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Vol. 40 No. 11 DrugStoreNews.com
46 One-On-One with McKesson High Volume Solutions’ Joe Tammaro
26 Focus On: Garcoa Labs 30 The Future of Checkout
With Amazon Go pioneering cashier-less stores, retailers look to app-based checkout options
HEALTH 50 Diabetes
How diabetes management is getting smart
6 Editor’s Note
8 Industry News
22 Counter Talk with Stericycle’s Enrico Vona
59 Hair Care Multicultural consumers and natural demands drive growth
24 Counter Talk with NCPA’s John Beckner
64 Hair Care Products
28 Products to Watch Powered by Hamacher Resource Group
74 Last Word
with David Orgel Consulting’s David Orgel
CONSUMABLES 68 Candy Candymakers build out existing brands, eye premium and healthy launches
38 Technology & Automation How pharmacies save time for patient care — from in-store software to central-fill robots
SOCIAL Facebook.com/ DrugStoreNews Twitter.com/ DrugStoreNews
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 email@example.com, or call 847-564-1468. Vol. 40, No. 11, November 2018. Copyright © 2018 by EnsembleIQ. All rights reserved.
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
Be like MiralSave valuable time without losing valuable space.
Do you need affordable and reliable tabletop counting technology but lack counter space? The RM1™ is a compact, vision-based tabletop counting system perfect for growing or space-limited pharmacies. The RM1 quickly and accurately counts solid oral medications, has an easy-to-clean surface and saves you valuable time without taking up scarce counter space. Less than 8 inches tall and lightweight at only six pounds, the RM1 packs efficiency and affordability into one powerful and portable automated counting system. See the future of pharmacy automation and what it can do for you. Visit rxmedic.com or call 800.882.3819.
“It definitely improves our workflow efficiency and it’s very easy to use. We’ve tried other counters in the past and they didn’t work well for us. The RM1 works and it’s a great value. We have seven, one for each of our locations.” Miral Patel, RPh – Owner, Curlew Pharmacies, Clearwater, FL
© 2017 RxMedic Systems, Inc. RxMedic is a registered trademark and RM1 is a trademark of RxMedic Systems, Inc. RxMedic Systems, Inc. is a subsidiary of the J M Smith Corporation.
End of an Era The demise of Sears is a story long in the making, with few surprises at the end By Seth Mendelson
ears, once the nation’s largest retailer, filed for bankruptcy in mid-October. It was a long time coming. Sears has been the retail version of dead man walking for the better part of a generation, and even its much questioned purchase of the equally struggling Kmart chain more than a decade ago did little to change the perception that this was a big chain in big trouble. The gurus who run this chain said they will keep it Seth Mendelson going with a loan or two from some high-risk invesEditor in Chief/ tors, though they plan to close about 142 stores later Associate Brand this year. This is just corporate-speak that really means Director they have no clue what to do with the remaining stores, and they will probably close these 500 or so units in the near future too. So, for all intents and purposes, Sears is dead, and it died because its corporate leadership — over the last 20-to-25 years and maybe longer — failed to realize that consumer-shopping behavior was quickly changing and they needed to change with it or fail. Even the decision to close the famous Sears catalogue in 1993 now seems like a mistake, given the fact that a digital version of it could probably have been successful nowadays.
Even the decision to close the famous Sears catalogue in 1993 now seems like a mistake, given the fact that a digital version of it could probably have been successful nowadays. Instead of reading the consumer tea leaves, Sears did its best to dismantle its retail assets, selling off many of its most popular brands and doing little to keep up with changing fashion trends that could have kept the company at the forefront of the industry. Meanwhile, the company seemed to pay a great deal of attention to its real estate portfolio, which may have made its top executives rich, but did nothing for its retail operation. Can other retailers benefit from Sears’ decline? Unlike the Toys“R”Us liquidation a few months ago, there is not much to go after if Sears completely closes down. Consumers got the message years ago that this was not a chain that carried the most sought-after merchandise, and they stayed away in growing numbers. Suppliers did not want to help either, fearful that when a bankruptcy filing did take place, they would be left holding the bag. In the end, Sears will join the growing list of retailers that failed. The problem here might be that no one really cared anymore. dsn
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
An EnsembleIQ Publication 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60631 Vice President, Brand Director Eric Savitch (856) 489-3336, firstname.lastname@example.org Editor in Chief /Associate Brand Director Seth Mendelson (212) 756-5160, email@example.com EDITORIAL Associate Managing Editor David Salazar (212) 756-5114, firstname.lastname@example.org Senior Editor Sandra Levy (845) 893-9573, email@example.com Desk Editor Maria Manliclic (212) 756-5093, firstname.lastname@example.org Online Editor Gisselle Gaitan (212) 756-5138, email@example.com SALES & BUSINESS Northeast Manager Alex Tomas (212) 756-5155, firstname.lastname@example.org Regional Manager Steven Werner (312) 961-7162 email@example.com Brand Marketing Manager Mary Ellen Magee (856) 419-8411, firstname.lastname@example.org Media Production Assistant Betty Dong (212) 756-5134, email@example.com Director of Audience and Data Gail Reboletti (224) 231-6363, firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGN Art Director Amy Kelkenberg PRESIDENT Consumer Goods Retail Business Jennifer Litterick (647) 946-9219, email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org; or call (847) 564-1468 REPRINTS PARS International, LF-Reprints@parsintl.com, (212) 221-9595 x435, tinyurl.com/LF-reprints. Single copy price is $15 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 Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Richard Rivera President, Enterprise Solutions Terese Herbig Chief Digital Officer Joel Hughes Chief Human Resources Officer Jennifer Turner Senior Vice President, Innovation Tanner Van Dusen
Tumeez Aims to Ease Kids’ Upset Stomachs Momeez Choice, the company behind
Lolleezz Organic Throat Soothing Lollipops for Kids, unveiled its latest innovation — Tumeez. Created by a mom, the product aims to help ease and relieve heartburn, acid indigestion and upset stomachs in children. Tumeez is infused with USDA Certified Organic ingredients, 200 mg of calcium carbonate and a small dose of organic honey, the Washington, Conn.-based com-
Drkids Takes Guesswork Out of Children’s Doses Drkids is looking to change the way
is priced at $9.99. The products are
millennials medicate their children. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company is launching Drkids, a six-SKU line of pediatric products featuring measured single-use vials that eliminate the need for a measuring cup. The line features Allergy Relief, Cough & Cold, Chest Congestion, Respiratory Support, Night-Time Respiratory Support and Respiratory Support Immune products. Each product includes 20 vials and
sugar-, alcohol- and dye-free.
“We believe that we are the most innovative pediatric OTC line of products in the market,” said Edgar Arrieta, the company’s business development manager. “Consumers do not have to worry about whether they over-or under- medicated their children. The pre-measured vials take all the guessing out of dosing and is the safest way for adults to provide medication to their kids.”
VistaPharm Launches Generic Mepron Unit-Dose Cups VistaPharm is introducing Atovaquone oral sus-
pension 750 mg/5 mL. Atovaquone is used in the treatment of HIV. The product is the first generic alternative to Mepron sachets, and has the same ingredient, flavor, and coloring as Mepron, the company said. Atovaquone oral suspension is available in 42 count and 18 count.
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
pany said. The product also is non-GMO, gluten-, dairy- and nut-free. Each is made in a flat shape on a stick instead of a round ball — an effort the company said was aimed at minimizing risk of choking. “Whatever the reason, stomach aches can provide parental anxiety, so I wanted to create a remedy that would be delicious and fun for kids, while offering an effective solution made with organic ingredients and a worry-free shape for parents, and so Tumeez was born,”said Melissa Evans, Momeez Choice founder and health coach. Tumeez come in a variety pack of 10 pops in apple and grape flavors that retail for $5.99. The product currently can be found at select CVS Pharmacy locations and Amazon.com.
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RB, Walmart and Doctor on Demand Partner on Promotion
Sun Pharma Launches Ilumya for Plaque Psoriasis Sun Pharmaceutical Industries is offering Ilumya, or tildrakizumab-asmn, 100 mg/mL for moderateto-severe plaque psoriasis.
Walmart, Reckitt Benckiser and telehealth service Doctor on Demand have
teamed up on an effort aimed at making health care more accessible. This fall, Walmart shoppers who buy such RB brands as Mucinex, Delsym, Airborne or Digestive Advantage online or in-store will receive a limited-time offer for a no-cost Doctor on Demand consultation.
“This initiative is a big first step in delivering on RB and Walmart’s shared purpose of unlocking every American’s right to healthier lives,” said Gregory Chabidon, chief medical officer USA of RB’s health unit. “We found through research that many Walmart shoppers are looking for new ways to take health matters into their own hands. However, despite consumers’ desire to take more control of their health, the path isn’t always clear, and access to fast, reliable and affordable healthcare solutions remains a cause of stress.”
Chabidon said the effort, which is part of RB’s larger commitment to provide more affordable healthcare access to consumers, was timed specifically at the start of cold and flu season. “At Walmart, we are committed to the health and well-being of our consumers,” said Annie Walker, vice president of OTC merchandising at Walmart. “We believe that this collaboration will be a tremendous step forward in improving access to health care, during a time when people face challenges to getting the right treatment at the right time.”
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
Ilumya is an injectable interleukin23, or IL-23, inhibitor approved by the FDA for the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in adults who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy. “The availability of Ilumya is an important milestone for Sun Pharma, as we expand our specialty medicine portfolio in the U.S. Ilumya offers a new, safe and effective treatment option for people who are still struggling to manage their moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis,” Sun Pharma, North America CEO Abhay Gandhi said in a statement. “We understand the importance of patient and physician choice, and are committed to making Ilumya among the most cost-effective treatments on the market today.”
