DSN - July 2019

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JULY 2019

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Opioid addiction can disrupt the normal, healthy functioning of the brain. These brain changes can be long-lasting, and can lead to the harmful behaviors, without regard to age, sex, or social-economic status. If left untreated, opioid addiction can have serious harmful consequences, including the potential for overdose and death. At Dr. Reddy’s, we know the opioid crisis touches everyone. Our employees are working around the clock to develop life-changing medicines that can help treat this debilitating disease because Good Health Can’t Wait.

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Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Inc. 107 College Road East, Princeton, NJ 08540 Tel: 866-733-3952


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JULY 2019

PUTTING The mass retail industry is wrestling with safety issues amid a push for drug imports

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Vol. 41 No. 7 DrugStoreNews.com


24 Counter Talk with Rite Aid’s Bryan Everett

28 Focus On: KISS Products

26 Counter Talk

34 Putting Safety First

with PPSI’s Fred Mayer

How the industry ensures safety in the supply chain

30 Products to Watch 98 Last Word

38 Special Report: CBD

with David Orgel Consulting’s David Orgel

Where the category is headed and who the top suppliers are

68 Omnichannel and Digital Merchandising Summit Key speakers and panelist insights from the event hosted by Walgreens, Drug Store News and Mack Elevation

COLUMNS 8 Editor’s Note


10 Industry News

60 Opening the Floodgates

14 Counter Talk


with consultant Bruce Kneeland

18 One-On-One with Functional Remedies’ Matt Poli


How the CBD boom is making its way into beauty

66 News

PHARMACY 80 Generics Spotlight

20 One-On-One

Profiling the top manufacturers in the generics industry

with GMDC’s Mark Mechelse

22 Counter Talk

86 News

with Stericycle Environmental Solutions’ Wade Scheel

HEALTH 88 Of Lice and Men Trends and demands that have suppliers in the lice category scratching their heads

SOCIAL Facebook.com/ DrugStoreNews Twitter.com/ DrugStoreNews

92 Lice Products 94 Women’s Health and Wellness


Manufacturers from vitamins to menstrual care aim to appeal to women with new offerings

DSN (ISSN 0191-7587) is published monthly 12 times a year by EnsembleIQ, 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60631. Subscription rates: Manufacturers, schools, libraries and all others allied to the field $119. Canadian subscribers $129. Foreign subscribers $225. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, IL, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to DSN, Circulation Fulfillment Director, P.O. Box 3200, Northbrook, IL 60065-3200. Canada Post: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608. Canada Returns to be sent to Bleuchip International, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2. For change of address, six weeks notice to Drug Store News, P.O. Box 3200, Northbrook, IL 60065-3200 is requested. Give old and new address and zip code. If possible, enclose address portion from cover on previous issue. Subscription changes also may be emailed to drugstorenews@omeda.com, or call 847-564-1468. Vol. 41, No. 7, July 2019. Copyright © 2019 by EnsembleIQ. All rights reserved.



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Losing Patience A long wait at the checkout resulted in unhappy shoppers and fewer sales for these retailers By Seth Mendelson


t happened on three consecutive weekends, at three different chains in three different towns. But, the end result was the same. I walked out of the store without purchasing anything. Over the course of about 16 days, I was subjected to the ultimate curse of retailing on three separate occasions — waiting in line to pay for merchandise I needed from a drug store when there was just one cash register open and just one cashier working at the checkout. Now, no one is ever going to accuse me of having a lot Seth Mendelson Editor in Chief/ of patience. But, I am fully prepared to wait in line to pay Associate Publisher for my merchandise as long as things are moving along. Unfortunately, on each of these occasions, the lines were barely moving at all. With just one person manning the front end, it seemed that virtually every reason possible to prevent customers from finishing their transactions took place. Several times, the line came to a stunning halt as the cashier was asked to help a customer find a certain item. Other times, the cashier had to leave the checkout to find the price of a product. And, on other occasions, customers simply were buying too many products, and that by itself slowed things to a crawl. Each time, after at least 10 minutes in line, I gave up hope. I simply put my merchandise down on the nearest counter, gave the cashier a scowl and muttered some comments to my line mates as I walked out the door. I was not the only customer to do this, either. Eventually, I went to another store to purchase these products, but each time it was a supermarket, and each time I went there to make food purchases and remembered to purchase my OTC needs as well. I am not here to tell retailers how to run their businesses. But I will say that getting a customer out the door in a timely fashion is vital to maintaining an atmosphere that encourages shoppers to visit your store. Putting a second or third person — as needed — at the front end will pay for itself in a short amount of time. In the end, getting the consumer out the exits quickly will lead to getting more consumers to come in the entrance. dsn

I will say that getting a customer out the door in a timely fashion is vital to maintaining an atmosphere that encourages shoppers to visit your store. Putting a second or third person — as needed — at the front end will pay for itself in a short amount of time.


An EnsembleIQ Publication 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60631 Vice President, Publisher Eric Savitch (856) 489-3336, esavitch@ensembleiq.com Editor in Chief /Associate Publisher Seth Mendelson (212) 756-5160, smendelson@ensembleiq.com EDITORIAL Associate Managing Editor David Salazar (212) 756-5114, dsalazar@ensembleiq.com Senior Editor Sandra Levy (845) 893-9573, slevy@ensembleiq.com Desk Editor Maria Manliclic (212) 756-5093, mmanliclic@ensembleiq.com Online Editor Gisselle Gaitan (212) 756-5138, ggaitan@ensembleiq.com SALES & BUSINESS Beauty Director Laura Fontana (440) 724-4369, lfontana@ensembleiq.com Northeast Manager Alex Tomas (212) 756-5155, atomas@ensembleiq.com Regional Manager Steven Werner (312) 961-7162 swerner@ensembleiq.com Brand Marketing Manager Mary Ellen Magee (856) 419-8411, mmagee@ensembleiq.com Production Manager Jackie Batson (224) 632-8183, jbatson@ensembleiq.com Director of Audience and Data Gail Reboletti (224) 231-6363, greboletti@ensembleiq.com PROJECT MANAGEMENT/PRODUCTION/ART Vice President Production Derek Estey (877) 687-7321 x 1004, destey@ensembleiq.com Creative Director Colette Magliaro cmagliaro@ensembleiq.com PRESIDENT Consumer Goods Retail Business Jennifer Litterick (647) 946-9219, jlitterick@ensembleiq.com CUSTOMER SERVICE Having a problem with your subscription? Send us full details with the mailing label of the last copy you received, along with your telephone number. Write to: Circulation Fulfillment Director, Drug Store News, P.O. Box 3200 Northbrook, IL 60065-3200; email drugstorenews@omeda.com; or call (847) 564-1468 CIRCULATION LIST MANAGER Elizabeth Jackson MeritDirect (847) 492-1350 x 318. REPRINTS PARS International, LF-Reprints@parsintl.com, (212) 221-9595 x435, tinyurl.com/LF-reprints. Single copy price is $20 for a regular issue and $100 for a statistical issue. PERMISSIONS For permission to reuse material from Drug Store News/DSN (ISSN 0191-7587) please access www.copyright.com or contact the Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC), 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 646-2600, (855) 239-3415. CCC is a not-for-profit organization that provides licenses and registration for a variety of uses.

CORPORATE OFFICERS Executive Chairman Alan Glass Chief Executive Officer David Shanker Chief Financial Officer Dan McCarthy Chief Operating Officer Joel Hughes Chief Innovation Officer Tanner Van Dusen Chief Human Resources Officer Ann Jadown Executive Vice President, Events & Conferences Ed Several


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Do more with more. Choosing UltiGuard Safe Pack helps your customers—and your pharmacy. The Pen Needle UltiGuard Safe Pack gives your patients a built-in, FDA-cleared sharps disposal system with their pen needles, all for the same copay as pen needles alone—and it gives pharmacies like yours higher margins and higher revenue. With UltiGuard Safe Pack, your pharmacy does well while you do good.

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Good2grow Brings Collectible Podz Tops to Fortified Water

Q&A: Prophecy New York’s Organic Vision

Good2grow is bringing a new look to its Fortified Water product this summer. The Atlanta-based company, which focuses on better-for-you children’s beverages, announced the launch of its new Fortified Water, featuring Podz collectors’ tops. Designed for children between the ages of 7-to-12 years old, the Fortified Water comes in a 10-oz. bottle that’s topped with a clear, twist off domed lid that encases popular 3-D characters from movies and television, the company said. “We created Fortified Water featuring Podz for kids who feel they’ve outgrown juice products, but whose parents still want to make sure they’re getting the nutritional benefits they need,” CEO Gunnar Olson said. Available in orange mango and raspberry lemonade flavors, the water also contains vitamin D and calcium, and is free of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, added sugar or high fructose corn syrup, the company said. Podz characters include those from DC and Marvel Comics, Shopkins and Minions.

Drug Store News spoke to Gordon Hu, president of Prophecy New York, who said that his company’s products offer quality and fair pricing, plus a valuable USDA Organic certification.

Designer Protein Looks to Create Niche in Vitamin Aisle Retailers looking to make a mark in the niche segments of the vitamin category might want to create special sections for these items. That is what officials at Carlsbad, Calif.-based Designer Protein are suggesting retailers add to please a growing segment of the consumer base that comes into a store with a specific product in mind. “The savvy retailers are creating keto sections


within their stores,” Mindy Paris, senior vice president of sales, said. “They know consumers come in saying, ‘I am living the keto lifestyle, where do I buy ketofriendly products?’” Designer Protein offers a number of products, including several powders, such as the new Designer Keto 14g Keto Adaptogenic Protein and Totally Egg Natural Egg White & Yolk Protein. CEO Paul Pruett said the company uses a cold filtration process. “Egg is the most complete protein of all,” he said. “We have combined the yolk and egg white and taken out the bad stuff.”

Drug Store News: Tell us about Prophecy New York. What does the company do? Gordon Hu: At Prophecy New York, we focus on organic skin care and cosmetic products. Our brand, BeautiPromise, is an all-organic skin care line that includes a cleanser, toner, day cream, night cream, serum and has been certified by USDA. All products are made in USA. DSN: How many SKUs do you have? In what segments of the market? And, how are you priced? GH: We have 20 SKUs. We are focusing on high end market, such as Sephora, Ulta, Bloomingdale and Macy’s for skin care products, and we sell the face masks throughout all channels, from drug stores to department stores. Our quality is superior, and our prices are viewed as mid-level. DSN: Do you think your company has a unique niche in the marketplace? GH: Yes. We are the only USDA-certified and U.S.-made face mask in the world, and that makes us stand out in a crowded market. That certification is highly recognized and respected in the retail industry. Retailers need to stock these items and put them in an extremely visible location.


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Bio-Kult Migréa Probiotic Focuses on Gut-Brain Connection

Pharmacy Solutions

ADM Protexin is expanding its BioKult brand with the launch of Bio-Kult Migréa. The probiotic supplement is the first developed to target both the digestive tract and the head. The company said that Bio-Kult Migréa contains 14 probiotic strains focused on maintaining good gut health, as well as magnesium and vitamin B6, which contribute to normal nervous system functioning and reduce tiredness and fatigue. The magnesium also is meant to help with stress resilience, as many sufferers have noted stress as a trigger to head discomfort, the company said. Bio-Kult said that studies have highlighted a potential connection between gut bacteria imbalances and neurological discomfort, possibly due to increased

intestinal permeability, which allows undigested food particles and endotoxins into the bloodstream. The supplement, like the rest of the BioKult line, can be taken whole or pulled apart and mixed into food or drink, and does not need to be refrigerated. Bio-Kult Migréa currently is available on Amazon. com and Bio-Kult.com in 60-count capsules that retail for $29.50.

Hallmark Debuts Smaller Just Because Greeting Cards



Hallmark is shrinking its greeting cards selection — physically, that is. The Kansas City, Mo.-based company is expanding its Just Because line with the introduction of Just Because Minis, meant to help deliver happiness to card recipients in a smaller profile. The cards, which Hallmark said are perfect to tuck into such unexpected places as a lunch box, backpack or purse, comprise a collection of 88 mini cards that are priced at $1.99 and come in friendship, love, thank you, just because, encouragement, cope, thinking of you, congrats and get well soon themes. “A card is a simple way to make a big difference in someone’s day, and Just Because cards are perfect to celebrate the little moments in our everyday lives that make life so special, or to lift someone’s spirit by being there for them,” Lindsey Roy, chief marketing officer at Hallmark Greetings, said. “With so many ways to stay in touch, it’s amazing to see what a card can do to go above and beyond to show someone how you feel or to tell them you’re thinking of them.” In addition, Hallmark is bringing back Free Card Fridays, available at Hallmark Gold Crown stores through Sept. 27. The promotion allows new and existing Crown Rewards members to pick up a free Just Because card of their choice at their local store every Friday, the company said. The full size and mini Just Because cards are sold exclusively at Hallmark Gold Crown stores.


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The (I)s Have It Independent community pharmacy plays a vital role in health care By Bruce Kneeland

D Bruce Kneeland, community pharmacy specialist and industry consultant

epending on who you talk to, there are roughly 25,000 small chain and independent pharmacies in the United States. Some of these are small family-owned chains like the Marquess Group, with 10 locations in Georgia. But most are single-location pharmacies operated by a pharmacist owner. There is no question that these pharmacies are dealing with enormous challenges. But whether you own a pharmacy or work for a company trying to sell to them, it would be a mistake to think of them as a dying breed. Yes, profit margins on prescriptions are dropping, but there is good news, and it comes in three major categories. First, independent pharmacy owners are operating smarter. Technology allows them to fill prescriptions faster and more accurately. But, more importantly, they are finding ways to manage the business aspects of their practice better. And, the owners who have “cracked the code” are buying existing pharmacies and using their newfound business skills to improve the profits on their new stores.

The good news is that cost-effective, professional and profitable avenues of growth for independent pharmacy have been found. But, the key to success is no longer as simple as it used to be. The 2018 NCPA Digest, sponsored by Cardinal Health, reported that 32% of pharmacy owners own two or more locations. That is up from 25% just two years earlier. By spreading operational costs out over more locations and operating in a more businesslike manner, the future of these well-run pharmacies is bright. Second, initiatives like the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network, or CPESN, are working with pharmacists to help them get paid for services they provide beyond dispensing. CPESN USA, the central organizing authority for the movement, reported that they now have 46 local chapters and more than 2,200 pharmacies enrolled in the program.


Most CPESN chapters are collaborating with state pharmacy associations. Kelly Fine, executive director of the Arizona Pharmacy Association, said, “While our CPESN chapter has not yet met network adequacy so we can seek out payer contracts, I know several other state chapters that have reached this goal. It is exciting to see community pharmacies being recognized and paid for enhanced patient care services separate and apart from the products we dispense.” The third category where pharmacies are making progress is the growing ability of innovative pharmacists to provide healthcare services on a cash basis. Hundreds of pharmacies have implemented programs that help consumers make the diet and exercise changes designed to improve their overall health. One company providing help for this is Take Charge. Pharmacies enrolled in the program are shown how to set up a separate area in the store, taught how to counsel patients, provided with computer software to support the program, supplied with marketing materials to attract consumers, and then coached on how to charge a fee for the service. Other examples of services I have seen being paid for out of pocket are drug nutrient depletion programs that improve nutritional supplement sales; point-of-care testing for strep throat detection that help mothers of young children get — or not get — an antibiotic prescription for their children without the need to schedule a doctor’s appointment; and providing individual counseling on bioidentical hormone replacement and charging a fee for that service. So, the good news is that cost-effective, professional and profitable avenues of growth for independent pharmacy have been found. But, the key to success is no longer as simple as it used to be. Most pharmacies trying to rely solely on dispensing will continue to struggle. Pharmacy owners who are making the kinds of changes mentioned above are finding success. They are proving independent community pharmacy can play a vital role in the future of our nation’s health care delivery system. dsn


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Creating a Standard Functional Remedies touts the benefits of vertical integration and its full-spectrum hemp offering


unctional Remedies, based in Superior, Colo., has built its vertically integrated company over the past five years to include seed development, planting, harvesting and production — all with a focus on quality control of its full-spectrum hemp-based offerings. While many in the category focus on CBD isolate, Functional Remedies has placed its bet on the full-spectrum offering, which includes CBD among various other cannabinoids. Drug Store News spoke to Functional Remedies’ chief revenue officer, Matt Poli, about the hemp category, the benefits of full-spectrum hemp oil and what sets his company apart. Drug Store News: What is broad-spectrum hemp oil and how is it different from CBD? Matt Poli: Broad-spectrum hemp oil contains other plant constituents besides CBD. Fullspectrum encapsulates all the constituents from hemp. CBD oil is usually rendereddown hemp oil that removes all the additional phytonutrients that exist beyond CBD. DSN: What makes Functional Remedies different from the other CBD companies? MP: Our obsession with quality is anchored in our culture. We want to be an example to the industry by creating a standard that builds trust and confidence with our customers. This is realized from our seed genetics (more than two decades of improving hemp strains),


state of the art farming and proprietary production process, as well as the dedicated and diverse people in our organization working to improve consumers’ quality of lives through our mission: “Bringing Lives into Balance on a global scale with the highest quality products on earth.”

We are working with several retailer partners in executing consumer education campaigns. Our consumer research has guided us in the specific areas where consumers need education, and we create customized plans that work with each customer based on assets and communication avenues available.

DSN: What are your products, and how do they provide a unique selling point for retailers? MP: Our current assortment consists of tinctures (250 mg and 500 mg), capsules (25 mg and 50 mg) and topicals, including a 250-mg salve, 250-mg Evening Calm Night Time and a 250-mg roll-on. We also possess two unique selling points. First, we are 100% vertically integrated. We own our seed genetics, plant and harvest on our farm, and produce in our own production lab. We also own and control 100% of the supply chain and make product potency testing results transparent on every batch by posting on our website. Our second point of differentiation is our proprietary infusion process called LipidTrans, which captures the nutrient blend of the whole hemp plant the way nature intended. This provides a much more efficacious product for consumers in comparison to CBD isolate.

