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Yoga products stretch onto drug store shelves

BY Barbara White-Sax

Yoga products have become a high growth category, and drug store retailers are finding ways to capitalize on the growing trend. "Yoga participation has grown at a 12% compounded annual rate since 2000. There has also been a 10% annual growth rate in revenues related to yoga instruction from 2008 to 2012," said Mary Elisabeth Plowden, principal at Partnership Capital Growth. The investment firm estimated that there are approximately 16 million people in the United States who practice yoga, and at least half that many have indicated they would like to try it.

Clearly, there’s an upside to the yoga industry. Plowden estimated annual spending on yoga to be $10 billion. Yoga enthusiasts are attractive core consumers; they are generally well educated (57% have a college degree or higher) and earn higher household incomes (50% of participants earn more than $75,000 a year).

Yoga apparel is the largest segment in the industry, followed by yoga media. Sales of props/equipment (e.g., bags, blocks, bolsters and towels) rank third. Annual sales in this segment total about $2 billion, according to Partnership Growth Capital estimates.

Since a majority of yoga participants are women, drug chains are seeing an opportunity in the category. "The demographics match, so it’s a missed opportunity not to add a well-priced section of yoga mats in drug stores," said Richard Belford, director of sales and marketing at Wai Lana. Walgreens features the company’s yoga products on its website.

Belford said that mats are the best-selling yoga products, so drug stores should consider adding attractive, mid-priced mats to their mix. "Printed mats, which retail for $14.95, are a good choice for the drug store channel," Belford said.

"An interesting idea is a ‘wellness’ section with yoga merchandised next to vitamins, supplements and sports nutrition since data shows some crossover in those consumers’ purchasing habits," said Brian Smith, partner at Partnership Capital Growth. Smith said an ideal section could also include not only mats and mat wash, towels, bags and yoga books and DVDs, but such ancillary products as Luna and Cliff energy bars and water bottles.

Whole Foods has done well with this approach. More recently, Walgreens has been layering in a three-foot yoga section in many of its stores. The chain’s website has a more extensive line of yoga products, including a range of mats, towels and socks.

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A.KV says:
Jun-18-2013 10:44 am

Yoga is successfully used for treatment of children with special needs. Yoga has a more comprehensive effect as compared to traditional therapies that mostly target specific problems. kids gymnastics

S.HADDLE says:
Jun-05-2013 01:06 am

Yoga is one of the finest means of complete enlightening our body and soul. In past few years, it had shown a remarkable rise and practiced throughout the world.Yoga products in drug store clearly indicate the craze of yoga practiced in different parts throughout the country. nursing pillow

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Jelly Belly enchants

BY Barbara White-Sax

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Little princesses will love the new Jelly Belly Disney Princess Line featuring the favorite Disney characters Ariel, Cinderella and Rapunzel. Each 1-oz. package is filled with Jelly Belly’s new Enchanted Mix, sparkling jelly beans in a selection of iridescent versions of the brand’s popular berry blue, blueberry, bubble gum, cream soda, orange, sour apple and very cherry flavors. The 1-oz. bag size, which will ship in August, is a high-impulse purchase.

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Consumers still sweet on chocolate candy

BY Barbara White-Sax

While it’s tough to be an indulgent food in a health-conscious society, chocolate candy is still seeing growth in a few key segments. While the category is finding its balance between satisfying a loyal base of consumers looking for a guilty pleasure and an increased national focus on healthy eating, new segments are emerging. Unreal, for example, is a preservative-free, natural chocolate with 25% less sugar than traditional chocolates.

Portion control is also a focus, but it’s re-sealable bag chocolates, not portion-controlled packages, that are generating growth, according to Mintel. Larry Lupo, VP of sales for convenience and drug channels at Mars Chocolate North America, called bite-size unwrapped chocolate "a major trend." "These bags offer convenience and portability, and they’re easy to share," he said.

The seasonal segment also offers growth opportunity. According to Mintel’s research, nearly three-quarters of chocolate consumers think seasonal chocolates are a fun way to celebrate the holidays; another 45% think that there should be seasonal chocolates available for more holidays.

"The opportunity to continue expanding the seasonal chocolates market is there, but chocolate companies need to be able to offer consumers more choices without raising prices," the study said. Lupo said that seasonal confectionery sales continue to grow at Mars, especially seasonally-themed singles. This year, Mars will introduce Snickers Peanut Butter Pumpkins for Halloween, Twix Santas for Christmas and Twix Hearts for Valentine’s Day 2014.

Drug stores, according to a recent study from National Confectioners Association, have the biggest opportunity to pick up "channel leakage" sales when consumers stray from their primary source, especially when drug retailers keep their prices competitive. More than 40% of respondents in a recent NCA survey said they purchased candy at another channel due to lower prices. Value ranked higher than both convenience and variety when it came to tempting consumers to purchase at another channel.

Since impulse is such a large part of the category, tempting consumers is vital. To capture shoppers’ attention when they enter a drug store, Mars developed a new Basket Entry Rack, a free-standing display that holds three shelves of candy above a stack of shopping baskets. The same rack can be placed along the path to purchase or at the pharmacy to drive additional sales.

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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