Listerine Innovates On-the-Go Breath Freshening Oral Care Listerine is changing the way consumers can freshen their breath. The brand’s latest innovation — Listerine Ready! Tabs — allows consumers to achieve that clean mouth feeling while on the go. Inspired by the research from consumer studies and focus groups, the product is comprised of clean mint solid-to-liquid tablets that do not contain any mouthwash and freshen breath for up to four hours, the company said. “Now consumers can have a whole mouth clean feeling even if they’re not near a sink,” Sissy Urista, senior commercial director at Listerine, said. “We’re changing the way consumers think about their everyday oral care routine with
a revolutionary new form that’s completely new to the market so that we can make their on-the-go lifestyle easier.” To use the product, which only takes 40 seconds, consumers need to chew the tablet for 10 seconds to transform it into a liquid, swish for 30 seconds and swallow. Each tablet is made out of food-grade ingredients, are alcohol-free and are formulated to be ingested, the Skillman, N.J.-based company said. The Listerine Ready! Tabs are available for purchase in an eight pack that retails for $2.99 at mass, food, drug and merchandise market retailers. The product also comes in a 56-count pack on Amazon.com.
Tampax Intros Menstrual Cup Procter & Gamble’s Tampax brand is bring-
ing a new offering to its lineup of menstrual care products. The brand unveiled the Tampax Cup menstrual cup, which said was developed with input from women and experts. Tampax said the Tampax Cup was meant to be more comfortable for a variety of body types. The product’s features include a SoftCurve shape designed to reduce pressure on the bladder, sizing customized to a user’s flow, extra grips to aid in removal, and a discreet carrying case for the cup, which is made of medical-grade silicone. “We’re very proud of Tampax’s long history of innovation that not only meets women’s period needs, but gives them the ability to feel comfortable, safe and confident while on their periods. That’s why only products that have been fully tested and offer something different to meet her needs make it into women’s hands,” said Rebecca StoebeLatham, P&G senior scientist, fem care research and development. “We weren’t first to introduce menstrual cups as we took the time needed to create something that really delivered what women want and need. The product will be available at select retailers in two sizes — regular flow and heavy flow — and a starter pack for both sizes also will be available to help consumers figure out which size works best at different points in their cycle, the company said.
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
Gillette, Formlabs Pilot Personalized 3-D Printed Razor Handles Gillette is taking personalization to a whole new level.
The Boston-based men’s grooming brand is partnering with 3-D printing start-up Formlabs to pilot the Razor Maker, which offers consumers a series of customizable 3-D printed handles for razors. “Earlier this year, we introduced a range of new razor products and declared that ‘one size’ does not fit all men when it comes to razors,” said Pankaj Bhalla, director of Gillette and Venus North America at Procter & Gamble. “The Razor Maker pilot furthers our commitment to place power in the hands of consumers and literally have them custom make their razors exactly the way they want them — tailored to their grooming preference, budget, look, color and style. This is one of the many ways we are fulfilling our commitment to being ‘The Best A Man Can Get.’” Each Razor Maker handle is printed at Gillette’s Boston headquarters, using stereolithography, or SLA, printing technology from Formlabs, the company said. Consumers can create their own 3-D printed razor by visiting the Razor Maker website and choosing from 48 designs, seven color options and the optional text. The handles can accommodate either the brand’s Mach3 or Fusion5 ProGilde razor cartridges. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Gillette,” said Dávid Lakatos, chief product officer at Formlabs. These new custom razor handles are the next step towards changing that dynamic, and getting 3-D printed products directly into the hands of consumers.” The personalized orders are delivered in two to three weeks, and prices begin at $19 for a partially printed 3-D handle with a black rubberized grip; $25 for a fully 3-D printed handle; and $39 and $45 for chrome handles. Four additional cartridges also can be added on for $15.
Hello Products’ Farm-to-Tube Launches Focus on Ingredients Hello Products has unveiled four new products infused with farm-to-tube
mint flavor and thoughtful ingredients. “We’re fired up to deliver a whole range of naturally friendly options that will have folks brushing happy,” Craig Dubitsky, founder of Hello Products, said. “Connecting with folks who are seeking naturally friendly, effective, delicious and fun ways to elevate their personal care routines is what drives us.” Hello’s new products include the Antiplaque + Whitening Fluoride-Free, Naturally Whitening Fluoride, Activated Charcoal Epic Whitening Fluoride Toothpastes and the Kids Natural Wild Strawberry Fluoride Toothpaste.
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
“Our mission is to elevate the everyday by bringing effective, delicious, as-natural-as-we-can-make-them products to as many people as possible,” Dubitsky said. “Hello is proudly made for the 100%, not the 1%. Transparency is in our nature, and we are constantly striving for ways to innovate formulas that not only work brilliantly, but that take meaningful steps forward in terms of innovative sustainability practices.” The Activated Charcoal Epic Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste uses activated charcoal that’s made from sustainable bamboo to naturally whiten teeth, detoxify the mouth and freshen breath, the company said. Both the Naturally Whitening Fluoride and Antiplaque + Whitening FluorideFree Toothpastes contain farm-grown peppermint, tea tree oil, coconut oil and a calcium blend that whitens and brightens. As with all products from the brand, the new launches are Leaping Bunny certified, not tested on animals, vegan and made in the United States with globally sourced ingredients, the company said. In addition, all of the new products are free from artificial sweeteners, flavors, synthetic dyes, alcohol, sls/sulfates, microbeads, parabens, triclosan, dairy and gluten. Each of Hello’s new products are available on the company’s website and on Amazon.com. Beginning in 2019, they also will be available at major retailers.
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Skyn Unveils Flavored Non-latex Condoms Skyn Condoms is adding a new product to
its portfolio. The Iselin, N.J.-based brand, which is part of the LifeStyles Healthcare company, announced the launch of the Cocktail Club — a collection of flavored and scented condoms. The line is comprised of flavored nonlatex condoms and made from SkynFeel, a polyisoprene material, the company said. “Skyn products are designed using the latest technology, and as a brand, we are dedicated to providing our customers with innovative products that enhance their intimate moments,” Jeyan Heper, CEO of LifeStyles said. “Skyn Cocktail Club harnesses this technology and adds an element of playfulness, giving users an opportunity to add flavor in the bedroom without sacrificing on comfort or protection.” All products within the collection are lubricated and come in such flavors as piña colada, cherry sunrise and passion daiquiri. Skyn’s Cocktail Club products are available at such retailers as Walmart, Walgreens and Shoppers Drug Mart.
Crazy Foam Rolls Out Superhero Hydrating Facial Masks Crazy Foam is bringing consumers’ favorite female superheroes to its line of
face masks. The brand is introducing shoppers to its new Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn Super Hero Hydrating Face Masks, which battle dry and fragile skin. Using such ingredients as golden chamomile and lemon extract, each mask revitalizes skin with essential nutrients and moisture, and also helps repair dry spots, the Newton, Mass.-based company said. The masks, which can be applied for 15-to-20 minutes after skin has been cleansed, are nonirritating and both clinically and allergy tested. Crazy Foam Super Hero Hydrating Face Masks carry a suggested retail price of $4.99 each, and are available at CVS Pharmacy and specialty retailers nationwide, as well as on Amazon and CrazyFoam.com.
Down There Wipes for Gals Get Launch Maker of portable wet wipes, Goodwipes, has added to its lineup with its Down There Wipes for Gals. The new product is available in a signature shea coco scent, as well as the Target-exclusive rosewater scent, which is available at 660 Target stores and Target.com. Down There Wipes for Gals are pHbalanced, flushable, hypoallergenic and alcohol-free, the company said, noting that consumers with sensitive skin can use them. The product is available in 16-count boxes that feature individually wrapped wipes. They carry a suggested retail price of $2.19.
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
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Study: Misuse of Acetaminophen Combo Products in Decline
A recent study published in the journal Clinical Toxicology found a decline in the incidence of therapeutic misuse of OTC combination products with acetaminophen during the 10 years between 2007 and 2016. The new study follows a 2016 Food and Drug Administration study in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. The study, funded by the Consumer Health Products Association, used data from the National Poison Data System to
Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation 1 Publication Title: Drug Store News 2 Publication Number: 0448-2900 3 Filing Date: 9/30/2018 4 Issue Frequency: Monthly 5 Number of Issues Published Annually: 12 6 Annual Subscription Price: $119.00 7 Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: 8550 W Bryn Mawr Suite 300 Chicago, IL. 60631 8 Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher: See No. 7 9 Full Names and Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor: Publisher: Eric Savitch, Editor: Seth Mendelson; One Gateway Center 11-43, Raymond Plaza West, 16th Floor, Newark NJ 07102 10 Owner (Full Name and Complete Mailing Address): EnsembleIQ, see No. 7 11 Known Bondholders, Mortgagees, and Other Security
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November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
identify when consumers exceeded the maximum dose of an ingredient while using it for its intended purpose for products containing acetaminophen. Overall, the number of therapeutic misuse involving OTC combination products with acetaminophen dropped from 8,753 in 2007 to 6,278 in 2016 — a decline of 28%. “When used as labeled and directed, acetaminophen is safe and effective,” said Barbara Kochanowski, senior vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs at CHPA. “This research provides reassuring evidence that incidents of misuse are rare and continue decreasing. But consumer education is key to continuing this downward trend.” The study’s authors said that continued consumer education is necessary to highlight the safe use of acetaminophen. The CHPA Educational Foundation helps lead the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition, which launched the “Know Your Dose” campaign that looks to educate consumers about safe use of the medication to prevent accidental overdoses, in 2011. “In addition to our consumer education campaign, the OTC industry, in collaboration with FDA, provides clear packaging, labeling, dosing, directions, appropriate warnings and education to help physicians and consumers who rely on these medicines,” Kochanowski said.