DSN: As the CBD category continues to grow, what do you see happening? MP: The category will likely undergo significant regulatory changes that will affect who’s on shelves and in the marketplace. Expect tight regulations on cultivation and tighter regulations around product processing and formulation. dsn Matt Poli, chief revenue officer, Functional Remedies’

DSN: What is Functional Remedies doing to help promote and educate these products to consumers? MP: Consumer education is our No. 1 priority.


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“We were looking for a wholesaler whose passion matched ours: being service oriented and down to earth. Unlike other wholesalers, Smith Drug is a very transparent family operation; they make it extremely transparent by giving us the actual cost up front, so you know exactly what you are paying. With other wholesalers you don’t know what their rebate is, what it’s associated with. Smith gives you the ability to keep an eye on your costs.”

Rich Pinckney, R.Ph., Owner Rx City Pharmacy, NY

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View from the Summit GMDC|Retail Tomorrow is addressing healthcare consumerism with the Selfcare Summit


MDC|Retail Tomorrow is launching the Selfcare Summit from Oct. 3 to 7 in Indianapolis. The event will entirely be focused on two of the biggest trends in health care — consumerization and the increasing importance of self-care. Drug Store News caught up with GMDC vice president of insights and communications Mark Mechelse to discuss the trends that brought about the summit and how the event will help attendees prepare for the future. Drug Store News: Tell us about the GMDC|Retail Tomorrow Selfcare Summit 2019. Mark Mechelse: GMDC|Retail Tomorrow is launching the Selfcare Summit to help retail industry stakeholders satisfy consumers’ health, beauty and wellness needs; spark innovation; and remain relevant in a changing marketplace. As this is the only industry gathering focused exclusively on the consumerization of health care, GMDC|Retail Tomorrow quantifies and qualifies how the self-care movement is reshaping health care and the future of retail. GMDC|Retail Tomorrow is uniquely positioned to lead the $100 billion self-care revolution, given our continual focus and research on consumer and shopper perspectives. The Selfcare Summit coincides with our 50th anniversary and elevates our focus from connecting suppliers and retailers to fostering uncommon partnerships. DSN: What is self-care? MM: Self-care is a mindset and holistic lifestyle approach to achieving improved physical, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual health and wellness. A global movement, self-care is a response to the idea that legacy thinking about food, movement, daily routines, work, relationships and overall living conditions can cause harm if not reconsidered or mitigated.


DSN: What are the rammerchandisers, dieticians, ifications for retailers thought leaders, healthand suppliers? care executives, beauty MM: Self-care is at the influencers and anyone heart of why, what and “self-care” — have an where consumers buy. The opportunity to grow their $64 billion health nonunderstanding and create prescription category is new business opportunigrowing an aggregate ties at the Selfcare Summit. 1.5% across food, drug For buyers and selland mass retailers. ers specifically, the Selfcare Rising healthcare costs Summit brings GMDC|Retail are motivating consumers Tomorrow member buyto focus on proactive and ers and sellers together healthy lifestyle choices, Mark Mechelse, vice presifor face-to-face meetings driving new consumer hab- dent of insights and and establishes connecits and buying patterns communications, GMDC tions with innovators and through health and wellstart-ups, all while enlargness solutions within retail. Shoppers now ing their vision of self-care’s role in retail also have clearer sightlines on how products through insightful learning tracks. are made, grown and raised, and many want to support brands and companies that share DSN: How will self-care transform the retail a similar concern for sustainability. industry over the next decade? Many healthcare categories already have MM: As the baby boomers age, we have an high household penetration and are used as increasing population over the age of 65. part of a daily regimen. As a result, distribu- Today, 4-in-10 households have someone tion of these products is widespread, with suffering from chronic or acute conditions, little differentiation in offerings from one influencing household purchases. And with outlet to another. When a category becomes rising healthcare costs, shoppers are more ubiquitous, shopper loyalty is limited. aware of what they are putting into their To win, retailers must drive trips and trans- bodies and investing in different ways for actions. GMDC|Retail Tomorrow’s oppor- their well-being. tunity is to inspire retail members to build No department is benefiting more than shopper loyalty through retail differentiation the area in front of the pharmacy — the and help them understand how various cat- large and important health, beauty, wellegories interplay with one another according ness and personal care department. Based to self-care occasions and health conditions. on projected growth, this department is Understanding what is driving the consumer not only critical to self-care success, but back into physical stores is especially relevant is also positioned to become even more and urgent as more products, especially high- competitive. To win long-term, retailprofit margin nonfoods, continue to migrate ers must compete differently, understand online due to convenience. unique occasions and strategize their merchandise and assortment accordingly, then DSN: Who should be attending this event? differentiate by becoming a credible and MM: All wellness-focused organizations trusted source of healthy living informaand entrepreneurs — from buyers, sellers, tion and solutions. dsn


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Healthcare + Retail A Perfect Partnership for the New Health, Beauty & Wellness Economy Introducing an event focused on why – and how – consumers are embracing proactive care by seeking accessible and interactive methods while assuming more responsibility for their wellness. Retail is uniquely positioned to help shoppers fulfill this personal journey while also reinvigorating and reimagining the shopping experience.

5 Days of Learning, Planning, & Opportunities for Growth Through face-to-face pre-scheduled meetings, networking opportunities, product discovery, and industry-leading insights, the Selfcare Summit provides a unique space for industry advancement and uncommon collaboration across adjoining industries.

Who is Attending... Retail Executives • Product Manufacturers • Healthcare / Medical Professionals Service / Solution Providers • Startups / Entrepreneurs • Thought Leaders & Influencers Consumers • Beauty Advisors • Dietitians / Nutritionists • Marketing & Insights

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Hazardous Handling What to expect from the EPA’s new pharma rule on hazardous waste disposal By Wade Scheel

Wade Scheel, director of governmental affairs, Stericycle Environmental Solutions

number of states have taken enforcement actions against retailers that have not been compliant when returning pharmaceuticals in recent years. For example, California has penalized several national retail chains for not fully complying with regulations. Previously, disposing of hazardous pharmaceutical waste was a complicated practice for national retailers with locations in multiple states, as states have taken various positions on how Resource Conservation and Recovery Act regulations apply. Enter a new rule from the Environmental Protection Agency. Known as Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals, it clarifies the regulatory process of pharmaceutical disposal methods by ensuring the proper management of unused and/or expired pharmaceuticals through the process of reverse distribution or final disposal. The standards will push retailers to restructure their hazardous waste management practices. Entities that fail to comply with the ruling will face significant penalties, including monetary fines that have increased in recent years.

Defining Hazardous Waste

According to the EPA, hazardous waste is “waste with properties that make it dangerous or capable of having a harmful effect on human health or the environment.” Hazardous wastes have ignitable, corrosive, reactive or toxic characteristics. Common types of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals that may be found in your location include, but are not limited to aerosols, insulin, multivitamins, some blood-thinning medications and some Drug Enforcement Administration controlled substances.

Key Changes for Drug Stores

The rule was created to address concerns identified by nationwide retailers dealing with compliance challenges for hazardous waste pharmaceuticals in their stores.


While the final rule does not increase the number of pharmaceuticals considered hazardous, it does include many changes that will impact retailers, including: • “Sewering” practice: The rule states that reducing intentional sewer disposal is one way to help reduce the environmental loading of pharmaceuticals into waterways. Sewer disposal refers to the age-old method of disposing medications down the drain or toilet, which causes these hazardous materials to end up in the environment; • Relief for management: Under the new rule, hazardous waste pharmaceuticals do not count toward generator status. It also eases labeling and manifesting, and clarifies what items can be shipped to reverse distributors; • Nicotine patches, gums and lozenges: Over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies no longer are considered hazardous when discarded. However, e-cigarettes still are considered an acute hazardous waste and are subject to the new requirements; and • Management clarity: The rule clarifies the regulatory status of reverse distribution — the process for returning unused pharmaceuticals accumulated during the course of normal operations. During this process, drugs that are not dispensed are handed off to specialized brokers or the manufacturers. This final rule establishes streamlined, practical standards for managing potentially creditable hazardous waste pharmaceuticals. It will reduce regulatory burden on retailers and align with the existing practices of the retail sector. The rule will go into effect in Alaska, Iowa and Puerto Rico on Aug. 21, and other states will have until 2021 or 2022 to adopt the new rule. Pharmaceutical retailers can avoid penalties by enlisting the help of a third-party hazardous waste disposal partner. These professionals serve as trained personnel and also may be a consultant for updated insight into compliance standards. For additional information, visit epa.gov. For questions for hazardous waste experts, email EPANewRules@stericycle.com. dsn


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C A L L F O R A F R E E C AT A L O G T O D AY : 8 0 0 . 6 5 4 . 6 9 6 0 C ODE: C S -JU LY


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Commitment to Communities The Rite Aid Foundation’s efforts focus on being a caring neighbor in its markets By Bryan Everett

O Bryan Everett, COO, Rite Aid, and president, The Rite Aid Foundation


ne of Rite Aid’s core values is to be a caring neighbor — one that gives back to the communities and cities it serves in meaningful ways. The Rite Aid Foundation was established in 2001 to help deliver on that core value. Since its inception, the foundation has awarded more than $63 million to nonprofit organizations. To make the greatest impact possible, the Rite Aid Foundation focuses on three core areas for charitable giving within those communities: 1. Children’s health and well-being 2. Special community health-and-wellness needs 3. Rite Aid’s own community of associates during times of special need To do even more for the communities we serve, the Rite Aid Foundation developed the KidCents program, a charitable giving program dedicated to improving the health and well-being of children in the areas Rite Aid services. Members of Rite Aid’s loyalty program, wellness+ rewards, can round up their in-store and online purchases to the nearest dollar and donate their change to KidCents. The KidCents program annually supports a select group of more than 400 local nonprofit, kid-focused organizations committed to improving the health and well-being of children. Additionally, KidCents supports national kid-focused charities, including the Fred Rogers Company, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Folds of Honor. The Rite Aid Foundation has developed and launched several innovative programs to deliver on its promise of being a caring neighbor. As the nation faces an unprecedented crisis with prescription drugs, the Rite Aid Foundation has implemented several initiatives to address the epidemic. In 2017, the Rite Aid Foundation launched the KidCents Safe Medication Disposal program to provide law enforcement agencies in communities served by Rite Aid with free medication disposal units for individuals to safely dispose of expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications. Over 414 law enforcement agencies in 18

states have made 458 units available to customers and communities. To further advance its efforts, the Rite Aid Foundation partnered with EverFi, the nation’s leading education technology innovator, to roll out the Prescription Drug Safety program, an innovative digital course about prescription drug abuse prevention for high school students. The foundation has made a $1.7 million commitment to the program. To date, the digital course has been activated in nearly 400 high schools in California, Ohio, Oregon, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Washington, reaching nearly 28,000 students. Education is critical to the development and overall well-being of children, and the Rite Aid Foundation has been a long-standing partner of Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to children of military service members who have been killed or seriously wounded while serving our country. Since 2015, the foundation has awarded more than $13 million to the organization to fund scholarships for children of military heroes. As part of its ongoing efforts to address critical children’s health and well-being issues, the Rite Aid Foundation launched the KidCents Regional Grant Program in 2018. The program, which provides grants of $15,000 to $30,000, significantly expands the reach of KidCents by funding specific out-of-school time programs focused on children’s nutrition, physical fitness and academic success. In the inaugural cycle, 180 grants totaling more than $4 million were awarded. As a result of the grants, close to a quarter of a million children now have access to ground-breaking programs that will improve their health and well-being and promote academic growth. Funded initiatives include a wide range of offerings, including arts education and conflict resolution programs, mentoring programs for at-risk youth, academic support for teenagers battling cancer, and food assistance and nutrition education for children in need. dsn


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No Longer a Sticking Point Vaccinations are crucial for public health and pharmacists can play a key role By Fred Mayer

I Fred Mayer, public health pharmacist and CEO, Pharmacists Planning Services

t has not been terribly long since pharmacists in the United States began being trained and certified to give immunizations for a host of public health diseases that in the old days killed, maimed or sent to infirmaries many American adults and children who failed to obtain the vaccinations. Widespread use of vaccinations has effectively curbed the spread of many communicable diseases which were life-threatening. It has been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that pharmacists in the United States in 2018 administered 42% of all flu vaccines — saving many, many lives and lessening the threat of a large flu epidemic which used to kill millions of people throughout the world each year. In recent times, we have seen outbreaks of measles in the United States and abroad due to the fact that in many countries, immunizations are not being given to newborns and — especially in the United States — many parents are opting out of inoculating their kids for religious reasons, fear of vaccinations or they conclude that the measles vaccine contains a contaminant, a mercury product, that could cause autism in the child.

It is time for our pharmacy leadership in the United States to articulate that pharmacists can pick up the slack by increasing immunizations across the board, since they are the most available, accessible and acceptable of all healthcare professionals. The issue of mercury being in the vaccine, which is no longer done, has been proven to be fictitious and not factual. In California, even despite a state law that requires that students must get immunizations and shots, and even though we passed new legislation that prohibits opting out, we have seen an increase in measles. It was not that long ago that medical experts and public health officials had declared victory against the battle of measles. More than 760 cases of measles were currently reported in 23 states in 2019, twice as many as last


year, according to the CDC. This year is the highest level of measles cases reported since the illness was declared effectively eliminated in 2000. It is time for more pharmacists to get involved in giving immunizations, especially in rural areas, since the United States now is suffering a loss of 16,000 family physicians, and the shortage of physicians is expected to decline further in the coming years. Pharmacists need to get more involved in county public health issues, especially to stem these types of outbreaks, and be sure that students in their community have received the number of required shots for a number of infectious diseases from measles and mumps to chicken pox and polio. I encourage pharmacists through their public awareness, banners and information on when they need to get immunizations to get vaccination rates up, and to increase education and awareness through the patients and customers coming into the pharmacy. Parents need to be aware that by not vaccinating their kids, they are not only risking their children to contract measles and mumps, but also spreading it to others, possibly other children who would impose a risk of severe illnesses. It is time for our pharmacy leadership in the United States to articulate that pharmacists can pick up the slack by increasing immunizations across the board, since they are the most available, accessible and acceptable of all healthcare professionals. Public health authorities long have restricted individual liberties for the sake of the common good. For example, smoking is prohibited in most public spaces. TB patients who refuse medication can be forcibly detained, according to a 1905 U.S. Supreme Court ruling against a parent who was fined $5 for refusing to have his son inoculated against small pox. The health of our local kids and parents demands that any loopholes in the immunization laws be closed in an effort to prevent disease and protect our communities. It is a matter of collective responsibility. dsn


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Sticking with Growth As it enters its 30th year in business, KISS still brings a broad beauty offering to retailers By Seth Mendelson


fficials at KISS Products believe that they have a unique message to retailers. It starts at the privately held total beauty care company’s new headquarters in Port Washington, N.Y., a leafy Long Island suburb about 15 miles east of Manhattan. It continues at their newly built 485,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Piscataway, N.J., a building designed to connect the dots between the manufacturing process and getting merchandise on store shelves in a timely and orderly manner.


It is about the 800 SKUs in five beauty categories — nail care, eyelashes, hair care, color cosmetics and hair appliances — that KISS believes are among the most unique and innovative in the industry, and can help retailers drive stronger sales and generate more profits from an admittingly stagnant marketplace. “We want to express our sincere gratitude to all of our retail partners,” Paul Yang, the company’s chief strategy officer, said. “We also want to reassure them that they can continue to trust us,


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that we are here to establish a long-term strategic partnership to navigate through the fast-changing business environment and drive category growth together.” The fly in the ointment is that the once high-flying cosmetics business has ground to a screeching halt in recent years. Unit and dollar volume for most segments are flat, at best, and those mass retailers that have come to rely on the category for its sales and margins now are questioning what needs to be done to revive this vital part of their operation. Now, retailers want solutions. KISS said that its 600 employees are doing their part. It points to the fashion nail segment, where it owns about a 90% share of sales, as an example of one area that continues to grow with minimal gain in points of distribution, posting double-digit growth in four consecutive years since 2015, led by its flagship franchise, imPRESS. Its false lashes business, started just seven years ago, also is experiencing explosive growth and now represents the largest brand name in the segment, with a market share that comes close to 40%. “Consumer-centric product innovation is our core DNA. We make sure that we stay connected to consumers in order for us to not only provide solutions to their needs, but also empower them to confidently express their individual beauty. And, we aggressively invest in interacting with our existing and potential consumers around the world, using the latest technologies and methodologies available,” said Yang, who joined KISS in 2013 after many years in finance. “We pride ourselves on our ability to run a fully vertically-integrated operation, from R&D and manufacturing to creative design, marketing and sales. This allows us not only to be extremely flexible and efficient, but also to be able to invest in the future with a clear sense of direction — to innovate for consumers and to drive category growth.” Capturing the consumer’s attention seems to be a vital part of the company’s marketing plan. Both Annette DeVita-Goldstein, the company’s senior vice president of global marketing, and Richard Gallucci, the company’s senior vice president of sales, emphasized how important it is to make consumers feel good about themselves as they use KISS products. “Our job is to help consumers transform and express themselves,” Gallucci said. “And, we are doing it by offering them great, innovative products at a reasonable price point.” Educating consumers — and retailers — also is a big part of the process at KISS. The company spends a lot of time and money building awareness of its categories and its brands with the goal that greater retail sales will be achieved. “A lot of consumers did not realize that the fashion nails category existed,” Devita-Goldstein said. “Our job is to educate them about the products. We know that if we do that correctly, the consumer is going to try the product and come back again and again.” That also means a lot of feet on the ground, including sending teams to countless beauty shows, as well as working with fashion designers to make them more aware and become interested in the KISS brand. Public relations and marketing efforts also are focused on the increasingly important beauty influencers, whose blogs and vlogs on the Internet are making a dramatic difference, especially with many younger shoppers. It is all part of a well-oiled machine that was created by two Korean

immigrant brothers in a small studio space in Flushing, N.Y., 30 years ago. At first, they went door-to-door canvassing, trying to convince beauty supply stores to stock their merchandise, but a big break came several years later when Walgreens decided to stock KISS items. The brothers’ unrivaled passion for quality products, with their clear vision for the future, allowed KISS to grow into a market leader and win respect in the marketplace. “We are now in over 95 countries across the globe,” Yang said. “We are also in more than 50,000 mass retail locations and thousands of beauty supply stores in the U.S. We could not have come here without their partnership, and we thank each and every one of them for it.” Even with concerns about the overall category sales, the future looks bright for KISS, Yang said, as long the company is prepared to make adjustments to a rapidly-changing business dynamics. “Today’s business environment is arguably one of the most challenging we have faced in recent history. We must be ready for — and act on — change as the only constant we can expect,” Yang said. “We are finding an optimal balance where our entrepreneurial spirit is supported by ample corporate resources. The company continues to make investments for the future, to be able to flawlessly service its retailers and consumers in the most effective and efficient way for the next 30 years to come. We strive to be more proactive and further develop those great partnerships with retailers for years and years to come.” dsn


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Products on the Rise HRG identifies five standouts from June


amacher Resource Group is back at it. The company’s new product team reviewed 178 products that were introduced in June, poring over the 13% that were OTC launches, 31% that were wellness products and 56% that were beauty products to highlight five that stood out for their innovation and potential to earn big sales on the shelf.


