were evaluated earlier this year in June using a formula that essentially captures what the consumer sees and experiences:
  • Search: Can shoppers find the products based on category keywords?
  • Image: Does the online product listing include a key brand image?
  • Content: Is key product information present on product landing pages?
  • Ratings/reviews: What is the quantity and quality of consumer feedback on the landing pages?
  • Availability: Are the products in-stock and available for sale?
  • Auto-replenishment: Can consumers choose to automatically reorder the products?
Of the multivitamin brands evaluated by Clavis Insight, 10 really stood out. The common denominators across these brands included high quality and quantity of ratings and reviews, very few out-of-stock issues and more than half featured an auto-replenishment option, generating a repeat purchase on a predictable cycle. 
 
Clavis Insight indexed the top-five brands across many of those metrics. Most over indexed on search, meaning the brands often came up in online searches using key category search terms; most of those brands fielded an impressive number of positive reviews; and many offered an auto-replenish option. 
 
For example, Optimum Nutrition outperformed the category significantly on search, with a high percentage of their products in the Top 20 search results using key terms like “multivitamin.”
 
Ranking high on search terms is important because less than 30% of Amazon shoppers click beyond the first page of search results, Clavis Insight noted. And in-store dominance of a brand doesn’t necessarily translate into automatic online sales if customers can’t find that brand on that first page of search. 
 
The Clavis multivitamin brand ranking focused on metrics along the consumer’s path to purchase that impact sales and “adds to basket.” Multivitamin brands positioned outside of the Top 10 brands should consider the lost opportunity in failing to maximize performance against these metrics:
  • Higher search ranking against key category search terms makes items easier to find and add to consumer baskets;
  • Developing consistent and engaging images and content leads to more clarity for consumers and longer dwell time on product pages;
  • A high number of positive ratings and reviews are key for consumers evaluating products; and
  • Improving availability minimizes lost sales through out-of-stock items and offering the option to auto-replenish product captures repeat sales in a predictable purchase cycle.

For charts from this report, click here.

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Mannatech introduces Manapol powder

BY DSN STAFF

COPPELL, Texas — Naturally sourced supplement company Mannatech on Wednesday introduced Manapol powder, an aloe vera gel extract, as a standalone product available only in the United States.

Manapol powder, whose molecular weight is greater than any other aloe gel extract, is a 100% aloe vera gel extract with acetylated, mannose-rich polysaccharides to support cell-to-cell communication, according to the company. The powder supports the immune system and may provide gastrointestinal benefits.

“Mannatech is uniquely positioned to serve the wellness industry with excellence through our products,” Mannatech CEO and President Al Bala said. “Manapol powder only further establishes us as the pioneer of nutritional glycobiology with this groundbreaking technology.”

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Nexium 24HR sells well on promotion

BY Michael Johnsen

Marketing efficiency can vary significantly across brands and across channels, according to a recent report analyzing the digestive category conducted by Competitive Promotion Report.

(Click here for charts and the full Category Review.)

Almost half of all Nexium 24HR units were sold on promotion for the 12 months ended June 14, but with $279 million in sales, they didn’t match the marketing efficiency of Prilosec OTC, which promoted half as many units and generated more sales ($284 million).

“Nexium 24HR, introduced in May 2014, has aggressively promoted its franchise, reaching more than 70% in units sold on promotion in some months,” said Scott Hanslip, EVP of Competitive Promotion Report. “As a result, Nexium 24HR displayed the highest average units sold on promotion (46%), almost twice that of Prilosec OTC (26%),” he added. Promotions on these proton-pump inhibitors exceeded that of the category (21%), Hanslip added. In comparison, the total units sold on promotion for the laxatives category was 12%.

CPR’s trade-spending analysis indicated that in the upper GI category, the four top national brands experienced lower retailer margin percentages versus the category average (excluding private label), according to Hanslip. The top brands also showed variance in margin percentages across class of trade. Prilosec OTC saw the highest margin percent (18%) in the mass channel; Zantac 150 (24%) led in the food channel; and TUMS Ultra (33%) boasted the highest margin percent in the drug channel.

According to ECRM, private-label brands offered the most circular ads in both upper and lower GI segments, at 7,340 and 8,373, respectively, far outpacing their national brand counterparts. With 23% of those units being sold on promotion, private label represented the greatest marketing efficiency as compared with national brands, with $819 million in annual sales.

Circular ad counts for the lower GI segment indicated that Metamucil offered the highest number of ads (4,300), while in the upper GI segment, Nexium 24HR boasted the highest number of circular ads (3,280).

“Specifically in the drug channel, Metamucil saw the highest count of ads for lower GI (3,844), while Nexium 24HR presented the highest number of circular ad counts (2,413),” Hanslip said. “In both the digestive health segments, private label dominated, offering the most ads for the drug channel (6,581 and 5,352, respectively).”

Drug Store News has partnered with Competitive Promotion Report and IRI on this exclusive report, highlighting the market performance of major brands in upper and lower digestive categories over the past 24 months ending June 14. This analysis was gathered using CPR, IRI and ECRM data in terms of growth in retail sales, retailer margin percentages and retailer ads in the gastrointestinal category.

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