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No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date
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50 10,788 32,001 925 32,926 66.29%
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“Killing the SS: The Hunt for the Worst War Criminals in History” by Bill O'Reilly
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“Wanted: Perfect Partner” by Debbie Macomber
“In His Father’s Footsteps” by Danielle Steel
“Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins
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A ‘Sharp’ Solution for Immunization Season Mail-back programs can make navigating flu season stress-free for retail pharmacies By Enrico Vona
I Enrico Vona, vice president of healthcare national accounts, Stericycle
mmunization season is upon us, which means it’s critical for retail pharmacists to take necessary steps to ensure their sharps practices are safe, secure and compliant. Additionally, American consumers increasingly are skipping a trip to the doctor’s office and instead visiting their local pharmacy for their annual flu shot. According to a recent Stericycle report, 25% of Americans prefer to get their flu shot at their local pharmacy, which means that pharmacies can expect more foot traffic, more vaccine administrations and more sharps disposals than in years prior. Further research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 17% of immunizations are provided at employer locations, with a high percentage of this segment conducted by traveling retail pharmacists. With that, mail-back programs play a critical role when it comes to helping pharmacists maintain safety and productivity throughout this busy season, whether they are administering immunizations on-site at retail pharmacies or off-site at offices, schools or clinics. In fact, the mail-back system has been the primary collection and disposal process at all national and local-branded retailers since 2010, when pharmacies in all 50 states became eligible to administer flu shots. Here are some examples of how sharps mailback containers are helping retail pharmacists maintain compliance and quality care as their role becomes more patient-focused.
Streamlining Compliance Standards
As the immunizer market shifts to retail settings, pharmacy leaders need to ensure their regulatory standards are up to par. Disposing of needles — in any setting — is highly regulated by OSHA and the U.S. Department of Transportation, as well as state and local officials. Navigating these various regulatory channels is challenging for facilities of all sizes, which means it’s critical that pharmacies review requirements of federal or state processes around sharps disposal. Partnering with a third-party waste management
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
expert will help ensure compliance with regulatory requirements concerning medical waste. Because sharps are a regulated waste, only the United States Postal Service or a licensed medical waste transporter can transport these properly packaged systems for disposal in most cases. When properly packaged by a pharmacist, mailback containers will meet all requirements for sending sharps waste to a disposal site through USPS. Because the container is provided with prepaid postage, retail pharmacists only have to fill out a quick form and place the container in the mail, allowing them to focus on patient care.
Fast-paced, high-volume environments can lead to stress, fatigue and, inherently, employee errors. As the role of retail pharmacists continues to transform from dispensing medications to also providing on-site patient immunizations, it’s critical that pharmacy leaders provide adequate training to create a culture around sharps safety and injury prevention. Mail-back programs allow retail pharmacies to streamline the process of collecting and disposing of sharps, while reducing staff exposure to needlesticks, as well as mitigate risks around institutional diversion. The convenience and simplicity of mail-back programs enable retail pharmacists to get back to the work that matters. Maintaining compliance throughout the year is critical, but especially when productivity levels need to remain high during such busy periods as immunization season. Stericycle’s assortment of turnkey mail-back systems help retail pharmacies maintain a safe and healthful workplace, providing everything needed to properly and safely dispose of sharps or small quantities of biohazardous waste. Stericycle’s systems are comprised of custom-designed, FDAcleared, mailable sharps containers; a prepaid postage return-by-mail shipping box; manifest; and instructions for easy use. Proof of proper disposal is then provided for your records. dsn
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Room for Growth Opportunities for pharmacist-administered immunizations are only increasing By John Beckner
A John Beckner, senior director of strategic initiatives, National Community Pharmacists Association
s the National Community Pharmacists Association Annual Convention concluded recently, I headed home to Richmond for a few days of R&R, Hurricane Michael cleanup and, yes, a couple of scheduled physician appointments. Each visit required the requisite paperwork to ensure that the information in my patient record was complete and current. One of the questions — “Have you received your flu shot this year?” — caused me to reflect on my days as an immunizing pharmacist and the impact pharmacists have had on immunization rates. Pharmacists have been involved with vaccines since the 1800s, but only for the past 20 years have they been actively involved in the routine immunization of patients. As the emphasis on preventive care continues to grow, many states are expanding the role of pharmacists as experts in immunizations. Currently, immunization is the No. 1 patient care service offered by community pharmacy, highlighting the important role pharmacists play in public health. According to the 2018 NCPA Digest, 73% of community pharmacies offer immunization services. If you subscribe to the glass-half-empty mentality, only 73% of independent community pharmacies offer immunizations. Life-saving vaccines have a profound impact on the entire nation. Today, almost everyone can receive immunizations against 17 once-common and potentially deadly infectious diseases in the United States. However, many patients still fall through the cracks because providers fail to ask about such things as travel plans, school health needs or if they have received immunizations for high-risk environments. Although we have come a long way, nearly eradicating so many vaccinepreventable illnesses, we still have some work to do on getting our current immunization trends and populations up to date. For example, on one end of the spectrum, the percentage of patients across every age group has improved for influenza coverage. Conversely, the need for immunization
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
improvement remains in the area of pneumococcal disease, which is lingering below Healthy People 2020 targets. Offering immunizations provides opportunities for pharmacies far beyond the revenue that is generated from this service. Pharmacy-based immunization services help build a relationship based on trust between the patient and the pharmacist, leading the patient to rely more and more on the pharmacist for a wide array of such services as counseling, OTC recommendations, prescription delivery, health screenings, medication therapy management services and traditional prescription dispensing. Immunizations go a long way toward branding the pharmacy as a destination for health and wellness, an important differentiator in today’s competitive marketplace.
Although we have come a long way, nearly eradicating so many vaccine-preventable illnesses, we still have some work to do on getting our current immunization trends and populations up to date. Finally, immunizations are a core service set for pharmacies participating in such enhanced services networks as CPESN. These pharmacies are required to screen patients for ACIPrecommended immunizations, educate patients about needed immunizations, or refer to other healthcare providers. In today’s healthcare environment, with the focus on collaborative, teambased care, it is critical that we try to eliminate any remaining and, in some cases, perceived barriers — i.e., physician opposition — to providing this important public health service. As America’s most accessible healthcare providers, pharmacists are up to the challenge. Let’s get to work. dsn
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FOC U S O N: G A R C O A L A B O R AT O R I E S
At a Crossroads Garcoa Laboratories’ executives see private label as helping entice customers, bolster sales By Seth Mendelson
fficials at Garcoa Laboratories feel they have all their bases covered — and that could be great news for the nation’s retailers. The fast-growing Los Angeles-based company manufactures as many as 2,500 private-label and controlledbrand items, as well as many branded products. They include a wide range of health and beauty care categories, including hair care, skin care, body and bath care, as well as over-the-counter items and household products. While based in California, the company has
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
manufacturing plants in Chicago, Toronto, Ottawa City, Ill., and Guatemala City, Guatemala. On top of that, Garcoa is a company that is designed to give retailers what they need to better compete in a brutal retail environment, where getting an edge up on margins is crucial to both the short- and long-term success of the business. According to CEO Greg Rubin, who founded the company in 1983, Garcoa’s business model is fashioned on simply asking retailers what they need from the company and going out and doing what is necessary to develop
the best product possible. Some retailers prefer turnkey programs to include concept, formulation, package development and procurement, while others just want manufacturing and production services, he said. “We work with virtually every single major retailer in the country,” Rubin said. “We simply ask them what their needs are, and they give us a shopping list of products and we fulfill that list. Reverse engineering is a big part of what we do. They tell us what they want. We rebuild it to make sure it is efficacious, meets all the industry standards and is delivered on time. Our retail partners know they can come to us for all of their private-label needs. We are a one-stop shop.” To that point, Rubin said that Garcoa offers its retail partners a broad array of services. They include global sourcing, market insight and intelligence, inventory management, packaging procurement, logistics, warehousing and distribution, research and development, and quality assurance and control. He also was quick to add that three major firms audit Garcoa: NSF, UL and Intertek. “The diversity of our products and our reputation in the marketplace gives us a lot of range,” Rubin said. “On top of that, I think the retail community respects us for what we offer them besides the products themselves. We do the research needed to make sure the product is the best possible on the market, and we follow the trends. If a retailer has a problem, we have the solution.” The overall private-label category is at an interesting crossroads. Private label’s market share has grown to between 20% and 25% of all sales at the nation’s mass retail outlets as product quality has dramatically improved and many retailers are looking for ways to generate more profits from many stagnant categories, as well as offer their own labels that are not available elsewhere. Yet, some suppliers are complaining that retailers are pressuring them for even better margins and profits. That has the privatelabel community concerned that they might not be able to stay in
What makes Garcoa Laboratories unique? Here is what the company said sets it apart from the rest of the competition: “Garcoa Laboratories is a woman-owned business that’s family operated, with a passionate commitment to providing exceptional products and services. We partner with our customers to respond to their wants, needs and issues, and deliver innovative and trend setting concepts. We partner with our associates to provide an environment that encourages both personal and professional growth. Our goal is to constantly seek improvement, and to be a model of social and environmental responsibility. We want to be the best we can be!”
business. “The private-label category is rapidly changing,” Rubin said. “The high cost of doing business is causing a large number of manufacturers to disappear. I think retailers are not giving manufacturers the opportunity to make money. They want better margins, and that is hurting the supplier’s ability to make money too.” He said that retailers need to develop programs with their suppliers in private label that allow the supplier to make “a few cents” by developing products without interference from third parties that run costs up. “The industry has to work together to ensure that everyone can make a profit from this category,” Rubin said. “This is a lucrative marketplace and we can all benefit from it.” Rubin, who runs the Women’s Enterprise-certified company, or WBENC, with his wife Melinda, who is president, also calls on retailers to treat private-label products in the same fashion they treat national brand items. “The promotional activity for private-label products must be increased in store,” he said. “Retailers need to do a better job promoting their private-label brands. They are giving endcaps to [national brand suppliers] for their products, but they are not giving their own brands the same support. That cannot help.” However, Rubin is confident that retailers will soon get the message that private label can help them entice consumers into their doors and bring more profit to the bottom line, especially in the era of Amazon.com and other digital retailers. “In five years, I think our company will be more than two times the size it is today,” he said. “At the end of the day, it will come down to the companies that are the most innovative and the most willing to bring new ideas and products to the marketplace. We think that Garcoa has stood at the front of innovation for years and will continue to be a leader well into the future. “Yes, we cover the bases. We are trendsetters. We are knowledgeable about our total business and we know what is going to be hot tomorrow, today. We look ahead and our retailer partners benefit from this.” dsn
DRUGSTORENEWS.COM November 2018
PRODUCTS TO WATCH
Rising Stars HRG highlights top product launches from October
he new product team at Waukesha, Wis.-based Hamacher Resource Group keeps busy, and October was no exception. The team evaluated 120 products that launched during the month across OTC, beauty and wellness categories. Of the total products, roughly 49% (58 products) were beauty, 28% (34 products) were wellness-focused and 23% (28 products) were OTC-focused. The standouts were:
Kamedis Calm Eczema Therapy Wash
WaxRx Ear Wash Refill Kit
Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelette Singles
Listerine Ready! Tabs, Clean Mint
Mucinex Children’s Stuffy Nose Nasal Spray
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
Dr. Easy, makers of the WaxRx ear wash system, added an option to refill the system in October. The kit includes ear drops with chamomile and aloe to soothe the ear, as well as a pHconditioning ear rinse used after earwax removal. The ear rinse is designed to balance the ear’s pH to reduce risk of infection. The latest from Johnson & Johnson’s Listerine brand, Ready! Tabs transform in a user’s mouth from solid to liquid. Users simply chew to activate the tabs, swish the liquid around and then swallow after 30 seconds. The product is alcohol-free to make it safe to swallow, and the company said it is formulated to last for hours.