Mentholatum VaporDuo Aromatherapy Stick


TheraTears SteriLid Antimicrobial Eyelid Cleanser


Burt’s Bees Detoxifying Clay Mask


Curél Dry Skin Therapy Lotion

Burt’s Bees is getting in on a big skin care trend — masks. The company’s detoxifying clay mask contains 99% natural ingredients, including charcoal to absorb excess oil on the skin and acai for antioxidants that can help balance skin and leave it looking healthy. The demratologist-tested product is free of parabens, phthalates, SLS and petroleum, and is free of synthetic fragrances. It also was not tested on animals.


Zarbee’s Adult Elderberry Immune Support Syrup Nighttime



Akorn’s TheraTears brand has introduced a new way to get rid of external eye irritants, including oil and debris, for daily eyelid and eyelash hygiene. The foam cleanser uses a plant-based formula with tea tree oil meant to be gentle on eyelids to remove bacteria in a 60-second regimen. Aloe water is the key ingredient in the latest product from Kao Brands’ Curél line of skin care products. Curél Dry Skin Therapy lotion also includes a ceramide complex that the company said can help hydrate the deepest layers of the skin’s surface. The product is designed with a greaseless formula that is meant to absorb into skin immediately.

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Mentholatum’s latest introduction is a 2-in-1 vapor inhaler and essential oil rub. The product, made with natural menthol and eucalyptus, brings the benefits of aromatherapy to a cold and allergy category staple, using natural active ingredients.

The latest product from Zarbee’s is combining the purported immune support properties of elderberry with melatonin to promote peaceful sleep. The product also includes real elderberry, vitamin C and zinc. It is free drugs and alcohol, artificial sweeteners, dyes and artificial flavors. It also is gluten-free. dsn

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PUTTING The mass retail industry is wrestling with safety issues amid a push for drug imports By Mark Hamstra


roduct safety is a multifaceted issue for any retailer dealing with the pharmacy and prescriptions, and the systems that are in place to protect the quality and integrity of the goods offered constantly are evolving to strengthen the industry’s defenses. One of the key loopholes between consumers and the dangers of unsafe products, however, is the potential for the introduction of items from other countries that fail to meet the rigorous safety standards of the United States. The Food Safety Modernization Act, which took effect in 2011, sought to close that gap by imposing tighter regulation around the import of foods and ingredients from overseas. The act requires companies that import products to the United States to ensure that their suppliers meet the same standards for product safety that are required of American companies. Market pressures in the pharmaceutical industry, however, have led officials at both the state and federal levels to explore the possibility of bringing drugs in from other countries at a lower cost, potentially circumventing the Food and Drug Administration’s close oversight of U.S.-made medications, according to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Officials at the Arlington, Va.-based National Association of


Chain Drug Stores see several potential problems with the import of prescription medications from other countries, including: • Issues around the adequacy, consistency and integrity of the supply; • Issues around quality and safety; • Problems with maintaining dual inventories inside pharmacies; • Burdensome testing requirements; • Costs of establishing an infrastructure for imported drugs; and • Liabilities for injuries caused by imported drugs. “In light of the potential dangers relating to quality and consistency of pharmaceutical supply, potential disruptions to the existing efficient pharmaceutical distribution system, and the likelihood that the distributive and testing functions would add significant costs to the process, NACDS has significant concerns about commercial importation,” NACDS said in a statement. The U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain is in the midst of complying with the Drug Supply Chain Security Act, a law that requires tracing medicines from their origins in the manufacturing process all the way through to the consumer. Importing drugs from other countries could circumvent that law and potentially open up the supply chain to fraudulent medications.


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Albertsons banners, which include Jewel Osco, its namesake banner and Safeway, all use third-party tracking solutions that, in combination with buying from reputable sources, ensures its inventory can be traced back to a manufacturer.

Tracking Drug Pedigrees

At Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons, the company uses third-party tracking solutions that help ensure that the drugs it receives have a “pedigree” that can be traced back to the manufacturer. “One thing we do, of course, is buy from reputable vendors, so that eliminates 99% of the problem,” Anthony Provenzano, vice president of pharmacy compliance and government affairs at Albertsons, said. Importing drugs from other countries could potentially circumvent the safeguards that the pedigree system provides. “I don’t know if we could still be able to maintain that type of quality control,” Provenzano said. “Everyone is keeping their eyes on it to see what’s going to happen. Right now, we are able to track everything that has that pedigree all the way back to the manufacturer, so we know where it came from.” In addition to discussion at the national level about allowing the importation of pharmaceuticals, some states already have passed laws that would allow it. Those laws, however, cannot take effect without the approval of the director of the Department of Health and Human Services, and to date, no HHS director has ever approved such legislation. While various state and federal legislators wrangle over the commercial importation of drugs, some states also have considered allowing individuals to purchase mail-order prescriptions from overseas. NACDS said it opposes both forms of importation due to the safety concerns.

Pharmacists on the Frontlines

Pharmacists are on the frontlines of protecting the drug supply, and can be the first to spot potential problems that put patients at risk, and issue warnings that could potentially result in a recall. If a pharmacist notices something wrong when he or she receives an order — impurities inside the bottle or mislabeled product — that


Pharmacists’ Safety Responsibilities Pharmacists also are responsible for patient safety when it comes to potential adverse events from the prescribing of medications. According to the American Pharmacists Association, pharmacists have eight essential medicationrelated responsibilities to improving patient safety: • Ensuring access to medication: This involves evaluating a patient’s ability to pay for medication and exploring alternative medications or payment means; • Supplying medication information: Educating patients and caregivers on safe and effective medication use; • Evaluating medication appropriateness: Assessing the effectiveness and safety for each individual patent; • Improving medication adherence: Helping patients take medication as prescribed; • Providing health-and-wellness services: This can involve blood pressure screenings that may reveal poorly managed hypertension, for example; • Medication management: Review of a patient’s full medication regimen to ensure dugs work well together and do not cause adverse interactions; • Assessing health status: Determine patient status and medication effectiveness, and provide guidance regarding medication therapy; and • Coordinating care transitions: Coordinate medication management across care transitions and assist with care coordination for these critical transitions. — Mark Hamstra


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COVER STORY then gets reported back to the manufacturer and, in collaboration with the FDA, they determine what level of recall it should be and what kind of risk there is to the patient, Rob Geddes, director of pharmacy legislative and regulatory affairs at Albertsons, said. “Then they issue the recall notice, which initiates a cascade of processes that occur so that we can verify that the products on our shelves are either unaffected, or if they are affected, removing them from the shelf so that it limits the exposure to the patient,” he said. Albertsons has a centrally managed notification system that automatically notifies patients when medications they have been prescribed are recalled. “It speeds up the process, and then the pharmacists on the front lines can focus more on handling the patients as they come in with questions or concerns, and moving them onto something that is more safe for them,” Geddes said. Sometimes recalls cause shortages of medications that patients need. If the drug is a generic, often it can be replaced with a medication from another company, or the company can increase the availability of lots of the drug that were not recalled. Sometimes recalls impact multiple generic companies, creating a challenge for patients who rely on those medications. “That’s where pharmacists can use their training and knowledge, and all of their years of schooling and experience to work with the prescribers to find something that might be a suitable alternative — something in the same drug class that would have the same effect,” Geddes said. Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health also said it takes comprehensive steps to protect patient safety, using a combination of systems, technology and the front-line efforts of its pharmacists. “In our retail pharmacies, well-defined processes have been put in place to ensure accurate dispensing, including on-screen computer messaging, bar-coded prescription labels, electronic prescribing, automated prescription filling technology, electronic pill imaging, and quality assurance training for all pharmacy staff,” the company says on its website. “Our mail order and specialty pharmacies utilize extensive quality control measures when dispensing medications as well, such as enhanced quality control, electronic imaging, quality procedures for compounded prescription items, drug utilization reviews, and final quality assurance checks.”

Protecting Food Safety

The nation’s packaged food manufacturers long have maintained a strong, risk-based product safety system, Betsy Booren, senior vice president of science and technology at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, said. Packaged food manufacturers essentially evaluate three types of risk: • Physical risk, which involves ensuring that loose foreign materials do not enter the food while it is being processed or packaged; • Chemical risk, or protecting against the inadvertent introduction of cleaning or other chemicals into food; and • Biological risk, or guarding against the pathogens that can cause foodborne illness. “Every day, they develop a food safety system that they implement that looks at all those risks, and reduce them to produce a


Companies to Test Prescription Blockchain System Walmart is among the companies that will work to conduct a test of the use of blockchain technology to track products in the pharmaceutical supply chain. The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer will partner with IBM, KPMG and Merck in a Food and Drug Administration program that will seek to develop an “electronic, interoperable system” that can identify and trace certain drugs as they are distributed in the United States. The companies will create a shared permissioned blockchain network that allows real-time monitoring of products. The proposed network would seek to help reduce the time needed to track and trace inventory; allow timely retrieval of reliable distribution information; increase accuracy of data shared among network members; and help determine the integrity of products in the distribution chain, including whether products are kept at the correct temperature. “With successful blockchain pilots in pork, mangoes and leafy greens that provide enhanced traceability, we are looking forward to the same success and transparency in the biopharmaceutical supply chain,” said Karim Bennis, Walmart’s vice president of strategic planning and implementation in health and wellness. “We believe we have to go further than offering great products that help our customers live better at everyday low prices. Our customers also need to know they can trust us to help ensure products are safe. This pilot and U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act requirements will help us do just that.” Blockchain is designed to establish a permanent record and may be integrated with existing supply chain and traceability systems, the companies said. The pilot project is scheduled to be completed late this year. — Mark Hamstra

safe product,” Booren said. One area that recently has been in particular focus is the prevention of cross contamination with allergens. “If a food has a known allergen, manufacturers are looking at how to reduce the risk of cross contamination during production,” Booren said. She said manufacturers continually are evaluating data and refining their processes to ensure safety. “In this space, we always try to learn, and many of the food companies are always trying to stay up on the latest science, so that if there is a new risk, that they can adequately address it,” Booren said. “We also try to learn from every single mistake, whether it is something minor or something major, and manufacturers are always looking at preventing it from happening again.” She said data analysis has become an important element of the effort to protect the safety of the packaged foods supply chain. “I don’t think people realize how much data is being collected, and how it’s all being tracked and analyzed,” Booren said. dsn


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CBD Keeps on Growing As the industry awaits an FDA decision on selling CBD and hemp-infused products, retailers are getting prepared to cash in on the category By Jack DeVries



category with the potential to reach $22 billion in annual sales, is taking its first baby steps — albeit pretty big steps for an industry that essentially did not exist just two or three years ago. With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the cannabidiol, or CBD, industry has stormed into the public consciousness, looking to provide consumers with improved health and retailers with definite opportunities. The bill now allows broad hemp cultivation and transfer of hemp-derived products across state lines. “Hemp CBD in the U.S. will see explosive growth in the near term, with a compound annual growth rate of over nearly 150% to reach $22 billion in sales by 2022,” said Kay Tamillow of the Brightfield Group, an analytics and market research firm for the legal CBD and cannabis industries. While marijuana and hemp — both members of the cannabis family — contain CBD, hemp possesses much more of it, making it a preferable option for extraction. Conversely, marijuana is rich in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which provides users with an intoxicated feeling. CBD, which contains 0.3 % or less of THC, does not make users high. Today, CBD is gaining shelf space across the wide range of retail, first gaining acceptance at independent retailers and bodegas, and now on the verge of winning acceptance at drug stores, supermarkets and mass merchandisers. Amazingly, CBD-infused products are crossing the wide spectrum of retail, finding their way into such diverse items as beauty supplies, pet supplies, and vitamins and supplements. As the seemingly thousands of suppliers keep introducing items to the marketplace — and back up those items with advertising and other marketing support — demand will continue to rise. Now, though, the big question is when do these items start flooding retail shelves? In addition, do they truly work? Clinical studies have demonstrated that CBD does indeed help with seizures. In June 2018, the drug Epidiolex became the first and only FDA-approved CBD-prescription medicine used to treat seizures for two rare forms of childhood epilepsy. Others point to even more benefits. Internet accounts claim CBD can help with


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anxiety, pain and sleeplessness. It also is said to lower blood sugar, ease depression and help with recovery after a workout. It also may help ease menstrual cramps, lessen the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and relieve arthritis pain. Some claim it can assist with cancer treatment, while others said it helps treat or prevent the disease. Many also are using it to make them beautiful. Such stores as DSW, Neiman Marcus and Barneys recently started selling beauty products containing CBD. “CBD products are the next big thing in beauty,” Kim D’Angelo, Neiman Marcus’ beauty buyer, told CNN Business last winter. That growth has made mass retailers pay attention. Chains including Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Walmart and Rite Aid have taken notice and are getting prepared to move quickly when the FDA makes its decision on availability. Some already are testing CBD-based products in certain stores. “CBD is gaining popularity among consumers, particularly those looking for alternative care products,” said Joseph Goode, a spokesperson at CVS Health, whose CVS Pharmacy stores are rolling out CBD goods in more than

800 stores in seven states. “Anecdotally, we’ve heard from our customers that these products have helped them with pain relief for things like arthritis and other ailments.” Walgreens will feature CBD products in stores located in nine states. “We have begun offering certain products containing CBD in nearly 1,500 Walgreens stores in select states,” Walgreens spokesperson Phil Caruso said. “The CBD-related items we carry are topical creams, patches and sprays. This product offering is in line with our efforts to provide a wider range of accessible health and wellbeing products and services to best meet the needs and preferences of our customers.” In April, Rite Aid also entered the market, selling CBD creams, lotions and lip balms as part of a pilot program in Oregon and Washington, where the chain has about 200 stores in those states. Because of differing state laws, big brand retailers usually sell CBD products in states allowing retailers to sell industrial hempderived products and avoid ones having recent law enforcement actions or pronouncements that raise the risk of sales. For now, most mass retailers have stuck to

creams, lotions and salves “We’re not selling supplements or food additives that contain CBD,” CVS Health’s Goode said. Yet, all manner of CBD products are being offered in countless stores, gas stations, food places and other businesses. For example, Bed Bath & Beyond is offering tinctures of CBD oil for oral use. While the opportunity to market and sell CBD products is robust, issues abound. Retailers want to know where they can offer CBD without concern of violating the patchwork of conflicting state laws. They also face questions about which companies to do business with — ones that offer customers a safe and effective product. “There are a ton of companies out there right now, and many are just now qualified to do business with,” said one supplier attending the FDA’s public hearing on CBD in late May. “Retailers need to be very careful who they work with, and they need to vet those companies to ensure they are abiding by a strict set of rules in the manufacturing process.” Those questions remain complicated and, in many cases, unanswered.

Ready to Sell CBD? If you’ve made the choice to sell CBD, remember that many consumers still are unaware of products or not confident in the correct dosage or format that works best for them. With those factors in mind, here are important considerations for pharmacies looking to stock CBD, according to Kay Tamillow of The Brightfield Group:

Consumer education: Does the brand offer displays or marketing materials to help draw attention to new offerings and explain CBD’s benefits and correct usage?

Packaging: What is the best packaging for your specific consumer? Based on location and clientele, different packaging — e.g. clinical/pharmaceutical versus botanical/trendy — will be more appealing to your shoppers.

Depth of portfolio: Does the brand offer a brand range of SKUs and product types

to provide consumer options? Because of CBD’s many uses, shoppers might be looking for a topical cream for joint and muscle pain, tinctures for general pain relief or gummies to relax.



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Still, the CBD opportunity for retailers is staggering. The demand for CBD products grew by more than 80% in 2018 to about $591 million, according to the Brightfield Group. “The U.S. CBD market,” Tamillow said, “represents an enormous opportunity for both chained and independent pharmacies, which are a trusted retail partner for many consumers.”

