Sales in mass, food channels outpace drug
The combined one- and two-letter vitamins and vitamin, herbal and mineral supplement categories saw an all outlet (total U.S.) growth of 3% for the last 12 months versus the year-ago period, yet the food channel delivered gains of 4% while the drug channel lagged at 2%. Key drivers in drug were VHMS (up 3.4%), followed by one- and two-letter vitamins (up 2.7%). In the food channel, multivitamins gained just 2%, while both VHMS and one- and two-letter vitamins increased 4% and 5%, respectively. (Figure 1)
For leading manufacturers in the VHMS category, Pharmavite saw the highest percentage of sales on promotion in the drug channel, yet it remained flat in sales year over year. I-Health saw a much lower percent of sales on promotion (76%), yet posted more than 3% sales growth. Pharmavite also had the highest percentage of sales on promotion in one- and two-letter vitamins, and performed better with gains of 7% year over year in drug channel. (Figure 2)
Average margins for Nature’s Bounty were consistently highest in mass and food, but had only a four-point margin spread on average between mass and drug percentages. Pharmavite held a wider spread across channels, and Nature’s Bounty had lower average retail margins in drug. I-Health had the lowest percentage in mass with 29%. (Figure 3)
Nature’s Bounty appears to generate two times the number of circular ads versus rival Pharmavite in food in the one- and two-letter vitamins segment. Despite driving growth in this segment, i-Health has seen the least amount of promotional activity in feature ads across all three channels. (Figure 4)
To view the full Promo Watch report, complete with charts, click here.
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