Kamedis Dermatology, maker of botanical-based skin care products, expanded its offerings with its Calm Eczema Therapy Wash. The product is formulated for skin that is extremely dry, red, itchy and irritated due to eczema. Its botanicals are meant to work in combination to provide prebiotic properties that the company said contribute to overall skin health. In an effort to make makeup removal easier on-the-go, J&J’s Neutrogena brand debuted these individually wrapped face wipes — a more portable version of its mainstay makeup removing towelettes. The product is packaged in bags of 20 wipes that the company said are ideal for on-the-go. Reckitt Benckiser has extended its Mucinex brand’s offerings with Mucinex Children’s Stuffy Nose Nasal Spray, meant for children age six years old and older — the first for this age group for the brand. The nasal spray is formulated to last as long as 12 hours to relieve stuffy noses. dsn
Checking Out The Future
Amazon Go’s ‘no-checkout’ system has grabbed the headlines, but self-scanning apps may hold more potential for retailers BY MARK HAMSTRA
mazon has raised the bar on self-checkout with its fledgling Amazon Go chain of cashier-less stores, where customers literally grab and go, thanks to a network of sophisticated cameras and sensors. But such so-called “smart checkout” systems — which reportedly cost $1 million or more per store to install — likely are not to be a viable solution for most retailers anytime soon. Instead, more and more food and drug retailers are exploring alternate self-checkout technologies that leverage smartphones,
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
often in tandem with self-scanning terminals. These systems hold the promise of helping reduce store labor costs, while at the same time adding convenience for consumers. They also have the potential to enhance the in-store experience through real-time retailercustomer connectivity and personalization. Several food and drug retailers have had up-and-down relationships with stationary self-checkout terminals. For example, Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health has eliminated selfcheckout from several CVS Pharmacy stores, according to reports, but also has added them in others. Supermarket operators Albertsons, based in Boise, Idaho, and Big Y, based in Springfield, Mass., both announced cutbacks on their use several years ago. Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco in 2013 also eliminated self-checkout in favor of manned cashiers, although reports said the retailer has been testing a new iteration of self-checkout in some locations. However, the development of mobile apps that allow customers to scan using their smartphone could breathe new life into the self-checkout POS terminal.
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Grand Rapids, Mich.-based supercenter operator Meijer, for example, encourages the use of self-scan kiosks in conjunction with its Shop & Scan app, which it has been rolling out throughout this year. The retailer requires that customers pay for their order at the self-checkout kiosks after they have scanned their merchandise. “Shop & Scan will make the Meijer experience dramatically faster and more convenient for our customers,” said Terry Ledbetter, Meijer’s chief information officer, in a statement. “This technology joins our curbside pickup and home delivery programs to provide yet another option for Meijer customers to personalize their shopping experience.” More than 12,000 customers downloaded the self-scanning app in the first few months of testing at seven locations, Meijer said.
ADVANTAGES FOR RETAILERS James Moar, an analyst at Juniper Research, said mobile app-based self-scanning offers some advantages for retailers. A recent report from Juniper Research forecasted that retail spending at frictionless payment stores, such as Amazon Go, will grow from an estimated $253 million in 2018 to more than $45 billion by 2023. Juniper expects most of these transactions to be in convenience and general stores. The report, “Future In-Store Retail Technologies: Adoption, Implementation & Strategy 2018-2023,” predicted that selfscanning apps, meanwhile, will be used by more than 32 million shoppers by 2023, driving higher engagement. “The advantage of these [self-scanning apps] is that they will require relatively little in the way of set-up costs and maintenance when compared with more fully-fledged smart checkout
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technologies, while providing a degree of the labor-saving and time-saving benefits for the retailer and consumer,” he said. Cincinnati-based Kroger has reported some success with its mobile app-based Scan, Bag, Go self-checkout system, and said it is helping drive store performance. “Store productivity will improve with the scheduled launch of Scan, Bag, Go in 400 new locations this year,” said Mike Schlotman, executive vice president and CFO at Kroger, during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call with analysts in early 2018. Kroger’s mobile app-based system allows customers to either pay within the app or at a self-checkout kiosk, if they prefer. Other food and drug retailers that have recently begun testing self-scanning apps include San Antonio-based H-E-B, which earlier this year launched a two-store test of a mobile app-based selfscanning system, called H-E-B Go. “H-E-B is continuously testing new and innovative ways to serve our customers, and H-E-B Go is one of many programs to enhance service,” a spokesperson for the chain told MySanAntonio.com. In addition, New York’s Fairway supermarket chain this year began rolling out a mobile app-based self-scanning system in partnership with technology provider FutureProof Retail, also based in New York. William Hogben, CEO of FutureProof Retail, pointed out that mobile phones will likely be at the heart of all future selfcheckout systems, even smart checkout systems such as those installed at Amazon Go. “The future of checkout starts with mobile, because the phone is what brings the strategic value,” he said. “It’s not about getting your customers out faster. It’s not about reducing staffing costs. Really, it’s a fight for retailers to create closer connections to their customers.” Hogben said implementing app-based self-scanning can help retailers lay the groundwork for future iterations of the systems, which could eventually incorporate more vision-based technology akin to that used at Amazon Go. “We’re doing mobile self-scanning because that gives you the training dataset to transition to a vision-based, or any other base approach in the future,” Hogben said. “But right now, it gives retailers that strategic asset of the install. Once the customer installs your app, they’ll just keep updating it, and as long as they’re happy with you, you’ve got basically a lifetime connection with them right in their pocket.”
APPROACHING CHECKOUT HOLISTICALLY Donna Stevens, director of store-transformation solution management at POS terminal supplier NCR, said retailers are increasingly looking at making their checkout systems part of a holistic solution that focuses on enhancing customer connectivity and the in-store experience. “We believe retailers will move away from investing in POS as an individual solution — if they haven’t done so already,” she said. “Retailers are seeing the value in taking a platform approach, not solving one business challenge at a time.” Mobile app-based self-checkout lends itself to this multipronged approach, Stevens said. “That can grow into other value-add
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COVER STORY services, such as the ability to check what’s on sale, review loyalty status, place a to-go order, create a shopping list, post feedback — all in the same place,” she said. “Retailers will look at their entire store infrastructure, and look for ways to make it more flexible and more agile to enable new apps, new terminals and new features to be added to what they have today,” Stevens said. “So, POS will be considered more of a platform of service versus a point of sale — inclusive of the ability to offer personalized service and promotions, inclusive of cross-channel purchases, inclusive of flexible payment options, etc.”
DRUG STORES ARE A PRIME FORMAT Some analysts said drug stores’ status as quick-trip, small-basket destinations could make them prime candidates for the use of app-based checkout technologies. “Over the last few years, there has been a seismic shift in shoppers’ ability to get the goods they want in an extremely convenient and quick way,” said Stewart Samuel, program director at IGD Services Canada. “Retailers must look at all aspects of the shopping trip from the customer perspective to create a frictionless shopping experience. This is particularly important for drug stores that cater to many of those convenience-based missions.” It is important for retailers to test a variety of systems, he said, noting that for many retailers this will include a mix of selfcheckouts, smart-shopping apps and — for the most advanced retailers — “just walk out” technology similar to Amazon Go. Amid an environment in which delivery-ondemand is growing rapidly, “the speed of the in-store experience becomes an increasingly important advantage for physical stores,” Samuel said.
A LONG ROAD AHEAD Some analysts said self-checkout might work for some customers and in certain types of stores, but it is still a long way from becoming the norm in food and drug retailing. “I think we will still be having this same conversation in 10 or 15 years,” said Sucharita Kodali, an analyst at Forrester Research. Retailers have become more adept at managing their checkout lines to prevent long
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
Amazon Go’s ‘Vision’ for the Future E-commerce giant Amazon has opened just a handful of locations of its smallformat retail stores, called Amazon Go, but they are capturing a lot of headlines. The “just walk out” technology relies on a high-tech network of cameras and shelf sensors that allow customers to fill their shopping bags and leave the store without scanning a thing or going through a checkout of any kind. Instead, shoppers scan the Amazon Go app to enter the store, and they are automatically charged for any items they select when they leave the store. Stewart Samuel, program director at IGD Services Canada, said he’s been impressed with the Amazon Go experience, and noted that the sensor technology has worked every time he’s visited the store. “From downloading the app to shopping in store, Amazon has put the customer experience at the heart of this development,” he said. Although the debut of the Amazon Go technology was delayed for several months, while the company worked out the bugs in the technology, Samuel said the company has since quickly accelerated its deployment to five Amazon Go locations. “I would expect this technology to be rolled out to more stores in new U.S. and international cities over the next few years,” he said, noting that some European operators are testing similar solutions, including Sainsbury’s in the U.K. and Albert Heijn in the Netherlands. He also said that shopper receptiveness will play a key role as retailers weigh the costs of such solutions. William Hogben, CEO of mobile checkout solution provider FutureProof Retail, predicted that vision-based systems like the one at Amazon Go represent the direction that smart checkout tech will eventually pursue. “The long-term future is going to be vision-based systems like Amazon Go, because the algorithms are open source — anybody can do it, and it just gets better and better as the computing power grows,” he said. Hogben said that vision-based systems still are very early in the development stages, and that Amazon Go operates with a very limited product selection, which makes the system more feasible. The stores, though function more as a proof of concept than a replicable model. “They actually have more staff than a regular store, and that’s very expensive hardware in the ceiling,” Hogben said, Raymond Pucci, director of merchant services at Mercator Advisory Group, agreed, that cashier-less technology like the system at Amazon Go is not for all retailers. “I think it requires a lot of investment, and it probably requires a lot of technical support, as well,” he said. “It’s not for smaller-sized companies.”