AN EVOLVING MARKET With news outlets reporting on CBD’s potential — along with a preponderance of websites touting its benefits — U.S. consumers are clamoring to try it. In fact, an April study by the Food Marketing Institute said 25% already have used CBD. Yet, because of CBD’s success as a medicine, the Food and Drug Administration has begun taking a harder look at the burgeoning industry. As Consumer Reports reported in its May 2019 issue: “Now that the agency has approved a CBD-based prescription drug — Epidiolex — it says any product that markets the compound for health purposes should go through the FDA’s rigorous official drug approval process. In addition, the FDA notes that when CBD is put into food — say, a cookie, honey, coffee or water — it is considered a ‘food additive.’ And the agency has not yet approved CBD for that purpose.” However, many businesses across the nation continue to ignore that lack of FDA approval, disregarding the administration’s warnings and offering everything from CBD smoothies to burgers. “It’s a Wild West kind of environment right now,” Yasmin Hurd, a psychiatry professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai who researched CBD for almost a decade, told The Washington Post. “I’m inundated every day with patients wanting to know how much CBD they should take, which ones to buy. But we don’t know what’s in the stuff now being sold. … We’ve had this explosion without guidance to the public or regulation.”

STRANGE BREW? At the FDA’s public hearing on CBD in


Silver Spring, Md., the agency’s acting commissioner, Ned Sharpless, kicked off the hearing by stating “We’ve seen an explosion of interest in products including CBD, [but] there is much we don’t know.” The 10-hour hearing featured testimony from 140 business owners, doctors, researchers, hemp farmers and consumer advocates, who urged the FDA to quickly craft CBD regulations to address issues. One of those issues was regarding CBD product ingredients. Jackie Bowen, executive director at the Clean Label Project, a nonprofit focused on health and transparency in product labeling, said at the hearing: “What we found in our testing … is that you see over 30% of products are plus or minus 20% of CBD value that is listed on the label.” Bowen also said lead was another concern, which they found the highest amount of it in any consumer product or food category her group had ever tested. According to Leafly, which calls itself the world’s largest cannabis information resource, among the issues identified at the hearing were: • Some companies taking advantage of the absence of regulations and manufacturing cheap products at the expense of high-quality CBD makers. The FDA is almost certain to mandate quality assurance requirements; • Consumers not knowing what products are legitimate; many still do not understand what CBD is; and • The FDA having serious concerns about CBD side effects, adverse reactions and drug interactions. As the FDA’s principal deputy commissioner and acting CIO Amy Abernathy wrote on Twitter: “Key questions about product safety need to be addressed.”

ENTERING THE CBD MARKET Despite challenges, the ever-increasing potential for selling CBD remains, especially for mass retailers offering reputable products. CBD consumers also tend to be younger shoppers, creating a growing customer base.

While the Farm Bill cleared the way for hemp cultivation, some states have differing opinions and a less tolerant view of CBD. Gauging the individual state market requires retailers to do their research. According to the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, 10 states allow recreational and medical THC and CBD, 20 allow medical THC and CBD, 17 permit CBD only, and no cannabis products are legal in Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota. “With any category, we tend to enter markets slowly and particularly with CBD,” CVS Health’s Goode said. “We continue to actively monitor the regulatory landscape for CBD products and will expand product availability as appropriate, and certainly in compliance with applicable laws.” Retailers should consult their statespecific regulations. Common sense and a little knowledge also help with making a smart decision when choosing which product to market. Retailers should note the following before choosing to offer CBD: • Reputable CBD manufacturers test themselves with independent third-party labs, checking for CBD and THC levels, and contaminants. Many post their results on their websites; • Look for grown in the USA. It is easier to research national growers and ensure a better product; • Leafly recommended going with “full spectrum” products, which offers an “entourage effect,” providing potential benefits of the whole plant and its other cannabinoid offerings; • Making health claims is legal only for extensively tested prescription drugs. Dramatic health claims by any manufacturer should increase skepticism; and • Research, research and more research is critical to selling in the category. The excitement around CBD is ubiquitous — it is a booming industry whose oversight currently is attempting to catch up with commercialization. It is best to choose a reputable resource to base opinions for both products and regulations. dsn


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Who’s Who: CBD and Hemp Companies Shaping the Category BY NORA CALEY


he demand most definitely is there. One study, in fact, said that more than 70% of consumers would purchase products infused with CBD or hemp if given the opportunity. Another said that more than half of shoppers simply are shocked that they cannot purchase these products in the store of their choice now, mostly because many retailers still are hesitant to get involved in the category, awaiting more clarification from the Food and Drug Administration. According to a report from Boulder, Colo.-based BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research, U.S. sales of cannabis- and hemp-derived CBD products will increase from $1.9 billion in 2018 to $20 billion by 2024, a compound annual growth rate of 49%. Other studies even


more are optimistic, pegging the category’s future sales at more than $25 billion annually by 2022, less than three years away. Yet, with this optimism, excitement and potential growth, there is a concern among many that not every player in the industry is an ideal partner for the mass retail industry. In the words of one industry official attending the FDA’s public hearing on CBD and hemp in Silver Spring, Md. in late May, “This is the wild, Wild West right now. Everything is in a state of chaos, and it is going to take a lot of work to straighten this industry out. But it has to happen and it has to happen extremely fast.” To offer the mass retail community a look at some of the major players in the CBD industry, Drug Store News put together a list of some of the leading manufacturers. Here is what we compiled:


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T H E C B D T H AT L A U N C H E D AN INDUSTRY IS SETTING T H E S TA N D A R D . 100% AMERICAN CBD. 100% SEED TO BOTTLE. All of our products use Charlotte’s Web proprietary hemp genetics. We have full oversight over the soil, water and seeds. Ensuring that our products are consistent, bottle after bottle. Year after year.



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ABACUS HEALTH PRODUCTS Abacus Health Products markets the CBDMedic consumer brand. Products include Active Sport Pain Relief Stick and Ointment with camphor and menthol, Back & Neck Pain Relief Ointment, Foot and Ankle Pain Relief Ointment and Solid Stick, Muscle and Joint Pain Relief, Arthritic Pain Relief, and Massage Therapy Pain Relief. The products, which also contain camphor and menthol, are merchandised in the analgesics section of retail stores. “When people have pain, they go straight to that aisle,” Perry Antelman, CEO of the Woonsocket, R.I.-based company, said. “Our products have done extremely well.” CBDMedic recently launched several skin care products. Advanced Skincare for AcneProne Skin, available in medicated cream and foaming facial cleanser, contains tea tree oil and jojoba seed oil. Eczema Therapy Medicated Ointment contains eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil. Itch, Rash & Pain Medicated Ointment contains beeswax, tea tree oil and jojoba seed oil.

hemp oil. The products are used in spas, and the Denver-based company is getting ready to launch the massage oils in retail stores at spas, resorts and destination hotels. “Consumers want that spa experience at home,” Vanessa Marquez, CBD Care Garden’s CEO and co-founder, said. “They are looking at it for overall wellness and relaxation, to relieve anxiety and stress.”

CBDfx CBDfx offers full-spectrum CBD products in a wide variety of formats. Last year, the Los Angeles-based company introduced

CBD Gummies with Turmeric & Spirulina, which are vegan, GMO-free and contain organic ingredients. “Turmeric is huge,” Christian Graversen, senior brand manager, said “People are slowly opening their eyes for natural products that have antiinflammatory effects. The whole supplement industry is booming.” New from CBDfx are four broadspectrum CBD balms. Each of the organically grown CBD balms is blended with botanicals and essential oils to nourish and repair skin. The CBD Calming Balm has lavender and tea tree oil to induce relaxation. The CBD Muscle Balm includes peppermint

CBD CARE GARDEN The hemp-based wellness and beauty company CBD Care Garden makes body and face products with organic phytoactive-rich



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Powerful relief from the ground up.

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and camphor oil to soothe aching joints. The CBD Recovery Balm is meant for overnight, long-lasting application. The CBD Shea Butter Citrus Balm centers around bright, fruity aromatherapy. Also new are 20 mg broadspectrum CBD face masks available in cucumber, rose, night, aloe vera and charcoal.

solution that combines CBD, melatonin and other such natural ingredients as chamomile, valerian root, passionflower, cascade hops and lemon balm for a restful night’s sleep.


Last year, Charlotte’s Web launched three gummy CBD options. Charlotte’s Web’s Sleep in raspberry flavor supports restful sleep with 10 mg of CBD and 3 mg of melatonin. Charlotte’s Web Calm lemon lime flavor contains 10 mg of CBD, 50 mg of L-theanine and 75 mg of lemon balm to support everyday stresses, so consumers feel relaxed but not sleepy. Charlotte’s Web Revocery in ginger flavor has 10 mg of CBD, 25 mg of ginger and 50 mg of curcuminoids for exercise and active lifestyles to support healthy inflammatory response and promote joint strength. The Boulder, Colo.-based company also expanded its canine line to include 12 new

The brand cbdMD makes products that include gummies, tinctures, topical, bath bombs, oils and pet products. The comprehensive line of natural, THC-free, hempderived CBD oil products are made in the United States. “cbdMD is 100% committed to being at the forefront of CBD research and opportunities in order to be the leaders in maximizing options for all consumers to enhance their quality of life,” Caryn Dunayer, president of cbdMD, said. “It all starts with proper expectations, research and education.” The newest product from cbdMD is CBD PM, a plant-derived, THC-free sleep



SKUs, featuring two flavors of oils, three types of chews and a balm for dry paws/ nose. “The pet CBD category is set to grow exponentially in the next three-plus years,” Courtney Schmidt, director of national accounts, said. “Our new innovation for the canine market mirrors the consistency and quality of our human line. Charlotte’s Web is an effective, premium brand people can trust for their own bodies, as well as their dogs’.”

CV SCIENCES The consumer products division of CV Sciences delivers botanical-based cannabidiol products that enhance quality of life. Among them is the topical hemp CBD product PlusCBD Oil. PlusCBD Oil Roll-On, available in 200 mg CBD and extra strength 500 mg formulations, is infused with concentrated CBD from agricultural hemp plant parts, warming camphor and cooling menthol. Made with its gold formula concentrated


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CBD PM is a powerful, plant-derived, THC-free sleep aid that combines CBD, melatonin, and other natural ingredients for a restful night’s sleep. Sleep Naturally. Wake Refreshed.

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full-spectrum hemp extract, the roll-ons offer high-intensity support in an easy-to-use application. To meet consumer expectations of clean ingredients, all PlusCBD Oil topical products are free of phthalates, sulfates and parabens, and are made without artificial dyes or scents. The company has offices in Las Vegas and San Diego.

ELEVATE Elevate is continuously looking at innovation options centered around consumer needs, and has a 12-month pipeline of new products currently in development. Officials at the company said they are committed to producing hemp-derived CBD products of the highest quality and purity across categories, forms and benefits that shoppers are looking for. The Telford, Pa.-based company’s newest products are Elevate CBD Cooling Relief Cream and Elevate CBD Heating Relief Cream, topical creams enhanced with menthol and


magnesium to help relieve inflammation and pain. Coming soon are additional topical pain relief products, and the brand also will enter the pet category.

FUNCTIONAL REMEDIES Functional Remedies produces handpressed, lipid-infused hemp oil derived from nutrient-dense hemp plants and formulated using a proprietary whole-plant, lipid-infusion process. The Denver-based company said this results in highly efficacious products that deliver the greatest possible entourage effect ,and are far superior to CBD isolate and concentrate products made with CO2 and chemical extraction processes. Functional Remedies is a vertically integrated company with complete control of all its processes from farm and cultivation to finished goods. The company, which makes hemp capsules, hemp tincture, nourishing hemp salve and other products, plans to launch several new

items. “We are very excited about launching our core lineup of the highest quality and efficacious hemp oil products available,” Matthew Poli, chief revenue officer, said. “Our product extension evolution will expand into many consumer and pet benefit areas, and will follow FDA guidelines and maintain the superior quality standards Functional Remedies holds.”

GREEN ROADS The newest product from Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based Green Roads is CBD-infused Muscle and Joint Heat Relief. It is intended for consumers to use on their wrists, knees, elbows, back and any sore areas. “We listened to people who needed a source of support after long hours spent doing everything from typing to biking,” Laura Fuentes, CEO and co-founder, said. “We are always innovating our product line. Our R&D team is sensitive to feedback from our customers, and we’re excited to see how they respond to the new products that will be coming out soon.”


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HARMONY HEMP Harmony Hemp offers products in nerve health, personal care, pet care and supplements. Products include CBD NeuroComfort Relief Gel, CBD NeuroComfort Relief Roll-on and CBD NeuroComfort Relief Lotion, as well as CBD Concentrated Drops, CBD Concentrated Spray and others. Harmony Hemp also owns hemp farms and testing labs. “We grow, process and distribute in house,” Courtney Roundy, founder and director of business development and brand management at the Salt Lake Citybased company, said. “We control everything to ensure supply chain reliability and cost efficiencies for the end consumer.”

HEMPFUSION HempFusion, which changed its name from MetaCan, recently launched Twist, a liquid


dietary supplement that can be added to water to make a flavored beverage. Twist contains HempFusion’s proprietary Whole Food Hemp Complex of hemp extract, clove oil extract and black pepper extract, with nutrients that support the endocannabinoid system, including beta-caryophyllene and other terpenes. Twist 5mg CBD Hemp Extract Mango Peach contains 1,000 mg of omega-3 fish oil concentrate per serving; omega-6, 7 and 9; and vitamin E. Twist 5mg CBD Hemp Extract Key Lime contains 1,000 mg of omega-3 fish oil concentrate per serving; omega-6, 7 and 9; and vitamin E. Twist 5mg CBD Hemp Extract Citrus Ginger is vegan and contains omega fatty acid algal oil; omega-6, 7 and 9; and vitamin E. HempFusion uses HO-PE, or Hemp One-Pass Extraction, which the company said is a process that yields an oil more dense in nutrients, including terpenes; heart-healthy fats like omega-3, 6, and 9,

nutritious whole-food proteins; chlorophyll; flavonoids; and fiber.

LEADING EDGE PHARMS Leading Edge Pharms’ latest product is Cannavera Topical Pain Relief Ointment. This ointment is designed to treat mild to moderate chronic symptomatic pain from arthritis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, bursitis, tendonitis, sciatica, carpel tunnel, trigeminal neuralgia and many peripheral neuropathies. It quickly eases discomfort, providing symptomatic relief from acute and chronic periods of mild-to-moderate muscle, joint and nerve pain, and inflammatory skin disorders. It also helps dry and chapped skin, insect bites, and surgical and injection site pain, as well as mild-to-moderate burning and itching from many inflammatory skin conditions. More innovation is on the horizon.“Leading Edge Pharms is leveraging its proprietary


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competing for retail shelf space. MarketHub, which calls itself “The Hemp Retail Category Leader,” works with manufacturers and retailers to set up Hemp Health Zones in any class of trade. “Getting it right matters, whether that’s through product decisions or category decisions,” Blake Patterson, CEO of the Denver-based company, said. “All those things that are consumer facing, they mean something to the consumer, and retail has got to get a hold of that because there is a proliferation of manufacturers.” The company offers expertise in legal, category management, product mix optimization, fullservice distribution, customer engagement and merchandising display. cannabinoid technology by partnering with established market leaders with regional and national commercial presence to expand into veterinary medicine, cosmeceuticals, women’s personal health care, and oral health and dental care,” David Chadwick, CEO of the Henderson, Nev.-based company, said.

MARKETHUB The hemp and CBD category is new, but it already is getting crowded. Manufacturers offering a plethora of products are all


MILE HIGH LABS Mile High Labs is an industrial-scale CBD ingredient manufacturer that offers delivery of bulk CBD and co-packing services to consumer brands. It has an end-to-end GMP-certified extraction facility and extensive network of contracted cultivators. The Denver-based company recently got a $65 million loan from MGG Investment Group. Mile High Labs said it is using the capital to secure millions of pounds of hemp so it

can meet the increasing demand of CBD from its customers who are looking for more ways to provide CBD to consumers. “We are seeing huge interest in the beverage space,” Mile High Labs founder and CTO Stephen Mueller said. “We see a move from easier-to-manufacture products like tinctures to more convenient products for the consumer, such as beverages, capsules or pills.”

NEW LEAF PHARMACEUTICAL New Leaf Pharmaceutical recently reformulated its nasal spray, Rhinodol. The new version is water soluble and uses nanoemulsion for better absorption. The nasal spray has better bioavailability than swallowed CBD due to the digestive processes that occur with capsules, pills or drinks. Rhinodol contains organic, pharmaceutical-grade CBD. The new formula is easier for the consumer. “It’s pleasant. It’s not oil, so it’s not sticky,” Rod Deraney, a managing partner at the Newtown, Conn.-based company, said. “There is a lot of movement in the industry around utilizing nanoemulsion, and particle size has a lot to do with that. Reducing the particle size improves absorption.” The company plans to launch several other topical products.


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SPECIAL REPORT: CBD STANDOUTS “That’s both more efficient and more costeffective,” Chris Shade, founder and CEO of the Lafayette, Colo.-based company, said. “There are plenty of broad- and fullspectrum CBD products on the market, but none with Quicksilver Scientific’s proprietary nanoemulsion technology. By encasing the active ingredients within a nanosized, stabilized oil droplet, Quicksilver’s nutraceuticals, including its CBD products, feature high and rapid absorption.”


PRANA PRINCIPLE The latest product from Prana Principle CBD, a brand of The Apax Group, is Extra Strength Cold Therapy Relief Cream. It has 500 mg of active CBD and 15% menthol and 11% camphor. The formulation is designed to appeal to everyone from athletes to seniors. The Castle Rock, Colo.based company’s corporate parent is Apax Nutrition Europe, so it has much experience selling hemp-derived products on an international level. “We have a good grasp on which CBD products consumers will demand next,” Sebastien Hebbelinck, CEO and president of The APAX Group, said. “We have a


world-class R&D team that stays informed with the latest trends and keeps us ahead of the pack with fantastic formulas and product concepts. We maintain a grassroots approach to innovation and listen to what our customers’ needs are.”

QUICKSILVER SCIENTIFIC Quicksilver Scientific’s new Full Spectrum Hemp Extract and Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract provide a proprietary nanoemulsion technology that dramatically enhances absorption and delivery of the full range of phytocannabinoids, enabling much more CBD to be absorbed by the body per dose.