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COVER STORY Goldkorn argues that consumers are driving the transition to mobile app-based self-checkout, as millennials have grown accustomed to shopping electronically. “In [parts of] Asia, they’ve been doing it for quite a while,” he said. “It’s finally arrived here, and that seems to be the direction a lot of retailers are going.” Forrester’s Kodali said that stationary self-checkout terminals at some retail locations can capture 20% to 50% of sales volume. “Those have had fairly high adoption,” she said. “I don’t see them going away. Insofar as large format stores continue to be opened, we will see more of those.” Mobile app- and device-based self-scanning, however, remain a question mark. Walmart abandoned its test of mobile selfscanning earlier this year, although it remains in place at the company’s Sam’s Club warehouse stores, where it has been highly successful, said Raymond Pucci, director of merchant services at Mercator Advisory Group. One of the keys for retailers will be the ability to incorporate multiple features into the app, including loyalty program membership and personalized marketing. “That is why if you walk into a Starbucks or a Dunkin’ Donuts, you see a lot of people paying with their mobile phone,” said Pucci, who said he expects mobile scanning and payment to expand in some retail channels, especially where baskets tend to be small.
DISPARATE SYSTEMS Kroger’s Scan, Bag, Go allows customers to either pay within an app or at a self-checkout kiosk.
waits, and have leveraged self-checkout kiosks to handle those customers who want to avoid manned checkout stations. “Really, those automated-checkout solutions are a solution looking for a problem,” Kodali said. Juniper Research’s Moar seems to concur. He said that reducing lines “may not be enough to make shoppers adopt the technology who are likely to expect the friction of scanning and payment to be removed almost entirely,” he added. Moar also said that with self-checkout apps, retailers are shifting the labor required in scanning from the cashier to the customer. Indeed, retailers are likely to continue to pursue self-checkout technology not only as a service to the customer but as a potential tool to cut labor costs. Mitch Goldkorn, vice president of engineering and quality assurance at Fujitsu Frontech North America, a supplier of self-checkout terminals, said demand for its self-scan POS systems has increased in the wake of the recent minimum-wage hike in Canada. Fujitsu supplies self-checkout terminals to such Canadian retailers as London Drugs, Loblaw and Canadian Tire. “It’s really been taking off in Canada over the past year because of the increase of the hourly wage,” Goldkorn said. Similarly, he said he expects demand to increase in areas of the United States, where minimum wages are rising, such as California and New York.
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
One of the challenges to more widespread use by consumers, Kodali said, is the fact that there are so many disparate types of self-checkout systems in use in different retail settings. “The fact that there’s not one checkout experience everywhere kind of inhibits some adoption, because it’s not like there is becoming a standard way of checking out,” she said. Kodali said in the near term, at least, app-based self-scanning technologies appear best positioned to serve as an emergency backup for consumers in case checkout lines are unexpectedly long. “I think it’s great as a backup, and I think that’s ultimately how it will serve,” she said. “Maybe in 25 years time, retailers will realize they can migrate everybody to mobile-activated self-checkout, but at the same time have it run concurrently with employee-assisted self-checkout kiosks.” Increasing consumer familiarity with self-checkout technologies is one of the keys to success, Moar said. “Food and drug retailers looking to invest in future selfcheckout need to think about ways of raising awareness among consumers to use these technologies,” Moar said, citing lack of consumer awareness as contributing to the failure of some pilot tests. “Retailers need to think about ways to get consumers to engage with the technology. This can be through ad campaigns, or as part of the usage process.” Accessing a store’s Wi-Fi connection could prompt promotions for the self-checkout app, for example. Moar said retailers also need to consider what technologies would be best suited for their individual businesses, and “whether increases in consumer efficiency will drive up revenues or simply add to operating expenses.” dsn
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PHARMACY | TECHNOLOGY & AUTOMATION
Intelligent Business Pharmacy software companies look to enable better outcomes, clinical interventions By Sandra Levy
ith pharmacies continuing to focus on outcomes that are tied to reimbursement, they are feeling more pressure than ever to boost pharmacists’ interaction and engagement with patients. Yet, it’s a daunting task. Faced with ever-growing prescription volume, pharmacists must juggle their time dispensing a higher volume of prescriptions, while also ensuring they are taken as prescribed. A recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found nonadherence contributes to nearly 125,000 deaths and 10% of hospitalizations — and it costs the healthcare system between $100 billion and $289 billion a year. Many technology companies have taken notice of the myriad challenges that pharmacies are facing. They are cranking out innovative technologies and improving functionalities to streamline workflow and increase efficiency, thereby freeing pharmacists from having to perform mundane tasks so they can focus on counseling patients. The innovative technologies also are allowing pharmacies to provide more convenience to patients, thereby helping pharmacies to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Efficiency and Engagement
With increased patient care offering an opportunity for better patient outcomes and additional revenue streams, one of the main tools pharmacies deploy to do more during the same operating hours is their software choice. Companies offering pharmacy software are variously focused on workflow improvements, and making it easier for pharmacists to check the work of pharmacy technicians, whose responsibilities behind the counter also are increasing. “A lot of pharmacies are moving toward
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
Amplicare Assist is a patient engagement tool aimed at improving patient outcomes.
having a pharmacy technician enter a prescription and fill it, leaving the pharmacist to conduct the final check, which frees them to focus more on clinical outcomes and counseling,” said John Bell, assistant product manager at Spartanburg, S.C.based QS/1. The company’s software features a customizable workflow feature that includes multiple workflow queues, allowing pharmacists to verify multiple prescriptions, and a dashboard that allows them to monitor the queues. “Our workflow model allows pharmacists more time counseling patients rather than spending the majority of their day entering data into the system, printing labels and getting prescriptions out the door,” he said. Alongside efficiency, pharmacies increasingly require patient engagement tools from their software, as more touchpoints offer an opportunity to impact adherence or provide
reimbursable services. New York-based Amplicare also offers a workflow platform aimed at improving both patient outcomes and opportunities for further intervention. Amplicare Connect helps pharmacies set up automated phone call campaigns — freeing up pharmacy staff — and Amplicare Restore helps identify patients whose prescription regimens might result in a nutrient deficiency, which can drive nonadherence. Amplicare CEO Matt Johnson said that Restore also could help increase OTC supplement sales. The important part is knowing when to reach out, he said. “Patient care intervention notifications show up in-workflow as pharmacy staff is working within the pharmacy system,” Johnson said. “This process ensures that pharmacies have the information they need, exactly when they need it.” QS/1’s refill reminder program, dubbed
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PHARMACY | TECHNOLOGY & AUTOMATION Health-minder, enables pharmacists to run a list of prescriptions that are due in the next 2-to-3 days, so they can be filled and ready for pickup when patients come into the pharmacy. The company’s software also can highlight which patients would benefit from medication synchronization. “We have features built into the software that allow pharmacists to pull up a patient’s medication profile, and if they are taking five medications every day, the pharmacist can look at the last date it was filled and determine a possible synchronization date,” Bell said. As important as knowing when to reach out is knowing which patients require additional attention from the pharmacist. Rebecca Chater, director of clinical healthcare strategy at Mountain View, Calif.-based Omnicell, said that a good portion of the patients — some pharmacies serve as many as 5,000 patients — require an intervention of some sort. Chater said that in the past, pharmacy software has been solely focused on making dispensing more efficient, rather than identifying patient care opportunities. “Today’s direction of value-based health care signals a change, and will require pharmacists to practice to the full extent of their clinical knowledge and training,” she said. Omnicell recently unveiled the Omnicell Patient Engagement platform and analytics offering, which can track and guide patient interactions. A cornerstone service of pharmacies’ enhanced services, medication therapy management, is a key area where software providers are focused on making it easier to identify patients who might benefit from it. For example, QS/1 has an interface with two companies whose Medicare data informs pharmacists where MTM opportunities exist. With clinical interventions, software providers are building out the analytics capabilities of their offerings to make suggestions that will be valuable for patients — both with regard to MTM and beyond, including such services as vaccinations. San Francisco-based McKesson’s clinical solutions include the ability to identify possible opportunities for clinical intervention. “We analyze patient history to understand how adherent they are, and help the
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Enabling High-Quality Care Through Central Fill Is differentiation the key to building the pharmacy business as patients look for more convenience from their experience, in keeping with consumer trends? Doyle Jensen, executive vice president at Innovation, said that the Johnson City, N.Y.-based company thinks so and is working to help retailers get there. “The biggest point of differentiation is consultative services,” Jensen said. “What do they do to make the patient experience and their health and disease state management better, and offer differentiators that can’t be delivered right to their door? Pharmacy automation is one of the pieces to the puzzle that allows them to free up their pharmacists and techs to do patient-facing activities,” he said. With the emphasis on patient care — and the need for more efficiency in filling scripts to give pharmacists time for it — Jensen said the past five years has seen retail chain pharmacies shift their investment from in-store technology to central-fill automation. He estimated chains can save between 30% and 50% of the labor costs of filling and in-store script. At the core of Innovation’s pharmacy automation offerings is its PharmASSIST Dispenser Model 4, which is used in all of its dispensing technologies. The Model 4 is a self-calibrating dispenser, which allows immediate on-site auto calibration of medications. Also in the company’s central-fill toolkit is the PharmASSIST RDSx, which is a robotic dispensing technology designed for high volume industrial applications and a high throughput — as well as reliability, Jensen said. “These high-volume pharmacies have become a mission critical piece of the pharmacy chain’s supply chain. They have to know they can count on these systems 24/7.” Reliable systems lead to more empowered in-store pharmacies, and Jensen said that Innovation’s high volume solutions enable clinical opportunities for patients and pharmacists. “We’re empowering pharmacists to get back to what they went to school for,” he said. “The actual process of putting pills in a vial is not practicing at the top of their license, and it can be done by technology at 100% accuracy. The pharmacies that are relevant today, and will remain relevant, are the ones in which pharmacists engage with the patient.” — Sandra Levy
PHARMACY | TECHNOLOGY & AUTOMATION pharmacist create a plan to make sure they are taking the medication as prescribed. We’re also looking at whether they are due for different vaccinations, so they can be administered when they pick up their medications,” said Heather Cusick, McKesson’s director of product management for clinical services. She noted that the company’s tools alert pharmacists about engagement opportunities when they’re working on a patient prescription. In the case of immunizations, technology also can assist in potentially time-consuming reporting requirements in various states. QS/1 offers pharmacies that provide immunizations the ability to enter data for transmitting to state registries when required, reducing pharmacists’ effort, Bell said. “It’s a time-consuming process for a pharmacist to go back into the system and manually put the information in.” Like administering vaccines, filling specialty prescriptions also comes with such nonclinical tasks as prior authorizations and documenting a patient’s drug regimen. QS/1 can interface with other vendors to get these done quickly, Bell said. “Within our system, they can scan documents in the patient record, and we have interfaces that focus on that to help them with the workflow,” he said.
Improving the Patient Experience
Pharmacy technology companies also are helping pharmacies enhance the way they communicate with patients when they call the pharmacy. Chater said Omnicell recently enhanced its Interactive Voice Recognition software solution to add functionality at a reduced cost to improve patients’ experiences. “It’s a lot easier for pharmacies to implement because, instead of having IVR hardware in each pharmacy, it is hosted,” she said. “They no longer have to make the investment in that equipment. It allows them to streamline their workflow and improve patient engagement.” For patients looking for the convenience of a drive-through, Maineville, Ohio-based Bavis Drive-Thru offers a host of technologies that enable its customers — some of whom see between 60% and 80% of their
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
Bavis’ Captive Carrier Trans Trax can be adjusted to meet the height of a patient’s vehicle.
volume pass through the drive-through window — to operate more efficiently, while offering safety and convenience for patients. The company’s Captive Carrier TransTrax system enables pharmacies to deliver prescriptions to remote lanes at either car or truck height, making the experience easy for the drive-through’s most common patients — women with children and elderly patients. “Our Captive Carrier TransTrax opens the doors immediately upon arrival,” Bavis president Bill Sieber said. “By delivering products to a height that’s convenient for whatever kind of vehicle the patient is driving, and opening the doors automatically — all the patient has to do is simply retrieve the medication. They don’t have to manipulate the equipment like doors or lids, or anything else.” The company’s Bavis Enhanced Audio Module, or BEAM, eliminates as much as
90% of environmental noise to make communication easier. “Misunderstandings in audio communications, concerning patient medications and information, can be dangerous, Sieber said. “BEAM is so powerful that I can be speaking right next to a diesel truck and be heard clearly.” When it comes to convenience, another factor is making payment easy with drivethrough credit card technology. The company’s first-lane Transaction Drawer is big enough to allow for portable credit card equipment to be placed inside for patient use. It also offers credit card processing equipment for the Captive Carrier TransTrax to allow for quick payment.
Managing and Monitoring Stock
Irving, Texas-based Supplylogix is making headway in helping pharmacies operate more efficiently and profitably with various software offerings in regard to their stock,
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PHARMACY | TECHNOLOGY & AUTOMATION including Pinpoint Transfer, which identifies dead and overstock inventory products in one chain’s location that aren’t selling, as well as other locations in the chain that need the product transferred to them. They identify dead medication as product that hasn’t moved for the last 120 days, and overstock inventory as product that has greater than 120 days of supply on hand. If the store doesn’t have use for this inventory, the products will eventually expire, and when they are returned, the pharmacy may receive partial credit, or no credit. “For pharmacies using Pinpoint Transfer software, 85% to 90% of product will sell within 90 days of it being transferred,” said Brad Dayton, Supplylogix senior account manager. “In today’s healthcare environment, pharmacists are taking on additional roles in patient care. We can help that pharmacist make sure they have enough product to dispense and are not needlessly losing money as inventory expires, and, ultimately, are better positioned to meet their patients’ healthcare needs.” Supplylogix also offers a replenishment solution, Pinpoint Order, which enables users to analyze their pharmacy data to better determine inventory purchases and dispense history so they can set informed reorder points on their medications. For example, if a pharmacy needs to keep 100 tablets in stock of a certain drug to meet its customer’s normal needs, Supplylogix will recommend it set that reorder point so that any time it drops below 100, another bottle will be ordered. “We feed the reorder points to their pharmacy system, which creates an order that either goes to the pharmacy wholesaler or to their own warehouse, for replenishment. We inform pharmacies how much inventory they need in stock and how much they should be buying of individual products,” Dayton said, noting that Supplylogix’s Product Linking helps with the cost of goods, offering a daily update of wholesalers’ preferred products and generic prices. “The bottom line for pharmacies is they are able to improve their margins when they buy the least expensive product available to them.” Once products are in stock, it is important to keep them there, and Dayton said
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
Supplylogix’s Pinpoint Audit solution allows for pharmacies to focus on loss prevention and potential opioid diversion. The tool looks at the purchases and dispensing of individual pharmacies and identifies situations where it appears they are either dispensing more product than they are purchasing or purchasing more product than they are dispensing. Additionally, Supplylogix’s Point Monitor looks for suspicious ordering habits of controlled substances. “Our tool helps to monitor purchasing, compares each instance against all others in the system, and evaluates purchase frequency against the industry,” Dayton said. “If one pharmacy is buying an excessive amount of a drug, it alerts their corporate office of the anomaly. There can be legitimate reasons for the purchase, but you can also have negative occurrences of ‘prescription mills.’ Our system helps the pharmacy follow the DEA’s laws.”
The future appears ripe for more innovations in pharmacy technology, and much like today’s pharmacists, pharmacy technology companies likely are to play a greater role as consultants.
Looking ahead, pharmacists also will have more technological tools at their disposal to document patient care. QS/1 took part in an electronic care plan pilot program with the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network and the National Community Pharmacists Association. The pharmacy-focused software enables pharmacists to document patient care in a comment format that other healthcare providers can read and share across different platforms. “If the pharmacy can prove they’re taking better care of patients, it leads to higher reimbursement from payers,” Bell noted. “We have pharmacies using the software, and data is being submitted to CPESN, which is helping those pharmacies improve their value.” Overall, McKesson’s Cusick said, it is imperative that companies be ready with solutions for pharmacies. “With the changing landscape for our pharmacies as they are looking at additional revenue opportunities, and as pharmacists are becoming more valued for their additional touchpoints with the patient, driving a lot of the services for our providers and payers, we need to provide solutions,” she said. dsn
Optimizing Pharmacy Workflow and Synchronization Jason Turner, PharmD Owner Moundsville Pharmacy
When Moundsville Pharmacy owner Jason Turner decided to improve adherence and pharmacy workflow, he turned to his QS/1® support team for guidance on implementing QS/1’s Workflow tools. By leveraging the power of the NRx® Pharmacy Management System, Turner increased efficiency and expanded his synchronization program to over 1,000 patients. In addition, he reduced operating costs, transformed his pharmacy into a model for performance-driven workflow and was able to handle increased prescription volume. That’s the power of a QS/1 partnership.
“Expanding our prescription synchronization program and utilizing QS/1’s built-in tools led to a 22% increase in monthly volume and the acquisition of a second location.” Jason Turner, PharmD - QS/1 customer since 2003
Learn more about Jason’s success. To watch videos and read the case study, scan the code or visit www.JasonsQS1story.com. qs1.com 866.632.9619
©2018 J M SMITH CORPORATION. QS/1, NRx and the and the QS/1 logo are registered trademarks of the J M Smith Corporation.