Uleva Products manufactures full-spectrum hemp supplements that contain all the cannabinoids found in the whole plant, including CBD. The company, based in Denver, manufactures and tests the products in Contract Pharmacal Corp’s, or CPC, 750,000-sq.-ft. facility in Hauppauge, N.Y. The six formulas are Digest with ginger, Flex with glucosamine and chondroitin, Fuel with green tea, Relax with Ashwagandha, Relieve with turmeric, and Sleep with melatonin. “Our CBD is not an isolate, but rather is part of a full-spectrum extract, which naturally contains CBD, along with the naturally occurring gamut of other cannabinoids in the hemp plant,” Matt Wolf, CEO of Uleva and CPC, said. “There is no isolation or fortification of CBD or any other cannabinoid in our extract.” CPC and Uleva plan to launch full-spectrum hemp extract capsules, softgels, topicals, tinctures, liquids and beauty products. dsn


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1:33 PM

More than 60% absorption for Rhinodol Nasal Spray 6% to 15% absorption for oral CBD

35% absorption for sublingual/ oromucosal CBD

40% absorption for vaporized CBD

(swallowed and digested)

(directly through the mouth)

(through the lungs, creating health risks)

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RE Botanicals Rolls On Relief RE Botanicals, based in Boulder, Colo., is introducing its Relief Body Oil Roll-Ons. The products, made with USDA Certified Organic hemp CBD in a base of organic MCT oil, are meant to help relieve aching and discomfort using essential oil blends. The RE Botanicals Relief Body Oil Roll-Ons are available in three scents — peppermint, lavender and ginger lime. Each 10-ml roll-on contains 200 mg of CBD and uses a metal roller ball for quick application. RE Botanicals said its products also are third-party tested for heavy

metals, solvents and pesticides. “RE Botanicals is about more than creating a clean and effective product. We pride ourselves on using hemp grown in an organic and more regenerative manner, which improves soil health. We believe healthy soil leads to healthy crops, which leads to healthy people and a healthy planet,” RE Botanicals founder and chief hemp officer John Roulac said. “I recommend applying directly to any points of irritation, or rolling onto the temples to best enjoy the healing aromatics of the essential oils.” The product retails for $29.99 and currently is available on RE Botanicals’ website alongside its other products that include tinctures, capsules and topicals.

Dixie Botanicals Adds CBD to Fitness-Focused Sunscreen Dixie Botanicals — a San Diego-based subsidiary of publicly traded cannabis company Medical Marijuana — is joining forces with Surface Products to launch a fitness-focused sunscreen that includes CBD. The partnership is an effort by Medical Marijuana to get in on the CBD skin care market, which Market Insights projects will hit $385 million by 2024, and which currently sits at $146 million, as well as the $24.9 billion sun care market. Dixie Botanicals + Surface CBD-Infused SPF 50 Sheer Touch sunscreen is formulated with 100 mg of CBD isolate derived from hemp. It’s meant to offer protection from UVA and UVB rays without oxybenzone, octinoxate or parabens. The product, which comes in the Surface Trppix fragrance of coconut, mango and guava, offers 80 minutes of water resistance. The 4-oz. lotion is available on the Dixie Botanicals website for $21.99, as well as in Bartell Drugs, Sun Diego and other retailers.


Tikun Hemp Offers Broad-Spectrum CBD Softgels Tikun Olam is rolling out its Tikun Hemp Broad-Spectrum CBD Softgels as part of its debut consumer product line that also includes topicals and tinctures. The New York-based company has been focused on cannabis research and development, creating a strain of cannabis, Avidekel, that offered high levels of broad-spectrum cannabinoids without the intoxicating effect of THC. The Tikun Hemp softgels, like the rest of the products in the lineup, are triple tested, non-GMO, gluten-free and completely free of THC, the company said. The softgels contain a non-emulsified oil blend meant to be taken as a dietary supplement. They are sold in 30-count bottles, which contain a total of 750 mg of broad-spectrum oil. “Our Tikun Hemp products are built on the back of our groundbreaking medical cannabis research, and like our cannabis products are rigorously tested throughout the process to ensure they are safe and effective,” Chris Gallant, Tikun’s senior vice president of consumer, said. “We are incredibly excited to put the trusted Tikun name behind a THC-free product that can be available to people across the United States.” The softgels retail for $95 per bottle on the Tikun Hemp website.


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Like coffee, but better. Introduce your customers to Uleva Fuel, an herbal supplement that combines the power of hemp with energy-boosting green tea to put a spring in your stride and an exclamation point on your day.* Uleva Fuel is part of a 6 SKU line that thoughtfully blends herbal and nutritive ingredients with hemp extract. For more information, visit uleva.com or contact wholesale@uleva.com.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Opening the Floodgates As the beauty category is eager to include CBD-infused products in its assortment, retailers seem to be all in By Seth Mendelson


ven the beauty category wants a piece of the CBD boom. As many big chains take a waitand-see attitude while the legalities of CBD products are being sorted out, there are growing signs among retailers and suppliers that the category could be the next big item in beauty. A recent Gallup poll found that the majority of survey participants familiar with CBD believe the compound has health benefits. Google searches for the term “CBD beauty” have soared, surpassing such terms as “natural” and “clean.” One of the two most asked questions via Google is where to buy CBD oil. Still, the paths vary from retailer to retailer and brand to brand, but whether it be hemp seed oil, which contains no actual CBD, or full-spectrum CBD, the number of items on beauty shelves is growing. The beauty sector is expected to be one of the largest portions of what Piper Jaffray estimates could be as large as a $500 billion long-term opportunity. Shorter term, the Brightfield Group has pegged the market at $22 billion by 2022. Officials at many of the leading brands have predicted that all big-box retailers will have some form of cannabidiol beauty products on shelves by the end of this year. CVS Pharmacy, which is said to be planning to go even deeper into CBD, as well as Rite Aid, Walgreens and Kroger, all recently


announced they were adding such CBD products as oils, balms and creams. What they are not stocking yet are CBD-infused drinks or food. Bartell Drugs, considered the first retail chain to enter the space, added such brands as Shikai, Charlotte’s Web and CV Sciences last year. Wegmans, Ulta Beauty and Safeway also are testing select products. The luxury market — from Sephora and Neiman Marcus to Barneys — has gone full throttle with CBD departments. Based on typical beauty market trends, the mass market often follows the prestige beauty industry, suggesting the second half of the year will see an explosion

in CBD beauty products at chains. The move to CBD fits snugly into the wellness movement, engulfing consumer lifestyles. “We view the burgeoning trend of cannabisbased beauty as an extension of the natural and beauty movement,” Erinn Murphy, research analyst at Piper Jaffray, said. Deborah Weinswig, founder of Coresight Research, said that CBD beauty products do not only cross into health and wellness, but customers are willing to pay more for them — an important fact for mass merchants in need of building margins and shopping baskets. Chris Husong, vice president of marketing at Elixinol, a brand that has been


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CBD in the hemp industry for more than three decades, illustrated how consumers are taking a holistic approach to beauty that includes supplements and combining CBD with other beauty staples. “You can maintain a youthful glow by adding CBD drops or tinctures to your favorite beauty care products for anti-inflammatory properties, or even putting it into your daily bath,” he said. Elixinol also offers a skin care range called Sativa Hemp Skincare made with 100% organic hemp. As mass merchants, especially those with pharmacies, seek to become wellness destinations, they can cast a larger net over the CBD business, according to Tariq Hasan, president of Terraform, which sells a wide range of products, including a Probiotic Peat Moss Mask and a Rice and Hemp Exfoliating Powder. “The pharmacist can be the best educator about CBD,” he said. The emergence of CBD beauty comes at a pivotal time for mass merchants, especially as makeup and fragrance sales have stalled and skin care has slowed a bit. Though there is much activity and numerous brands are making waves in the space, with bountiful opportunities come challenges. Among the hurdles are murky regulatory standards, a lack of transparency in ingredient labeling, the need for more research to support claims, and eradicating any stigmas associated with the category. The legalities of selling CBD still are hazy outside of states where marijuana is legal. Although the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, or Farm Bill as it’s called, contains provisions allowing the cultivation, production and commercialization of industry hemp and hemp-derivatives like CBD, the law does not change the Food and Drug Administration’s authority over the use of those ingredients in FDA-regulated products. That’s led to confusion and some hesitation for big chains. That said, the FDA held its first hearing with hemp and CBD advocates to learn more about marketing, manufacturing and selling cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds — a good step forward, experts said. The consensus from the hearings is that there needs to be standards in place. “In the CBD market right now, ‘caveat


emptor’ is very real,” Laura Mahecha, Kline’s Healthcare Industry Manager, said in a report from the hearings. “Oversight on consumer-use CBD products is required because there are many producers operating with various levels of standards. Labeling, dosing and contents of products need to have some minimum requirements quickly in order to protect American consumers.” Brands said retailers have advanced light years in their understanding of the market. They no longer ask, “Can it get you high?” and are digging into more complex issues. Still, murky areas remain. “From my perspective, the fogginess for

CBD really falls on ingestible versus topicals. However, most of the questions we receive now are on a state-by-state issue,” said Michael Bumgarner, founder of Cannuka, a fast-growing brand that combines cannabis and manuka honey. “A few states use confusing language and all retailers want to make sure they are following the rules. It complements the antiinflammatory properties of CBD by helping heal and hydrate the skin.” Cannuka is now in the mix at Ulta Beauty, Neiman Marcus and Free People, and Bumgarner said he sees opportunities for select expansion in mass. “Drug stores are such a great place for people to shop, and one of my goals is to make our products more accessible for more people,” he said. “My mission is to ultimately create brands which help destigmatize cannabis, while increasing demand for industrial hemp.” While users have stories of monumental improvements in skin and overall health using CBD, more education and research are needed to convince consumers that the benefits are not just smoke and mirrors. Terraform’s Hasan is investing in videos to post on social media that take viewers through the production process. “The cannabis/CBD industry can be very confusing, and because it is such a new area within skin care, many consumers don’t know the difference between the ingredients used. There is a lot of education needed on this front,” said Nick Christensen, co-founder


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of Cannabliss Organic, which is sold in premium doors such as Neiman Marcus and Urban Outfitters. Of particular focus is the difference between CBD isolate and fullspectrum hemp extract, which includes CBD among various other cannabinoids. Only full-spectrum hemp is used in Cannabliss Organic products. “We often see CBD oil or CBD extract highlighted on products and in conversation, but replacing that overused term with hemp extract would be more accurate if you are using a broad- or full-spectrum oil because of the many other cannabinoids in a whole plant extract,” Christensen said. “It’s understandable that many companies just call out CBD because CBD is the dominant cannabinoid found in hemp, but it is one of many.” Opportunities in CBD have brought out hundreds of companies looking to cash in. That puts pressure on retailers to properly vet suppliers. Anthony Saniger, founder of CBD retailer Standard Dose, stressed that third-party testing is paramount. “You don’t want people getting THC who aren’t expecting it,” he said “As I was doing my own research, I discovered brands had packaging that didn’t say truthful things — they listed a certain milligram of CBD, but they didn’t have anything [in the product]. They were saying, ‘We cure everything,’ which is kind of snake oil. Yet, there are symptoms that are documented


that CBD will help. So, I felt it was time to put standards in place.” The crucial issue of testing moves to the front burner considering a fact that Jessie Van Amburg, senior food and health editor at Well+Good shared at a recent talk that a recent study found that some product samples contained as much as 53% THC — well above standard. Industry sources said that brands that are not transparent can sully future sales. A shopper disappointed by a product that isn’t what is advertised won’t buy again. That’s why vetting resources is mission critical. Testing is paramount at Soji Health, according to Helen Christoni, the company’s vice president of brand strategy. “Unlike many competitors, we triple test each batch of Soji Health products with in-house and independent third-party labs to ensure accurate and consistent milligram count,” she said. “We also provide full copies of our Certificates of Analysis on our website.” Soji Health’s Collection of full-spectrum hemp products consists of a full skin care regimen, several flavors of gummies, sublingual oils and we even have something for our favorite furry family members. Soji Health offers a nano-liposomal delivery system. At Elixinol, Husong said its practices are aimed at establishing a reference point for other manufacturer. “Standards for labeling is something that will be important as the

industry grows,” she said. “We want to be category captains and help retailers find the good players in the business — those who are following established good practices.” Another roadblock in building CBD sales is the fact that traditional advertising, including platforms like Facebook, are not an option. “You have to get creative,” Husong said. His brand has used digital media campaigns in high traffic spots like New York’s Times Square. Most CBD brands also said they are seeking out key micro influencers to help build a following, while also helping shoppers shuffle through the crowded product claims. The number of CBD influencers soared 60% from April 2018 to March, according to Traackr. Without advertising, in-store presentation also becomes more crucial so consumers can see and experience the products, as well as have secure payment channels, which has been a thorny issue for some online retailers that struggled to find resources that would deal with CBD. Saniger, in fact, opened his first store in May to serve as a way to build awareness of his company. The emerging leaders in CBD come from many walks of life. Some started to solve founders’ health problems, and several were offshoots of already successful businesses. Sky Organics already was a leader in plant-based, natural beauty, so the transition into CBD-infused beauty was a natural progression, according to the company. Its portfolio includes CBD-infused face masks, lip balms and body butters, as well as full-spectrum tinctures and muscle rubs. Most recently, traditional cosmetics brands also are teaming CBD up with their products. Revolution Beauty, for example, has added CBD to its skin care range. In the luxury space, Argan powerhouse Josie Maran also teed up CBD with its formulas. Manufacturer Reserveage leveraged its knowledge in nutrition to expand into topical CBD skin care. The brand has positive feedback, seeing improvements in skin conditions that exceed 60% after four weeks of use. Yanit Sadok, director of the company’s brand strategy, said, “Women make up a large portion of the CBD market, and while we know that CBD skin care is in its infancy, it’s in high demand by our customers.” dsn


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6/27/19 4:32 PM


Lululemon Dives into Self-Care with Personal Care Line

CoverGirl’s TruBlend Concealer Goes Vegan CoverGirl’s TruBlend Collection has a brand new, vegan addition. This news comes on the heels of CoverGirl’s recent announcement that all of its cosmetic products are now Leaping Bunny Certified, and the launch of a platform that supports a crueltyfree beauty industry. The beauty brand has formally unveiled the launch of the TruBlend Undercover Concealer, which comes in a 30-shade range that also is compatible with the CoverGirl TruBlend Matte Made Foundation. Featuring a lightweight formula that brightens the skin without creasing or caking on the skin, the concealer is easy to blend into the skin, provides ultimate coverage and thanks to its fluffy doe foot applicator allows for a smooth glide and even application, the company said. In addition to the concealer, several other CoverGirl products will be hitting shelves including new shades of the TruBlend Minerals Loose Mineral Powder, Base Business Primer and Super Stunner Hyper-Glow Mono Highlighter. The Undercover Concealer carries a retail price of $9.99, the Minerals Loose Mineral Powder is to retail for $9.99, Base Business Primer for $10.99, and Super Stunner Hyper-Glow Mono Highlighter for $9.99. Each of the brand-new product launches from CoverGirl arrived at retailers in July.


Lululemon is expanding beyond its well-known collection of yoga clothes and running gear into the beauty space. The brand recently unveiled its new personal care product collection, which it said was designed to create solutions for athletes’ needs. Consisting of four products that are dual-gender, the Selfcare line focuses on seamlessly bridging the gap from sweat to everyday life. “Over the years, we’ve heard the feedback that transitioning from sweat to life isn’t always easy. Lululemon has always been in the work of creating solutions for sweaty problems and our Selfcare line is an extension of that approach,” Sun Choe, the chief product officer at Lululemon, said. “Like our

apparel, Lululemon Selfcare has been designed with function at its core and created to support guests preand post-workout.” During the collection’s two-year research and development process, Lululemon’s Selfcare team spent time with athletes and realized there was a gap in sweat-related skin and hair problems and decided to tackle the problem head on, the company said. The entire Lululemon Selfcare collection, which consists of dry shampoo, deodorant, face moisturizer and lip balm, in full- and gym size are at 50 of its stores and at select studio partners, as well as Sephora.com.

Hayley Williams’ Good Dye Young Hits Stores Paramore’s Hayley Williams, known for her signature bold hair colors, is now making her Good Dye Young hair color brand accessible to a wider range of consumers. The Denton, Texas-based company announced recently that its products, which were created by Williams and her stylist Brian O’Connor, would be hitting Sally Beauty shelves across the nation. Available in nine highly pigmented colors and a Fader, the Semi-Permanent Hair Color retails

for $18 and contains a customizable cream formula that is vegan and cruelty-free, and features bergamot essential oil to lift the mood while it cares for the hair, the company said. The Poser Paste Hair Makeup also retails for $18 and contains a formula meant to offer the fun of color without the long-term commitment. Available in eight colors, each is mixable and vibrant on all hair types and can be washed out with shampoo. “Good Dye Young is a community built on a mission of inclusion, diversity and selfexpression,” said Good Dye Young president Abraham Faddoul. “Our partnership with Sally Beauty offers us a platform to grow our diverse community and be present where consumers shop for vibrant hair color, at Sally Beauty stores.”