PHARMACY | ONE-ON-ONE
Customized Central Fill How pharmacies can get smart
or more than 25 years, McKesson High Volume Solutions has been designing and implementing central fill, mail and specialty pharmacy systems that automate the dispensing of more than 200 million prescriptions per year. Drug Store News spoke with McKesson HVS vice president of sales, Joe Tammaro, to discuss the role automation plays in a successful central-fill pharmacy. Drug Store News: What types of pharmacies benefit most from central fill? Joe Tammaro: Almost any pharmacy with multiple dispensing locations can benefit from centralization and automation as long as they have a progressive outlook when it comes to embracing technology and culture change. While we’ve seen smaller operations be successful, the typical customer is a chain or health system that fills around 2,000 scripts per day. Central fill is an enabler. It’s the engine that allows a pharmacy to offer clinical services and increase the value of its pharmacy staff, expand in to new markets like mail order or adherence packaging or even add new geographic markets. DSN: How does McKesson HVS differ from other out-of-the-box competitors? JT: That’s simple, we have a high-touch, consultative approach to solving our customer’s problems. Most of our leadership and many of our employees were once customers who understand the importance of building lasting relationships with not only those choosing to implement the system, but also those using it on a daily basis. The machinery and technology are the easy part. Where HVS truly excels is in the integration of the interconnected systems, logistics, inventory management and new store-side processes for the customer. Our software is specifically designed to tie everything together, so the
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
pharmacy can fill prescriptions through their central fill and not give it a second thought. Once the prescription is entered on the front end, our software helps determine the best route through the system to ensure it is filled in the most efficient way and delivered back to the prescribing location, or sent directly to the patient. Our systems are truly customized to the unique needs of each client, which is what sets us apart. In the 31 years I’ve been doing this, I honestly don’t think I’ve seen two identical systems. We can, and have worked with many software and hardware partners, but being part of McKesson, we have relationships within the organization that add value to our systems that others can’t replicate. For instance, we offer a seamless integration with the EnterpriseRx Pharmacy Management System, so the store-side and central-fill systems operate in unison. Another of our sister companies, Supplylogix, plays an integral role in how we help manage inventory. Together, we can help increase sellthrough rates to minimize potential losses from unsalable returns at each dispensing location. And, being part of McKesson
“Central fill is an enabler. It’s the engine that allows a pharmacy to offer clinical services and increase the value of its staff.” Distribution, we know the logistics and shipping world. Bottom line, these are the things that often make or break centralfill success, and we excel in all of them. DSN: Tell us about the process of designing a system. JT: First and foremost, it’s a consultative approach. One of the first things we do is conduct extensive interviews within the prospective business to identify specific goals they have for the system now and in the future. Only then can we design a system that not only utilizes superior technology but also grows with them. We’re part of the customer’s process long before any hardware is installed as we build a strategy, analyze their prescription capacity, and work through any potential regulatory compliance issues. We have multiple purchase models that make central fill easy to adopt. If available capital is an issue, we have a model called “Central Fill as a Service,” where we retain ownership of the facility, staff it, provide inventory and only charge the customer a per-script fee. This can be a real cost savings. Of course, we offer the traditional purchase model, as well. dsn Joe Tammaro, vice president of sales, McKesson High Volume Solutions
McKesson High Volume Solutions Customized Central Fill Automation Reduce upfront investment and inventory carrying costs Improve productivity and operational efficiency Automate up to 95% of countable prescriptions with 99.99% accuracy Identify & pursue new revenue opportunities Let our experts customize a solution to fit your business and your budget. hvsinquiries@McKesson.com •
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PHARMACY | NEWS
FDA Approves Two Amneal Generics Amneal Pharmaceuticals received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for a generic version of Isuprel injection, or
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America member companies’ direct-to-consumer TV advertisements will soon direct patients to information about medicine costs, including the list
isoproterenol hydrochloride, in 0.2 mg/mL and 1 mg/5 mL, or 0.2 mg/ mL, single-dose vials. “We are pleased to add isoproterenol to our portfolio of injectable products,” Amneal’s executive vice president of commercial operations Andy Boyer
said in a statement. “With four injectable product launches this year, we have quickly expanded our portfolio to 12 products. Our pipeline contains additional opportunities that will further enhance this important segment of our business.” Isoproterenol hydrochloride injection had a market value of about $158 million for the 12
months ended August 2018, according to IQVIA data. Amneal also received FDA approval for a generic version of BiCNU, or carmustine, for injection 100 mg. Carmustine for injection had a market value of about $84 million for the 12 months ended August 2018, according to IQVIA data.
Merck Applauds VA for Adopting Biosimilar Medicines to Treat Veterans The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently inked a national contract with Merck for its Renflexis (infliximab-abda), a biosimilar of Remicade. Merck
applauded the move to list the product as the lowest-priced treatment option. “We are pleased that VA has chosen to expand access to an important treatment option such as Renflexis for our veterans, who have nobly served this country,” Patrick Magri, Merck U.S. hospital and specialty business unit senior vice president said. “VA recognizes the value biosimilars bring to the healthcare system, and the award of this contract is consistent with VA’s goal of providing quality treatment options while optimizing resources in the care of veterans,” said Michael Valentino, the department’s chief consultant for pharmacy benefits management. Renflexis is indicated for Crohn’s disease, pediatric Crohn’s diseases, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and plaque psoriasis.
PhRMA Members to Give Cost Info in TV Ads
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
price of the medicine, out-of-pocket costs or other context about the potential cost of the medicine and available financial assistance. PhRMA said the industry also will launch a platform that will provide patients, caregivers and providers with cost and financial assistance information for brand-name medicines, as well as other patient support resources. “Our member companies are taking a new approach to how they communicate about medicines in DTC television advertisements to make it easier for patients to access information about medicine costs,” PhRMA president and CEO Stephen Ubl said. “The Administration and Congress have called on our industry to provide cost information in DTC advertisements, and our members are voluntarily stepping up to the plate.” On Oct. 2, the PhRMA board of directors adopted enhancements to PhRMA’s voluntary Guiding Principles on Direct-to-Consumer Advertisements About Prescription Medicines to reflect the new policy. The revised take effect April 15, 2019, but PhRMA said members’ DTC television advertisements will change in the coming months.
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HEALTH | DIABETES
Diabetes Management Gets Smart Real-time data, tech adoption help drive patient outcome By David Salazar
onvenience has always been king, but another concept — connectedness — is bringing new solutions to the diabetes management space. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating in 2017 that 30.3 million people — roughly 9.4% of the total U.S. population — have diabetes, the space is ripe for solutions that are aimed at making managing the illness easier. With the rise of connected health documented by such firms as Deloitte — whose recent survey on healthcare trends found that the use of digital devices to chart health and fitness goals has tripled between 2013 and 2018 — many companies are eyeing high-tech solutions to ease the burden of diabetes management. At the same time, these tools open the door for better clinical oversight and, ultimately, better patient health. “In years gone by, the patient would get their blood glucose reading off their device and they would act accordingly,” said Brahim Zabeli, vice president of sales at Smart Meter, which makes the iGlucose diabetes care solution. “That patient was on their own doing this without any real assistance from day to day. Some of the new blood glucose systems that are out there have more data features than ever, and for those patients with diabetes, it gives them more tools to look at the readings over an extended period.” With the iGlucose system, the use of its cell-enabled glucose monitor can be augmented by the iGlucose personal web portal for patients, where automatically transmitted readings are stored, and the virtual health coach, which offers automatic feedback on the readings. Zabeli said that the readings also can be shared with health professionals who can keep a better eye on patients. He also said that in a recent pilot
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
with FlexCare Pharmacy in Washington, D.C., found that patients who knew their physicians might look at their results, they test more frequently. “By having access to the data much more frequently, that healthcare professional that’s working with the patient can now monitor his or her patients on a weekly basis and take action on a weekly basis if needed,” Zabeli said. The role that more data plays in helping patients manage their condition also is a key component of Dexcom’s approach to the space. The company’s recently launched G6 continuous glucose monitor conducts a reading every five minutes — all without a finger stick.
“If you don’t have that real time data feed, you may miss a lot of highs and lows,” said Rick Doubleday, executive vice president – chief commercial officer at Dexcom, who added that users can share their readings with physicians and even family members. “Our system is not going to miss those, and it’s going to alert you — and if you’re using the follow function, it’s going to alert a loved one, and that loved one has the ability to then engage to help the individual.” Retailers also can benefit from the health information that’s coming from diabetic patients, Doubleday said. “As we collect this data, we’re creating APIs with those data streams, and retailers are going to be able to access those data
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HEALTH | DIABETES streams and have software in-store where they can look at an individual patient and potentially better coach and counsel them to manage their diabetes,” he said. Though monitors have been a primary focus of innovators in the space — many with the eventual goal of creating an artificial pancreas — one company has given a Bluetooth-enabled brain to a diabetes management mainstay — the pen injector. Companion Medical’s InPen, conceived in 2013 and being commercialized this year after several rounds of funding and Food and Drug Administration approval, was the winner of DSN/ECRM’s Buyer’s Choice Award at the recent Diabetes/Clinical Programs, Chronic Care Management & Adherence Solutions EPPS. Accompanied by an app that displays the user’s last glucose reading — the app is interoperable with blood glucose meter, including CGMs — their last insulin dose and when the dose was administered, the pen transmits the insulin dose when the patient administers it. Sean Saint, CEO of Companion Medical — who has Type 1 diabetes himself — said it was designed to bring the ease of monitoring of an insulin pump to the most commonly used method of administering insulin. “We tried to take into account patients, providers and the payer when we developed this, and recently we added the pharmacist,” Saint said. “In doing that, we’ve added a lot of features and capability to the product.” He said that in the same way Dexcom offers a near-constant look at blood glucose, InPen offers a similar look at insulin doses and recommends subsequent doses based on past doses and glucose readings. It’s worth noting that not every innovation in the diabetes management space is cellenabled or outfitted with hidden Bluetooth
Though the main hurdle for any technology is adoption, if companies can achieve it, that will mean more opportunities to drive patient outcomes. 52
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
transmitters. One product that caught the eye of retailers at a recent ECRM meeting was a straightforward, if low-tech, management system for new and used pen needles. Excelsior, Minn.-based UltiMed’s UltiGuard Safe Pack offers a dual system for dispensing new pen needles and safely disposing of used ones via a built-in sharps container. “Diabetes is a disease you not only manage daily, but hourly and sometimes by the minute,” said Sarah Hanssen, UltiMed’s vice president of sales and marketing. “It’s something people with diabetes have to constantly attend to, so anything that will make it a little bit easier is a lot.” Hanssen said that the company works with retailers around merchandising the product, including making it a preferred choice in-store and co-branding with such retailers as H-E-B. With all of these solutions, besides making patients’ burden of disease management lighter, there also is an opportunity to be more involved in care. Dexcom’s Doubleday said that its APIs could in the future be used to help push refill alerts to patients. Though the main hurdle for any technology is adoption — and Smart Meter’s
Zabeli said that there is potential for confusion among older-skewing patients — this underscores the aim that Saint said informed Companion Medical’s development of InPen. “Our vision was something that was extremely familiar,” Saint said. “Our product is extremely similar to a traditional insulin pen — it’s no different. There are no buttons, no switches, no screen, no recharging — nothing.” If companies can achieve adoption, it will mean more opportunities to drive patient outcomes. “The opportunity exists for pharmacists to be involved in this practice and not only gain revenue, but greater loyalty on the part of their patients,” Zabeli said. “Having pharmacists, particularly clinical pharmacists, involved in this practice could be a boon to the retail pharmacy community.” Doubleday said, “All of this is coming together to provide individuals better insight to their health than they’ve ever had before. All of that data together will help provide the individual so much greater insight than they’ve ever had before, and that’s what’s going to help drive outcomes.” dsn
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HEALTH | NEWS
RB Introduces Mucinex Cold & Flu All in One Reckitt Benckiser’s Mucinex is bringing a new addition to its lineup to store shelves — Mucinex Cold & Flu All in One. The product is a multi-symptom formula the brand said tackles headache and body pain, nasal congestion and sinus pressure, cough and chest congestion, and sore throat and fever. “Mucinex Cold & Flu All in One provides a single, convenient solution for nine cold and flu symptoms, so people can get back to being their superhero selves during these busy fall and winter months,” said Brian Dolan, Mucinex equity lead. “When you’re sick and feeling miserable, it’s really best to stay home and recover, but we all know that life goes on and
many people refuse to take sick lying down. Mucinex Cold & Flu All in One can be a secret weapon for those moments.” Alongside the product launch, Mucinex shared the results of a recent survey that found that more than 63% of respondents said they would hide cold and flu symptoms to not miss out on doing what they want to do. However, 82% of those surveyed said they wish people they see out and about with cold and flu symptoms had stayed home. Mucinex Cold & Flu All in One is available at major retailers, including CVS Pharmacy, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Walmart and Target.