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6/27/19 4:32 PM


Joe Hartsig, Walgreens senior vice president and chief merchandising officer

Enabling Engagement Walgreens focuses on using digital solutions to drive store traffic By Seth Mendelson


hen it comes to the digital technology business, officials at Walgreens understand the importance of building the connection between digital and brick-and-mortar, using a mobile-first mentality that also can drive in-store traffic and build loyalty. That is what Joe Hartsig, the chain’s senior vice president and chief merchandising officer, told an overflow crowd at the Omnichannel and Digital Merchandising Summit in Chicago in late May. Presented by Walgreens, Mack Elevation and Drug


Store News, the one-day summit took a hard look at what needs to be done to both capture the consumer’s interest with digital merchandising and convert that into sales and profits for the Walgreens operation. Hartsig was quick to note that Walgreens is focused on how digital strategies can complement and enhance the customer journey by leveraging its Walgreens app to drive visits to its more than 9,500 stores. “We continue to refine our customer segmentation, but the key thing here is, in general, our Walgreens customers over-index relative to the total U.S. population in terms of

researching and purchasing products through digital technologies,” Hartsig told the audience of more than 300 retailers, manufacturers and industry observers at the J.W. Marriott in downtown Chicago during a session on Digital Commerce and Merchandising with Andrea Farris, the chain’s vice president of digital and head of customer value and business center of excellence. “That’s the point. It’s all about empowering our customers even more with digital technologies that drive a seamless experience throughout their customer journey. We have to show up where she wants to shop in all different touchpoints.” Unlike some of its primarily digital competitors — and even some of its competitors with large physical footprints — Walgreens’ store locations, with 78% of Americans living within 5 miles of a Walgreens, offer a sizeable convenience factor. “We have a very different trip mission than say our competitors online and in brick-and-mortar,” he said. “Just building on what some have said this morning, we’re not trying to ‘out-Amazon’ Amazon. That’s not our strategy for the type of retailer we are with 9,500 stores.” He also said that the combination of a digital approach and a traditional approach to retailing is proving to entice more shoppers into a Walgreens unit, and helping them to make the shopping experience that much easier. “Today, over 50% of our customers tell us after going to our digital properties, the very next thing they plan to do is visit a store” he said, highlighting the importance of a consumer’s phone to this process as he held up his own. “This isn’t just a cell phone, this is a digital tool to augment that journey. “When the consumer gets to the store, almost 60% of them actively use [their phone] in some way, shape or fashion. It could be for mobile express with pharmacy that we just put into place to make it easier and more convenient for her to get in and get out. It could be for balance rewards to use our loyalty points. It could be scanning to get that digital extra value through digital coupons that helps us provide value to our customers.” Hartsig used the photo and pharmacy operations as great examples of this strategy,


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Andrea Farris, Walgreens vice president of digital and head of customer value and business center of excellence

noting that many consumers start the process with both categories online and come into the store to pick up the finished product. “Over 50% of the engagement with photo is started online. More and more creative products are started in digital fashion, and 98% of those are filled in store. We’ve been doing this for years in the photo business and we’ve been doing it for years in the pharmacy business. We have been in the game, though we don’t talk about it probably as publicly as others do. But we’re pretty experienced in this way.” Hartsig said another big focus at Walgreens is enhancing the entire experience from beginning to end through what he calls digital attribution. “It is something we’ve been focusing on, which forces us to think about the whole customer journey, not just when she goes online and makes a purchase, but the whole experience from beginning to end,” he said. Walgreens customers’ journeys increasingly begin with its mobile app, Hartsig said. “Our digital engagement, as measured through attribution, is growing significantly across many customer journeys. Our customer will go online to find out about the newest store, search for product information or clip digital coupons, all of which can drive customers into one of our physical stores,” Hartsig said. “Those are really key things, and we know that when the customer goes online, she’s going, most likely, to our store. We have the largest loyalty program in the United States, and that helps us to track the customer journey to see how our customer is researching products online and when and how she completes her purchase.”


Farris focused on the competitive landscape and how giving Walgreens employees the best tools possible was absolutely necessary to allow them to fight off all competitors. “Our competitors are all just a click away or an app away,” he said. “We have to compete for that digital customer in the same fashion that we compete for the physical one. Voice and wearable technologies become very important. Then, on the employee side, it’s very critical that our team members have the same or better tools to do their job.” Noting that the Walgreens mobile app is now 10 years old, Farris said rapid evolvement of the digital capabilities is vital to staying ahead of the curve. “We used to have new releases every 3-to-6 months,” he said. “Now, we are actually releasing every three weeks as our organization adapts to change and to meeting the continuous evolution demands of our customers. Now, we’re really taking an agile approach, and so every three weeks we are releasing new features into the app, improving the experience.” Both speakers emphasized the importance of working with other companies to enhance the experience for consumers and, ultimately, bring more sales and profits to Walgreens. “In summary, I would like to say that our partners play an incredibly important part in our digital strategy,” Hartsig said. “We know as a company we can’t do it alone. Digital is a river that runs through everything we do. It is a big investment, and that’s why we continue to build upon our already strong base and challenge ourselves to accelerate even faster with more investment and capabilities throughout the organization.” dsn


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Panelists at the Omnichannel and Digital Merchandising Summit focused on how to enhance the customer experience to drive sales.

A Seamless Experience Panelists highlight customer experience efforts that can help retailers thrive By Seth Mendelson


he product has to deliver, and when that happens, it can mean greater sales and profits for both retailers and suppliers. That was the consensus of a panel discussion at the Omnichannel and Digital Merchandising Summit in Chicago in late May as panelists discussed what was necessary for retailers, specifically Walgreens, to thrive in coming years. Panelists focused on what they could do to help retailers gain more traction with consumers, and to show the shopper that the process can be done in a quick and easy fashion. “When a brand and a retailer like Walgreens best partner, they link their product


attributes,” Ben Fishman, director of marketing at the Emerson Group, said. “So, with the brand, it’s about claims, value or quality; and with Walgreens, it’s about the assortment. When you bring those things together, you can really have a deep connection that’s telling a very powerful story to the consumer.” Tony Valado, senior vice president of digital marketing and e-commerce at Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare, said that the focus must stay on the consumer. “We hear that a lot, but a lot of times we lose sight of that fact,” he said. “The customer tells us everything that they’re doing, how they’re doing it and what they’re doing. A lot of times, we do not stop to actually listen to it. We work through Walgreens

and we work through other retailers, but how can we use the information we have to really empower that?” Paul Murphy, vice president of sales and operations at Menasha, said that developing tie-ins will lead to a better shopper experience. “We can tie the front end to the back end so that execution can be seamless for you and for your customers so that when your customer gets to the store, if they interface digitally, the pre-press work matches up so all the print substrates match from the time they see it to the time they buy it in store to the time they pick it up,” he said. “Because one of the disconnects is you have to have one voice for your customer, and that one voice means that you have to be consistent in the look and feel of the mediums that you’re presenting — whether it’s in store or out of store, and that’s a major investment that we’ve made in our business on behalf of Walgreens and our customers.” Kelly Mattran, a shopper marketing manager at GSK Consumer Healthcare, said that convenience is key to winning over consumers, noting that often consumers are too sick to make the trip to a store. “Time is really of the essence, and you want to make sure that you are where the shopper wants you to be and you can get the products where they are,” she said. “I think home delivery and buy online and pickup in store are areas that Walgreens has dabbled in, and they still do that in other areas like photo and pharmacy prescription, but bringing that more into the front of the store would be really critical from a GSK perspective.” Mark Stevens, senior director of digital commerce at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, said that creating better consumer experience is a big part of what he and the company is trying to do. “How do we evolve more into a culture of continually testing and learning new things, new technologies, new capabilities and identifying the right tools that are needed?” he said. “We are trying to identify new ways to deliver a more personalized message through creative versioning and things like that. How do we identify the priorities, build a centralized approach and then scale it and push it out to our teams, and make it easier for them to help execute?” dsn


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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Trademarks are owned by or licensed to the GSK group of companies. Š2019 GSK group of companies or its licensor. CHUS/CHBENE/0070/18

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6/20/19 4:58 PM


The AI ‘Moment of Truth’

John Phillips, PepsiCo senior vice president for customer supply chain and GTM

How AI can help marketers By Sandra Levy

S Finding a Voice PepsiCo eyes a voice-activated future By Seth Mendelson


he connected home will play a huge role in how consumers shop and what they are looking for in the future, according to John Phillips, senior vice president of customer supply chain and GTM at PepsiCo. Speaking at the Omnichannel and Digital Merchandising Summit, Phillips said that people will soon be living in a world where everything talks to everything else. “What that allows us to do is create a whole new experience in the home,” he told the audience during a seminar called The Future of Retailing. “One of the big things that we saw at the Consumer Electronics Show this year was a huge expansion in the amount of space around the connected home, where the refrigerator is aware of what you’re doing. The microwave knows what is in the refrigerator. There will be new ovens that are coming out in the next 12 months that will be able to actually control the entire cooking cycle.”


Phillips also said that Amazon has definitely taken the lead in some aspects, including with the recently discontinued one-touch replenishment program, which highlighted the potential that such offerings have. “What they will share is that upwards of 50% of the replenishment on some of those SKUs that actually have buttons are actually done through the button. So once people do it once, that behavior is pretty sticky from a repeatability standpoint.” Voice activation, he said, has moved from being informative, such as reporting the weather to deeply getting involved in commerce. “What we’re seeing more recently is the voice activity is moving from just informational kind of tasks and requests to true commerce-related activities,” he said. “Consumers will be able to pick household supplies like trash bags and toilet paper by brand and size, and reorder without a lot of thought in it. They will be able to buy their products in a very frictionless way.” dsn

peaking at the Omnichannel and Digital Merchandising Summit in Chicago, Jim Lecinski, associate clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern University, said that artificial intelligence and machine learning have the most potential to transform business and shopper experiences. As many marketers are starting to ask how these trends will impact their business, 47% of marketers think it is a fad that will fade. “There’s sort of the agita, if you will, around this more so than the promise or the excitement of a future competitive advantage differentiator moving forward,” Lecinski said. He eased marketers by pointing out that they have been using data and machines to make predictions. “It’s largely been a humandominated, human-controlled function to make those predictions,” he said. “Now, what’s new and what’s different is not the term AI, but the fact that there’s now enough computing power out there in the world.” Lecinski advised marketers looking to bring AI to bear on their businesses to lean in early and make it their competitive advantage. “We are an inflection point, where marketers now must infuse machine learning to super charge each ‘moment of truth’ in their consumer’s decision journey to gain competitive advantage,” he said. dsn Jim Lecinski, associate clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern University


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Katia Beauchamp, co-founder, Birchbox

Getting Close to Shoppers How proximity impacts speed By Sandra Levy

W Delivering Delight Birchbox co-founder on how it changed the beauty category By Sandra Levy


ontext sets the stage for expectations, but context is changing so quickly for consumers, and marketers have to accept this as reality. That is the contention of Katia Beauchamp, co-founder of monthly beauty subscription company Birchbox, speaking at the Omnichannel and Digital Merchandising Summit. When she founded Birchbox nine years ago, Beauchamp wanted to build a company that was at the intersection of delight and efficacy. “Today, this is still 100% of the goal because that is what customers expect, and technology makes it easier to give that to customers,” she said. “Delight and efficacy is the guiding star that we think about every day at Birchbox, how to be at that intersection, how to be doing those two things all the time.” Beauchamp said her company tried to bring a unique element to the beauty shopping experience with Birchbox. “We want this to feel obsessed over, hand touched. We want to scale the unscalable.”


Beauchamp said Birchbox is informed by the idea that shoppers shouldn’t spend on a discretionary category that doesn’t delight them. “We really designed Birchbox to feel like your best friend, who knows who you are and is helping you discover the best products,” she said. “We have a stated objective of ending buyer’s remorse.” Beauchamp said Birchbox is changing the way consumers are spending on beauty, as consumers who joined Birchbox nearly double their spend within a year. She also touched upon Birchbox’s partnership with Walgreens that began more than a year ago. Although the beauty industry has changed, it still is 90% an offline category, she said, adding, “If we want to design an experience that really helps this everyday consumer, we have to think multichannel. We have a shared ethos around the commitment to the customer. Walgreens’ conversion rate is close to 100%. Customers are coming in and leaving having transacted.” dsn

hat force is going to reshape the markets over the next few years? In one word: proximity, according to Tom Bianculli, chief technology officer at Zebra Technologies, who addressed the Omnichannel and Digital Merchandising Summit in May. Proximity — and the idea of providing products and services increasingly close to the point of demand — has given rise to an on-demand economy, something Amazon has committed to. “For the past two years and more, Amazon’s been doing something they called anticipatory shipping. This means they’re watching your behaviors online when you’re clicking through, where you’re spending your time,” Bianculli said. “They’ve taken it one step further and said, ‘I’m going to get to a point where maybe they don’t even need to express to me that they need it. I’ll get it to them without them even realizing that they had the demand.’” As consumers shift their shopping to e-commerce and mobile, the concept of liquid expectations, in which an expectation that’s created in a seemingly unrelated field becomes the expectation in a different setting, will gain traction. “You can’t compete with the expectations that you think your customers have of you,” he said. “You have to compete with the expectation that your customers have gained through experience with others.” dsn Tom Bianculli, chief technology officer, Zebra Technologies


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6/28/19 11:08 AM


Striving for Genius Status

Entrepreneur Jason Goldberg (left) and ChannelAdvisor co-founder Scot Wingo

How top orgs stand out By Sandra Levy

G Living in the Future Podcast hosts highlight different avenues for disruption By Sandra Levy


ntrepreneur Jason Goldberg and ChannelAdvisor co-founder Scot Wingo, hosts of the popular “The Jason & Scot Show – E-Commerce And Retail News,” believe that we’re living in one of the rare disruptions of commerce. Historically, the companies that dominated before the disruption are not the companies that dominate after the disruption, they said, speaking at the Omnichannel and Digital Merchandising Summit. To help attendees understand what digital disruption means today, Goldberg and Wingo suggested comparing the world in 2006 — when Facebook was exclusive to college students, Amazon just sold books and people were wary of talking to strangers on the Internet — to the world today. “Now, I get back in the time machine, bring you to the current day and we’re all using the Internet to call strangers and get in their car,” Goldberg said. “That is what disruption is all about: fundamentally different behaviors — that would be unimaginable to that 2006


version of us — that we now take for granted.” The pair said there are three kinds of innovation that retailers need to think about: incremental innovation in the form of improvements to existing processes, entirely new innovation, and something between the two concepts they dubbed “the concept car” — a learning opportunity where we try new kinds of innovation. Amazon’s expansion from two-day delivery to one-day delivery is an example of incremental innovation, while its new product category with virtual assistant Alexa on its Echo devices is entirely new innovation. Sam’s Club’s Now, a new 20,000-sq.-ft. format in Dallas, is a concept car. “There are no cashiers in this store. It’s entirely self-checkout. You have to use your mobile phone to get in and your camera on your phone to identify product,” Goldberg said, noting that it offers a way for consumers to learn more about what they’re buying. “You get all kinds of rich information about all the products in the store.” dsn

enius companies have remarkable abilities in a specific subject, they’ve made choices where to be great and are doing new things that are unparalleled within their industry. That’s according to Chad Bright, Gartner L2’s sector lead for big box chains, department stores and CPG, speaking at the Omnichannel and Digital Merchandising Summit in Chicago. After L2 evaluated 30 categories and 1,500 brands and retailers, 57 stood out and were deemed genius companies, roughly half of which have chief digital officers. “These companies have reinvented themselves, and they’ve made digital the core of what they’re doing,” Bright said. Bright said retailers competing with genius companies — which include Walmart and Best Buy — should continue to challenge the digital mind-set of their organization, as well as bring in new partnerships, acquisitions and new hires that are going to challenge the digital status quo. Companies should take a channel agnostic approach, as Walmart has and has done well. “They do not care where that consumer is coming from. They just want that consumer to engage with Walmart,” Bright said. Finally, he advised companies to be transparent about what’s been successful and what’s been a failure. “Show that you’re willing to put yourself out there,” he said. dsn Chad Bright, Gartner L2’s sector lead


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Shining Stars DSN spotlights the luminaries in the generics industry


enerics continue to save the U.S. healthcare system money. The latest report from IQVIA and the Association for Accessible Medicines found that in 2018, generics drove $293 billion in savings, bringing the 10-year savings total from the drugs to $2 trillion. What’s more, generic medicines account for 90% of the prescriptions filled in the United States. This month, Drug Store News is shedding some light on the luminaries of the generics industry who are committed to making cost savings possible, while simultaneously helping to keep patients healthy. What follows is a sampling of some of the standouts in the generics industry, what they are accomplishing, and what measures they are implementing to be positioned in the forefront of the generics industry.

Alembic Pharmaceuticals

Founded in 1907, Alembic Pharmaceuticals is based in Vadodara, Gujarat, India. Alembic USA began operation in May 2015. Craig Salmon, president of U.S. operations, said that Alembic is known as a high-quality


“The consolidation has led to an increased need for reliable supply partners. A manufacturer’s supply challenge may pose significant risk to the market and particularly patients,” he said. “ Alembic has invested heavily in quality and product development for the U.S. market both in terms of capital expenditures and R&D. Our investment includes a wide range of products, including dermatology, ophthalmics and injectables.” manufacturer of both API and finished goods for the United States and other markets. He also said the company has big plans that build on recent achievements. “Alembic had a very busy year and recently launched our first products for dermatology, as well as our first ophthalmic products,” he said. “Also, we recently acquired an R&D facility in the U.S. In the future, we plan to launch a full suite of oncology and sterile injectable products. Our focus continues to be on being a reliable and quality supplier for our customers,” he said. Salmon also said that the company’s customer base increasingly has become consolidated with more purchasing volume concentrated with fewer customers.


Bridgewater, N.J.-based Amneal was founded in 2002 by Chirag and Chintu Patel, who continue to serve as co-chairmen of the company’s board of directors. Since then, Amneal has grown organically


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PHARMACY | GENERICS SPOTLIGHT and through mergers and acquisitions to become one of the leading U.S. generic pharmaceutical companies. Today, Amneal markets a portfolio of roughly 200 generic product families, including complex dosage forms in a broad range of therapeutic areas. The company also markets a portfolio of branded pharmaceutical products focused primarily on central nervous system disorders, hypothyroidism and parasitic infections. “Amneal is renowned for our quality culture, which is one of the core pillars of our success. We work to consistently meet or exceed quality, industry and global regulatory standards” an Amneal spokesperson said. “For each member of our team, quality is a mindset that helps us achieve our goal to make healthy possible. Every day, across all roles and functions, we embrace the idea that ‘quality begins with me.’” Amneal recently received approval for and launched its generic version of the Exelon Patch, or rivastigmine transdermal system. “The product is Amneal’s first transdermal product, and demonstrates the company’s commitment to develop and bring to market complex generic products,” the spokesperson said. Also, Amneal just completed the renovation and expansion of its Brookhaven, N.Y., production facility, allowing for additional capacity. The company also recently completed construction of an 80,000-sq.-ft. distribution facility in Glasgow, Ky. “Amneal has distinguished itself within the generic industry through its diversified pipeline of complex, high value generic products,” said the company spokesperson, who noted that in 2018, Amneal led the U.S. generics industry in both approvals and launches, including 62 ANDA approvals, 10 tentative approvals and 42 new products launched. Thirty-seven percent of the company’s new product launches were from injectable, topical or liquid products, further diversifying its portfolio of more than 200 generic products.

Ascend Labs

Ascend Labs, based in Parsippany, N.J., introduced its label into the market in 2008 with three molecules. Today, Ascend markets more than 40 molecules, which when


considering all strengths and sizes, accounts for about 150 SKUs. “With many older molecules that have been rationalized out by other suppliers, Ascend has developed a strong reputation for supply,” executive vice president John Dillaway said. “By holding significant inventory at its distribution center and having completed extended dating studies on many of its products, Ascend has been able to take on new business right away, in many cases, for customers who have a sudden need.” Ascend has 50 molecules currently awaiting approval and another 100 at various stages of development. “Ascend has focused on adding to its infrastructure rather than discontinuing items,” Dillaway said. Ascend recently completed a major expansion of its Damon, India facility and has broken ground on what will be its newest manufacturing campus in Indore in central India. This new campus, which is expected to come on line in 2020, will double existing capacity. “Customer service and its supply ability are Ascend’s distinguishing qualities, and it is working hard to stand out in these areas. With all of the consolidation resulting in larger buying entities, the ability to supply has become one of the most sought after qualities customers seek, and Ascend is putting great resources to work to be seen as a go-to company in this area,” Dillaway said.

Aurobindo Pharma

of the leading companies in the generics industry. It continues to focus on its core strengths of vertical integration, large scale manufacturing, and a robust research and development portfolio. Aurobindo has been among the generic firms receiving the highest number of product approvals for several years, and currently ranks third in terms of total volume in the U.S. market. The company currently has more than 550 ANDAs filed with the FDA with more than 380 final approvals, McMahon said. The company also is building for the future, recently opening its large-scale manufacturing facility, Unit 10, which is solely focused on growth in the U.S. market. Aurobindo focuses on strategic portfolio management across a broad product line with no single product contributing more than 5% of total revenue. In recent years, the company has expanded into new therapeutic categories and delivery methods, such as injectables, oncology, hormones, oral contraceptives, ophthalmics, inhalations, metered dose and dry powder inhalers, biosimilars, and OTCs. “Aurobindo is well positioned in terms of scale, efficiency and cost-effectiveness through it expansive, yet lean operating model, and now ranks among the largest generics suppliers around the globe,” Aurobindo managing director Govind Narayanan, said. “Although this has been fueled largely by organic growth, the recently announced definitive agreement to acquire Sandoz’s U.S. oral solids and dermatology business units further advances Aurobindo’s aggressive growth strategy. This greatly strengthens the company’s vast market presence, as well as the scope and breadth of the partnerships it holds with key customers here in the United States.” As a result of the Sandoz oral solids and dermatology acquisition, Aurobindo will be

More than 30 years ago, Ramprasad Reddy, Nityananda Reddy, and a small group of scientists, engineers and professionals founded Windsor, N.J.-based Aurobindo Pharma with a single manufacturing unit specializing in semisynthetic penicillin. Paul McMahon, vice president of commercial operations, said that Aurobindo has grown its business rapidly, both organically and through acquisitions, to be one


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PHARMACY | GENERICS SPOTLIGHT adding nearly 300 unique product families to its portfolio to ensure that the company remains one of the leading generic pharmaceutical manufacturers in the world.

Camber Pharmaceuticals

Kon Ostaficiuk, president of Piscataway, N.J.-based Camber Pharmaceuticals, said that for over 10 years, Camber has been one of the fastest-growing generics companies in the United States. He also said that Camber’s goal is balancing supply and demand from pipeline to patient. “We have numerous new product launches scheduled for the next 12 months, which allows us to bring more value to our partners and the patients they serve,” Ostaficiuk said. “We are deeply focused on maintaining excellence in our supply chain, and continue to put people and procedures in place to accomplish this goal as we add to our portfolio.” He also said that Camber is known for its Quocustomer service, which includes a dedicated team of seasoned sales professionals who have deep experience in the industry. The company has the goal of using these assets to build partnerships. “In addition to providing a sustainable, long-term competitive advantage to our customers, Camber’s goals include strengthening strategic partnership alliances, anticipating and responding to customer needs, maintaining transparency in all areas of business, committing to a reliable and high-quality supply of products, and ramping up tech transfers between facilities,” Ostaficiuk said. With its facilities and the addition of a new manufacturing and warehouse space in India, Camber has more than 2.5 million square feet dedicated solely to the U.S. market. The company also is constructing a new corporate headquarters and expanded warehouse space. “This more than triples our current warehouse space, which allows us to maintain a robust inventory of the products our customers need most,” Ostaficiuk said. Camber’s current portfolio includes 54

products that encompass 152 SKUs. Fortysix of its products are manufactured by parent company Hetero Drugs, and eight are manufactured by Ascent Pharmaceuticals. Camber’s future pipeline includes 55 ANDAs filed/ under review, and 15-plus ANDAs projected for release in 2019. “Today, our parent company, Hetero Drugs, is the largest privately held pharmaceutical company in India and a world leader in API production, with strong global presence in over 120 countries,” Ostaficiuk said. “Saving lives is their passion, and they continue to help shape a healthier world through affordable medications as they have for over 25 years.”

on developing high value, meaningfully differentiated products, while achieving selfsustainability on our R&D model,” he said. “As guided in our fiscal earnings call last month, the overall scale of investment is likely to remain at similar levels,” he said. “We still think that market conditions are favorable for us to grow. We want to create value by enhancing our product portfolio with a plan to launch over 30 new products in FY20.” Recently, the company announced the launch of some complex products, including daptomycin for injection and isotretinoin capsules. “There also are some launches which may participate in the competitive market space, however, most of these products are complementary to our existing portfolio offering and are backed by strong vertical integration to compete effectively in the market,” Kikuchi said.

Dr. Reddy’s Labs

Founded in 1984, Dr. Reddy’s Labs is based in Princeton, N.J., and Hyderabad, India. In 1995, Dr. Reddy’s became the first pharmaceutical company in India to file a product patent in the United States. The company also was the first Indian pharma company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, as well as the first in the world to create a biosimilar monoclonal antibody — Reditux. “More recently, as result of our strategy realignment exercise, we are working towards divesting some of our commercial operations, which do not have critical mass or scale,” Marc Kikuchi, CEO of North America generics, said. “The focus will be on developing high value, meaningfully differentiated products, and achieving selfsustainability on our R&D model.” Dr. Reddy’s has been investing significantly in specialty business, which includes proprietary products and biosimilars. Almost onethird of the company’s total R&D spend was about $226 million for the last fiscal year, Kikuchi said. “Going forward, we expect to be more selective on the assets we bet on and focus

Lupin Pharmacauticals

Lupin Pharmaceuticals, based in Baltimore, is dedicated to delivering high quality, branded and generic pharmaceutical products trusted by healthcare professionals and patients across the country, company officials said. “Lupin is currently the third largest pharmaceutical company in unbranded and branded generics prescriptions dispensed in the United States, with a 6.2% generic market share,” Bob Hoffman, executive vice president of U.S. generics, said. Lupin’s history began in 2003 with three Baltimore-based employees and one U.S. generic product approval. The company markets a total of 168 generic products. “Lupin has established a leading position in the cephalosporin, ACE-inhibitor and cholesterol-reducing product categories,” Hoffman said. “Lupin has played to its strengths, focusing on increasing its market shares not only for new product launches, but by executing well-to-grow


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PHARMACY | GENERICS SPOTLIGHT market shares for its existing products. As of the end of March 2019, Lupin is the market share leader in 65 out of 175 generic products and is among the top three in 129 out of 175 products in the United States. Hoffman also said Lupin constantly is engaging with its trade partners and customers, and it has worked hard to strengthen its supply chain to ensure industry-leading service levels. “The majority of Lupin’s products are vertically integrated, which ensures quality control throughout each step of product development and manufacturing. This gives Lupin an unparalleled advantage over its competitors, as it is able to control its supply chain while offering competitive pricing,” he said. Lupin’s recent product launches include fluoxetine tablets 60 mg; testosterone gel 1.62%, which is the generic of AndroGel; cefixime capsules 400 mg, the generic of Suprax; clobazam tablets, the generic of Onfi; and its second inhalation product, budesonide inhalation suspension 0.5 mg/2mL, the generic of Pulmicort Respules. Lupin expects to expand its pipeline to offer medications in such new therapeutic areas as dermatology, pediatrics, women’s health, inhalation and complex injectables, Hoffman said.

Novitium has launched six new products since October 2018, including three products the FDA has designated as competitive generic therapies due to a lack of generic options. The company just launched sildenafil for oral suspension 10 mg/mL, the generic of Pfizer’s Revatio for oral suspension, for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. “The FDA granted Novitium a competitive generic therapy designation for this product, as we were the first therapeutically equivalent generic approved,” Gassert said. Finally, Gassert also said the generic pharmaceutical market rapidly is changing and that increased competition, a consolidating customer base, expanding patient demand and supply shortages have all created a rapidly fluctuating environment. “Our integrated, U.S.-based R&D and manufacturing operations allows the flexibility to rapidly address changing customer and market demands,” he said.

Upsher-Smith Labs

Novitium Pharma

Founded in January 2016 and based in East Windsor N.J., Novitium Pharma specializes in the development, manufacturing and distribution of niche generic pharmaceutical products. The company has established a growing commercial product portfolio and developed a pipeline of over 27 ANDAs, spanning a diverse range of dosage forms and therapeutic categories. “We have built our company around a highly productive and efficient ‘R&D engine,’ permitting us to rapidly bring new products to market, all which are produced within our New Jersey-based manufacturing facility,” Novitium CEO Chad Gassert said.


Maple Grove, Minn.-based Upsher-Smith was founded a century ago. Upsher-Smith president and CEO Rusty Field said that from its inception, UpsherSmith has been known for delivering highquality, life-enhancing medications to the patients who need them, beginning with its first breakout product, a form of digitalis refined to a singularly high level of consistency. “This first product established UpsherSmith’s reputation for quality, consistency and reliability, a reputation that endures to this day,” he said. Since being acquired by the Japanese generics company Sawai Pharmaceutical in 2017, Upsher-Smith has focused on expanding its generic portfolio. In 2018, Upsher-Smith launched generic versions of Cardura (doxazosin mesylate) tablets, Lomotil (diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate) tablets, Targretin (bexarotene) capsules and Onfi (clobazam)

tablets and oral suspension. It also added Vigadrone (vigabatrin) for oral solution 500 mg to its branded neurology portfolio, which includes Qudexy XR (topiramate) extended-release capsules. In that same year, the company entered into an exclusive agreement with a pharmaceutical partner to market and distribute a group of six ophthalmic and oticANDA products, with combined annual sales of more than $1.6 billion for the 12 months ended March 2018, according to IQVIA. “In short, during a time period when only 36% of FDA-approved ANDA products launched, Upsher-Smith brought 75% of its approved ANDAs to market,” Field said, adding, “Like all generics companies, Upsher-Smith has faced significant pricing pressure in recent years, but it is well positioned for future growth. The company continues to increase efficiencies and align expenses with expected revenues, with the goal of investing in future endeavors.” Upsher-Smith aggressively plans to pursue acquisitions of generic and targeted brand opportunities that leverage its commercial team’s capabilities. The company recently announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire U.S. and other territory rights for migraine medications, Tosymra (sumatriptan) nasal spray 10 mg and Zembrace SymTouch (sumatriptan) injection 3 mg from Dr. Reddy’s. In June, Upsher-Smith was honored with two Distribution Industry Awards for Notable Achievement in Healthcare, or DIANAs, for “Overall Manufacturer of the Year with sales less than $500 Million” and “Branded Pharmaceutical Product Manufacturer of the Year with sales less than $300 Million” by the Healthcare Distribution Alliance at its 2019 Business and Leadership Conference. “Looking ahead, the company is investing in infrastructure to expand capabilities, strengthen overall competitiveness and enhance sustainable practices. Through one initiative, Upsher-Smith plans to consolidate all manufacturing into a single, optimized, built-for-purpose site, with the end goal of enhancing efficiency, expanding capabilities and ensuring overall product quality for decades to come,” Field said. dsn


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Here at Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC, our heritage is generic pharmaceuticals. We and our parent company, Sawai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, have been formulating and manufacturing quality generics for decades.

In keeping with our unwavering commitment to high-quality products and sustainable growth, we’ve recently rolled out a strategic plan to double our on-market offerings. This means our customers can expect a greater number of consistently supplied, quality products supported by our highest level of customer service. As we celebrate our 100-year anniversary, we remain proud of our strong reputation as a trusted partner in the generic marketplace, and we look forward to delivering even more affordable options to patients and healthcare professionals. Visit us at www.upsher-smith.com to learn more.

Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC, 6701 Evenstad Drive, Maple Grove, MN 55369 Š 2019 Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC 113953.01

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Teva Introduces Generic Albenza Teva Pharmaceuticals is launching albendazole tablets. The product, which is the generic of GlaxoSmithKline’s Albenza tablets, is available in a dosage strength of 200 mg in bottles of two tablets. Albendazole is an anthelmintic, or anti-worm, medication. It prevents newly hatched insect larvae from growing or multiplying in your body. It is used to treat certain infections caused by worms, such as pork tapeworm and dog tapeworm.

FDA Green-lights Amgen, Allergan’s Biosimilar Herceptin Amgen and Allergan have received the Food and Drug Administration’s green light for Kanjinti (trastuzumabanns), a biosimilar of Genentech’s Herceptin (trastuzumab), for all approved indications: for the treatment of HER2-overexpressing adjuvant and metastatic breast cancer, and HER2-overexpressing metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. “The FDA approval of Kanjinti is an important milestone for our biosimilars portfolio, providing an additional treatment option for patients across three types of cancer,” said David Reese, Amgen executive

vice president of research and development. “Kanjinti is the third biosimilar from our portfolio to receive FDA approval, highlighting our long-term commitment to providing patients with serious illnesses access to high quality biological therapies.” “Kanjinti is the second of four biosimilars from Amgen’s and Allergan’s collaboration to be approved by the FDA,” said Allergan chief research and development officer David Nicholson. “We are proud of the progress being made as we continuously strive to develop and deliver high-quality cancer therapies in collaboration with Amgen.”

FDA Approves Two New Keytruda Indications Merck has received the Food and Drug Administration’s approval for two new indications for its Keytruda. The drug is now indicated as an anti-PD-1 therapy, and as monotherapy in patients whose tumors express PD-L1 or in combination with platinum and fluorouracil, a commonly used chemotherapy regimen, for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic or with unresectable, recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. “This approval is a very exciting milestone in the treatment of head and neck cancer, and has the potential to transform the way we treat patients with this debilitating disease by offering important new therapeutic options,” Barbara Burtness professor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine and co-director of the Development Therapeutics Research Program at Yale Cancer Center, said. “Metastatic or recurrent head and neck cancer has been an area of significant unmet need, so it is encouraging to have immunotherapy regimens available for patients in the first-line setting.” “Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma has historically presented many challenges to physicians and patients, including limited treatment options and physical and functional issues caused by the disease and its treatment,” Merck Research Laboratories vice president of clinical research Jonathan Cheng said. Keytruda was initially approved for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma with disease progression on or after platinum-containing chemotherapy in 2016.

Dr. Reddy’s to Sell Branded Neurology Products to Upsher-Smith Dr. Reddy’s is selling the U.S. and select territory rights for its Zembrace Symtouch and Tosymra products to Upsher-Smith Labs. The products had been commercialized through Dr. Reddy’s Promius Pharma subsidiary. Under the agreement, Dr. Reddy’s will receive $70 million as an upfront consideration, $40.5 million in near term milestones and additional financial considerations, including existing contractual obligation and inventory. Subsequently, Dr. Reddy’s will receive sales-based royalties on a quarterly basis. “This is a testament to our strong research and development capabilities, and delivering solutions to the unmet needs of


patients. In a short time, we created a well-recognized migraine specialty business in the U.S., and we look forward to our partnership with Upsher-Smith,” Dr. Reddy’s co-chairman and CEO G.V. Prasad said. “Tosymra and Zembrace were designed and developed with the goal of addressing unmet needs of large but discrete segments of patients suffering from episodic migraine who need options other than their current therapies. We are excited to partner with Upsher-Smith, which has established a strong presence in neurology,” Promius Pharma senior vice president of proprietary products and head Anil Namboodiripad said.


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Feeling Louse-y With alternatives popping up, suppliers in the lice prevention category are changing their approach By David Salazar


hough it often can feel like a feast or famine category, manufacturers making lice products are quick to note that this small, but normally steady category still offers an opportunity for retailers to be a resource for consumers in their moment of need. Even in a category where most consumers hope to buy products only once and wish they were never buying them at all, industry experts said that efficacy and convenience — and, increasingly, prevention — are the areas they are most focused on to keep sales and innovation healthy. At the end of 2018, IRI data showed that during the full-year period, parasite treatments saw dollar sales decline 5.2%, with a 5.7% drop off in unit sales. Yet, the beginning of 2019 actually has brought good news, according to Joseph Juliano, vice president of innovation in Canada and

consumer insights at Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Prestige Consumer Healthcare. He said that the sales dip of 2018 was caused by low incidence rates, but dollar sales were up for the first quarter, and there was hope that the rest of the year would produce a rebound in the category. This paints a promising picture for manufacturers looking to snag a piece of the $152.5 million category, which includes legacy brands and newcomers, all of whom are focused on delivering on shifting consumers demands as quickly as possible. “The lice category has a high sense of urgency to treat, and we continue to bring retailers treatments that increase efficacy in the shortest amount of time,” said Juliano, whose company markets the Nix brand. “This is especially important in drug where we know it’s an emergency/urgent destination for shoppers.”

A Changing Category

As perennial as the category has been, many of the big names staked their claim on chemicalbased treatments to get rid of lice — typically using permethrin. Both Nix and Bayer’s Rid, which comprise the top two brandname solutions in the category, according to


IRI, have flagship pesticide-based products. However, two trends — one consumer based, the other scientific — have brought about innovation focused on pesticide-free solutions. From a consumer standpoint, the lice category is finding itself to be no exception to the recent demands roiling every other category — namely a focus on ingredients that go into consumer healthcare products that has made them wary of pesticide-based treatments. At the same time, lice increasingly have become immune to pesticide-based formulas, leading to “super lice” and a need for solutions that can get the job done, while also avoiding ingredients consumers would prefer not to use. Bayer’s Rid used the example of its classic Rid lice removal kit to offer one free of pesticides with the introduction of Rid Max Complete Lice Removal Kit, which includes a pesticide-free conditioning solution and the Ridvantage lice comb, as well as a spray for the home, including furniture, mattresses and other non-washable items. Similarly, Prestige’s Juliano said super lice and consumer demands have facilitated the introduction of the Nix Ultra line of products. “The Nix Ultra line has been our most successful recent innovation. Nix Ultra products are specially formulated to kill lice and eggs, including pesticide-resistant “super” lice, via suffocation rather than using traditional pesticides,” Juliano said. “This year, we are excited to add to the line with the launch of Nix Ultra Shampoo, which kills super lice and eggs, and cleans hair.” Some manufacturers in the space were ahead of the curve regarding the use of pesticides because they used sodium chloride as the key mechanism to suffocate lice. Among the salt-based lice treatment manufacturers are TecLabs’ LiceFree and Vamousse, which is marketed by Alliance Pharmaceuticals.


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“Vamousse products come from a pesticide-free heritage,” said Amanda Sicvol, country manager of USA at Alliance Pharma, who noted it was designed by entomologists in North Carolina who were interested in a pesticide-free solution. “This is hugely important in this category because lice have really developed a genetic resistance to the chemicals that we’ve used historically, making them much harder to kill.” Category newcomer Lice-Nil, made by Indian pest control company Sujanil, is focused on offering a unique proposition for retailers and consumers that is neither a pesticide nor sodium chloride-based. Lice-Nil Lice and Eggs Eliminator Oil uses three ingredients — neem, coconut and tea tree oils “Neem oil is essentially an all-natural insecticide, which has a lice-killing effect, and coconut oil has a lice-suffocating effect. Altogether, the blend of oils serves to kill lice and nourish the head and scalp,” said Curt Behrens, a spokesperson for Lice-Nil, who noted that the product also avoids a medicinal smell that is common of other lice treatments.

Prevention and Convenience

Behrens also said that one of the potential threats to the category at retail is the growing popularity of lice clinics, where consumers pay for a lice removal treatment, bypassing the store entirely. What this does is put pressure on retailers and manufacturers to differentiate themselves through innovation. One of the key areas of innovation taking place is in prevention. Several of the brands in the category are introducing shampoo, Juliano said. Behrens mentioned the launch of a Lice-Nil shampoo and Sicvol said Vamousse has offered a preventive shampoo product in an effort to help get rid of lice before any symptoms even appear. “If you don’t see lice [when you’ve been notified about an outbreak], the easiest thing to do is switch your child to the daily shampoo that kills every day as you wash,” Sicvol said. “It’s a simple swap, so there’s no new aspect of your hair care regimen. You’re basically doing your normal hair care cleaning routine on top of killing anything that might be there, so you don’t get to the point of ever having to treat or even


Even in a category where most consumers hope to buy products only once and wish they were never buying them at all, industry experts said that efficacy and convenience — and, increasingly, prevention — are the areas they are most focused on to keep sales and innovation healthy. finding out that you had an infestation to begin with.” Another way to highlight value to consumers is by offering kits, a solution that can make the shopping process easier and lead to higher rings and, perhaps profits for the retailer, Juliano said. “During a lice outbreak, many families feel panicked and are looking for the most effective all-in-one-box solution that they can grab and go,” he said. “Our Nix Kits provide everything needed to eliminate lice from heads and homes. The individual Nix items are great for families with additional family members who need treatment, or if the outbreak has not yet spread to the home.” The preventive element is a way to introduce a wider selection to the category’s assortment in store, but Behrens said further growth will require a reassessment of the category. “Retailers should look for alternative solutions. Natural has never

resonated in this category — and as a parent, I get that you want to throw everything you can at the problem when you find out your kid has lice,” he said. “But two things need to happen to grow the category — looking at alternative methods of eliminating lice and embracing natural.” The pharmacy can put a retailer in a unique position, Sicvol said, noting that pharmacists are a key resource for parents looking for lice solutions in a pinch, and Vamousse focuses outreach on pharmacists who can play a key role in highlighting category innovation as it shifts. “There’s an element we still see in this category differently than others, which is that moms will ask for advice from pharmacists,” she said. “Being able to educate them on what exists on the shelf is important, because it’s not the same old, same old. There’s been a lot of change. There’s a lot of new technology, and it’s not all the same.”dsn


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RID MAX Complete Lice Removal Kit


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© 2019 Bayer

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Nix Wants to Wash Lice Away Prestige Consumer Healthcare’s Nix brand is expanding its pesticide-free offerings with Nix Ultra Shampoo. The product uses mineral oil to clean hair, while also killing lice and eggs, including super lice. “In a recent laboratory study, Nix Ultra was proven more effective than the leading prescription product at killing lice,” said Joseph Juliano, vice president of innovation in Canada and consumer

insights at Prestige. “This year, we are excited to add to the line with the launch of Nix Ultra Shampoo, which kills super lice and eggs, and cleans hair.” The shampoo, free of parabens, phthalates, colorants and dyes includes the Nix Lice Removal Comb to remove remaining lice and eggs following the shampoo process.

Rid Max Emphasizes Ease, Convenience When it comes to lice, few families want to make multiple trips to the store for various items they might forget on an initial pass. In an effort to make the process easier, Bayer’s Rid brand offers the Rid Max Complete Lice Removal Kit. The kit includes the Rid Max Conditioning Solution, a pesticide-free treatment that also conditions hair; the Ridvantage lice comb, which features a diamond-tine design; and the Home Lice, Bedbug & Dust Mite Spray for non-washable items that include mattresses, furniture and car interiors. The kit also features lice removal instructions in English and Spanish.

Lice-Nil Keeps It Simple Lice-Nil, from Indian pest control giant Sujanil, is looking to bring its pesticide-free, oil-based lice treatment to more stores. The product uses three main ingredients — neem oil, coconut oil and tea tree oil. The neem oil is meant to help kill lice, while the coconut oil is meant to help suffocate them, with the solution also focused on eliminating nits.


Vamousse Aims to Keep the House Lice-Free Once the lice in a person’s scalp is taken care of, consumers still want to exercise caution on anything that came in contact with lice that may not easily be washed. That’s where Vamousse Lice Elimination Powder comes in. The product is meant to be shaken on areas that might have come in contact with an affected scalp, including furniture and mattresses, then vacuumed up. The non-pesticide product does not leave a sticky residue and features a clean scent once used. It offers an alternative to more common sprays that use permethrin, which many consumers are wary of. “What we wanted to offer parents was a solution that, if you wanted to treat your house, it’s something that has ingredients that you can feel good about using around your children and your pets.”

“Lice-Nil is an all-natural preparation — it’s oil. And that really is the significant point of difference to other products that are currently on the market — either permethrin- or sodium chloride-based products,” Lice-Nil spokesperson Curt Behrens said. “I think it’s important to bring good medicine to the market — and we’ve got it.” Lice-Nil, which is available in a 4-oz. bottle, currently retails for $13.94 on Walmart.com. The company is planning to launch a shampoo later this year.


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Ladies’ Choice As women’s needs change, so too are the wellness products designed for them By Carol Radice


hile women’s wellness products span a number of categories, from nutritional supplements and sexual wellness to feminine hygiene, one thing remains constant — women increasingly are becoming selective about the ingredients in the products they use on their bodies. Studies, including a report from Mintel support the fact that when making a purchase, the majority of women look for products that do not contain unnecessary ingredients. This interest in “better for you” wellness products perhaps is most noticeable within feminine care. Products that are natural, organic and have fewer —and more transparent — ingredients, as well lower environmental impact, are among those seeing strong growth within the category. According to Ama Perodin, senior brand manager of intimate health at White Plains, N.Y.-based Combe, consumers are looking for the best new products that meet their intimate personal care needs. The company’s Vagisil brand addresses those needs by creating safe, efficacious products specially designed to provide holistic care for women’s vaginal and sexual health needs, Perodin said. The company’s personal care products include Vagisil anti-itch cremes, anti-itch medicated wipes and intimate washes, as well as Preventeza emergency contraceptive. “Vagisil’s approach to intimate health puts women at the forefront when it comes to taking care of their bodies,” Perodin said. “Everything we do is geared toward women’s health.” Women also are looking to companies for information to make more informed decisions, said Greg Bradley, CEO of Foundation Consumer Healthcare, located in Pittsburgh. “Our mission is to continue to increase access


to Plan B and ensure women have the information they need about what it is — and what it isn’t — so they can make informed healthcare decisions,” he said. Bradly pointed out that when it comes to Plan B, women just want the facts so they can feel confident if their “Plan A” does not work out. “We realized our communications needed to break through the clutter in the women’s wellness and health space and deliver information in a straightforward manner, which is why our new ‘I’ve Got This’ campaign is truly distinctive in its look, feel and messaging,” he said. In menstrual care, women are looking for products that fit into their busy lifestyle, in particular, millennials — a demographic that also is interested in transparency in ingredients. Tracy Garbowski, director of feminine care, commercial marketing at Edgewell Personal Care, said the company’s Playtex brand is focused on delivering a range of thoughtfully designed feminine care solutions, including Playtex Sport tampons, which are meant

to meet the needs of active women. The company’s other brands in the category include Stayfree, Carefree and o.b., which Garbowski said broadly provide feminine care solutions across each of the respective segments. Women also are gravitating to healthy product choices that are good for themselves and the environment. Edgewell recently introduced o.b. Organic, a line of tampons made from 100% organic cotton from tip to string, free from chlorine, fragrances and dyes. It is available with a plant-based applicator or without. Organic Initiative, based in Manhattan Beach, Calif., entirely is focused on sustainable menstrual care, making biodegradable, certified organic cotton hygiene products, including cotton tampons, pads and liners, as well as the Oi cup made from medical-grade TPE. Every component of Oi products, including the packaging, is designed to help reduce the lifetime impact of synthetic, plastics and chemicals on the environment, as well as on women’s and girls’ bodies. CEO Helen


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Robinson said the goal was to get people to start thinking about the value of products beyond its functionality. “We are very transparent about what is in our products and how good they are for the environment,” she said. “We understand we need to educate women that natural products work just as well as those they are more familiar with.” In sexual wellness, Trigg Labs has taken a unique approach to the category with its Wet Elite Femme, a line of personal lubricant products. The line was designed for women, by women and consists of a water-based lubricant, a silicone-based lubricant, a hybrid lubricant and a cool tingle lubricant. All are colorless, odorless and lightweight. “Despite the fact that women are the primary decision makers when it comes to personal lubricant, the majority of products were being targeted to men,” Tiffany Sands, marketing manager at the Las Vegas, Nev.-based company, said. “There was an obvious gap and we wanted to fill it by giving our female customers a quality product that specifically addresses their wants and needs.” Within the supplement space, companies increasingly are offering products with beauty-focused benefits. Nature’s Truth, based in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., offers a number of products specifically designed for women, including collagen products that support hair, skin and nails; plant-based essential oils and aromatherapy; and topical serums that feature such ingredients as vitamin C, hyaluronic


acid, collagen and argan oil. Kimberly Vigliante, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Nature’s Truth, pointed out that women are looking for products that help them feel and look good from the inside out. “They also want products that feature only the best ingredients, are non-GMO and free of common allergens, such as gluten. That’s why, at Nature’s Truth, each of our product labels clearly state what is in each bottle, including our ‘free of’ statements, so shoppers know exactly what they are buying,” Vigliante said.

Best Practices

In noting the reduction of secondary placement opportunities, Edgewell’s Garbowski said this has heightened the importance for manufacturers to leverage merchandising strategies and tactics that can drive awareness at shelf and, in the case of menstrual care, disrupt their “grab and go” shopping behavior. Robinson said that Organic Initiative’s products sell best when placed in the same aisle or set as mainstream products. She said it is important that when women approach the feminine hygiene aisle, they see all the choices available to them, especially the affordable, healthy options. “We believe our products are the new, accepted standard, not the exception, and should be treated like traditional products are,” Robinson said. “Tucking it away in another area of the store won’t accomplish this.”

Alan Cooper, vice president of food, drug and mass sales at Trigg Labs, said that when it comes to merchandising the company’s personal lubricant line, he has seen retailers place it in the family planning section, but noted that positioning it in the feminine hygiene aisle helps differentiate the product and puts the customers in a more comfortable space. Vigliante of Nature’s Truth said retailers that are the most successful are those who have created a women’s wellness center in their stores. When supported with ample signage and advisers who are dedicated to educating shoppers on women’s wellness, this store-within-a-store concept establishes the retailer as a wellness destination, she said. Perodin said Combe believes the key to merchandising women’s wellness products is understanding that a woman’s time is valuable. Helping her meet her intimate health needs as easily and efficiently as possible, she said, is the way to win loyalty. Retailers can achieve this by offering a wide variety of products, focusing on ease of shopability and shelf navigation to optimize merchandising; setting fair pricing; and ensuring that there are a sufficient number of products available. “As our shopper research shows, retailer success in the intimate health category cannot be distilled down to one best practice in retail, but rather is the result of many best practices that ladder up to executional excellence,” Perodin said. dsn


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= $37MM










Contact your Edgewell representative today.

©2019 Edgewell. Playtex and all other marks are licensed or owned by Edgewell. *Source: Nielsen Nitro xAOC FY Ending 9/15/18 and Nielsen HH Panel Total US 52 WE 9/15/18

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Jumping on the Bandwagon Tie into marketing promotions, but choose carefully By David Orgel


David Orgel is an awardwinning business journalist, industry expert and speaker. He is currently the principal of David Orgel Consulting, delivering strategic content and counsel to the food, retail and CPG industries.


etailers are all about differentiation, and this leads them to highly customized marketing campaigns. However, sometimes retailers need to jump on the bandwagon through tie-ins to national marketing promotions. There are seemingly more such opportunities than ever, but they need to be chosen carefully. There’s now a day, week or month for almost every product category or cause, all promotable via social media. DSN’s sister magazine, Progressive Grocer, publishes a comprehensive monthly calendar of category-focused promotions, from National Raspberry Cream Pie Day on Aug. 1 to National Soft-Serve Ice Cream Day on Aug. 19. These tie-ins are fun and useful. However, the proliferation of opportunities could leave retailers feeling overwhelmed. Retailers need to embrace the ones that make the most sense for their individual customer bases. It starts with jumping on the bandwagon, but leads to driving differentiation in execution. The same is true for another kind of national promotion that retailers should consider. These are more “horizontal” promotions that spotlight such topics as diabetes awareness or the many celebrations of ethnic heritage. These are campaigns — each often monthlong — driven by associations and other organizations. It’s important for retailers to consider which ones to pursue. “Retailers need to ask, ‘How can I amplify the program?’” Neil Stern, senior partner of retail consulting firm McMillanDoolittle, said. “If a program is getting national PR and attention, the retailer’s money will go farther. So that’s the kind of program they’d want to hook onto.” It’s useful to create a checklist of elements that tend to result in program success. I’ll do this in referencing an initiative that I’ve been tracking for a number of years, the September National Family Meals Month created by the FMI Foundation of Food Marketing Institute. This year marks the fifth anniversary of that program.

As a quick background, this program encourages families to eat one more meal at home each week. The foundation delivers the message that family meals eaten at home promote healthier eating and “strengthen the family’s social fabric.” This effort checks off many of the boxes that I’d consider important for successful retailer promotion efforts: • Sales Benefits: The concept ties into what many retailers sell; • Differentiation Strategies: Retailers have jumped on the bandwagon over the years while taking unique approaches. For example, Hy-Vee has provided tips and tools to make mealtime more manageable. Wakefern Food has leveraged its dietitians to engage customers. Even Kroger’s The Little Clinic got into the act by discussing family meals with patients and distributing an educational booklet. “There are many unique and different routes for participating,” Sue Borra, chief health and wellness officer and executive director at FMI Foundation, said; • Resource Support: The family meals campaign provides a wide range of tool kits and other resources, in addition to a Gold Plate Awards program to spotlight efforts; • Partnership Focus: This campaign has focused on growing the number of partners, including retailers, suppliers and community collaborators. In all, 232 partners were promoting the importance of family meals in 2018; and • Credible Metrics: FMI Foundation assessed results through a Nielsen Harris Poll, which showed that more than 70 million adults saw the campaign last year, and 91% reported taking action from it, including eating together as a family more often. Let’s go back to the starting point on this topic. Retailers need to differentiate, and sometimes that requires embracing a high profile national effort and adding a unique spin. Jumping on the bandwagon can be a good thing, as long as it’s being driven by solid strategies that enable each retailer to stand out. dsn


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