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Probiotics play an essential role as our first line of defense, supporting efficient digestive function and gut immunity during the winter months*. Bio-Kult is a range of scientifically developed, advanced probiotic multi-strain formulas containing live bacterial cultures, proven to survive the high acidity of the stomach.
ult To find out more about Bio-Kult isit speak to your distributor or visit www.bio-kult.com
Distributed By: ADM Protexin, Inc., 1833 NW 79th Avenue, Doral, Miami FL 33126. Tel: 786.310.7233 Manufacturer: ADM Protexin Limited, Lopen Head, Somerset, TA13 5JH *THIS STATEMENT HAS NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THE PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.
HEALTH | NEWS
Eosera Launches Dermatologist-Tested Earwax MD for Kids Eosera has introduced its Earwax MD for Kids. The Fort Worth, Texasbased company’s product uses patentpending technology to clear away earwax from the ear canal. “Our product is designed to work quickly to clean away wax. The dual-action formula is the reason behind this scientific advancement,” said Joe Griffin, Eosera chief scientific officer and co-founder. “One part of our formula is designed to target the oils in the ear canal, and the second part of our formula is designed to help break apart the skin sheets that get trapped in the waxy buildup.” Earwax MD for Kids is the second product for children from Eosera, which launched Ear Pain MD and Ear
Pain MD for Kids in September. Eosera said the remedy eliminates the need to visit a doctor to clear impacted earwax, and has been tested by dermatologists, showing no evidence of skin irritation. The company said the product is able to clear earwax with one application within 15to 30 minutes. “My own kids have experienced earwax impaction due to the use of earbuds,” said Elyse Dickerson, Eosera’s founder and CEO. “Regular cleaning with Earwax MD for Kids has helped prevent the wax build-up from reoccurring.” Earwax MD for Kids is available on Amazon, with the original Earwax MD selling on Amazon, as well as in Target and CVS Pharmacy stores nationwide.
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November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
* THIS STATEMENT HAS NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.
F R O M T H E E Y E CA R E E X P E RT S AT
Untangling Hair Care How can retailers and suppliers navigate one of the store’s most complicated segments? By Nora Caley
ust as hairstyles change, so do demographics and consumer trends — and they all are playing a big role in the future of the overall hair care category. These simple facts have long forced manufacturers in this complicated, yet profitable, segment to develop merchandising strategies that demand a constant flow of innovation for a wide range of consumers, from selfie-taking millennials and healthconscious shoppers to multicultural consumers of all ages. The bottom line is that the shampoos, conditioners and styling products seeing sales growth are the ones that not only keep up with styles but also with the changing needs of today’s shoppers. While suppliers have to stay ahead of the curve on new products, retailers are under pressure to make sure their shelves are full of the products these consumers demand, and at price points that will make these shoppers visit another store. Hair care always has been a difficult segment to merchandise in-store, and it may be more complex than ever now. So how can retailers stay ahead of this category? The answer, many said, is to understand what the trends are and to make sure that store shelves are stocked with the hottest products. Xenia Barth, Henkel Beauty Care’s vice president of marketing for hair brands, for example, said she sees two important trends impacting the category.
DRUGSTORENEWS.COM November 2018
The first is the longtime trend of consumers seeking natural and organic products. “Beauty products that take inspiration from nature are booming across lifestyle areas,” she said. This is particularly true of the millennial generation. “We see these consumers as confident and conscious life enthusiasts, interested in health, nature and overall well-being,” she said. “This group is willing to try out new things and they have a strong interest in meaningful products with relevant natural features.” Barth said that millennials and younger Generation Z shoppers also are driving the second trend, which is the rise in sales of products that promote selfexpression. These young consumers have a personal interest in an inclusive culture, she said, so they do not chase after one beauty ideal, but instead express diversity and individuality. They enjoy posting photos on social media, so they look to color and styling products that enable them to experiment and show off their creativity on such social media sites as Instagram and Pinterest. Barth said these trends are reflected in sales figures. “Although there isn’t much movement in the traditional categories of color and styling, they are being re-dynamized by trend color and creative products,” she
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said. Henkel, with U.S. consumer goods headquarters in Stamford, Conn., launched Schwarzkopf’s göt2b Color, which Barth said allows for self-expression with 15 shades of creative and exciting colors, including on-trend metallics and pastels. Another continuously strong trend is that consumers want natural and organic ingredients, and also beneficial ingredients, such as vitamins and minerals. That is true not just in foods but also beauty products, such as hair care. “Products get absorbed through the scalp, and so do artificial ingredients and chemicals,” said Osman Mithavayani, vice president of OKAY Pure Naturals, based in Miami Gardens, Fla. Mithavayani said OKAY provides hair care collections that are rich, nourishing and gentle for the hair and scalp. Retailers can benefit by including these natural products in their hair care assortments. “Carrying the OKAY brand lets consumers know that these stores take their consumers’ hair health seriously,” he said.
In addition to millennials seeking selfexpression and consumers in general seeking natural and organic products, an audience to keep in mind is multicultural shoppers. “The hair care category sees growth every
year,” Mithavayani said. “The growth is coming from multicultural consumers [who] are exponentially growing every year.” He said OKAY is the No. 1 and fastestgrowing brand for multicultural consumers. The company recently expanded its men’s care line with natural items that include OKAY Men’s All- Natural Hair and Beard shampoo, All-Natural Hair and Beard conditioner, All-Natural Hair Oil, Men’s Hair and Beard Pomade, and hair and beard gel made with natural ingredients. It also debuted the OKAY Baby line, including OKAY All Natural Baby Shampoo made with natural papaya extract, aloe, grapefruit extract, chamomile and jojoba. More new products from OKAY include Black Jamaican Castor Oil with Lavender Hair Care and Black Jamaican Castor Oil Coconut Curls collection. The moisture and curling sorbets for curly, coil-shaped and textured hair work to moisturize, hydrate and style multicultural and curly hair. The brand also launched Coconut and Shea hair care, Coconut and Hibiscus hair care, and Coconut Curls Gardenia and Grapefruit hair care. These hair care collections consist of a shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioners. Multicultural consumers are especially interested in natural hair products.
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HAIR CARE According to Mintel’s recent report, “Black Haircare - US - 2018: Consumer market research report,” 40% of black women surveyed said they wear their hair natural — no chemicals — with no-heat styling, and 38% said they wear their hair natural with heat styling. Also, 70% of black women said they prefer to read ingredient labels in hair care products to avoid certain chemicals, and 43% of black women said they use five or more hair care products at home. Manufacturers said reading labels and looking for healthful ingredients also is a growing trend. “Many people are taking a more customized approach to hair care and are more ingredient-conscious,” said Ebony Bomani, master cosmetologist and product educator at Huntsville, Ala.-based The Mane Choice Hair Solution. “Consumers are interested, more than ever, in using healthier ingredients on their hair. Our products are filled with quality vitamins and nutrients that help to support a healthier hair and scalp care regimen.” The Mane Choice recently launched the Do It FRO The Culture collection for Afrotextured hair in Sally Beauty. The company also expanded the Tropical Moringa collection, which is for curly and wavy hair and is available in mass retailers. As with any consumer goods category, innovation is the key to sales growth. “As a brand, we not only aim to fill a need, but also cultivate the desire for excellence,”
Bomani said. “By going above and beyond to customize our products for the consumer to improve their experience, they always want to know what’s next.”
Small but Mighty
According to IRI, the Chicago-based market research firm, for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 9, total U.S. multi-outlet sales of shampoo totaled more than $3.16 billion, an increase of nearly 3% compared with the same period the previous year. Sales of conditioner totaled more than $2.19 billion, an increase of 3.2%. While some longtime brands were flat or saw small increases in sales, some newer, smaller brands had double-digit sales gains. “Today, many niche, indie hair care brands are capturing shelf space, gaining momentum and market share,” said Jaime Kontz, associate director of product innovation at Vogue International, a Johnson & Johnson company. “This shift towards indie brands is impacting hair care sales in a significant way, and is triggering brands to think differently about what type of products they’re creating, who they’re speaking to, how they go to market, and how nimble and agile they can be.” Kontz said the products that are getting the most attention are ingredient-led with clean formulas, are free from harmful ingredients, and have premium performance and packaging. Premium-izing also is driving sales in the category. “We are seeing salon-inspired products grow double digits, while mid-tier and lower-priced product segments decline,” Kontz said. “Consumers are shopping for and willing to spend more on products formulated thoughtfully, and perform as well as the professional salon products, but at an affordable price.”
Practicality and Nostalgia
One product gaining much attention is dry shampoo. “It’s a favorite among millennials,” said Barbara Goldstein, director of corporate communications at Denver-based Neoteric Cosmetics. “They tend to do their hair once a week, and in between they use dry shampoo.” Neoteric represents Batiste, a dry shampoo brand from the United Kingdom.
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While other dry shampoos use cornstarch, Goldstein said Batiste uses a lighter rice starch. “Dry shampoo reduces the time you spend getting ready,” she said. “Primping has gone by the wayside.” What have not gone by the wayside are such legacy brands as Prell, which Neoteric purchased in 2016. The shampoo now is being embraced by baby boomers, who remember a TV commercial that involved a pearl sinking slowly into the shampoo. “I hear people saying, I’ve been using it for 30 years, 40 years,” Goldstein said. “They like it because it’s tried and true, it’s nostalgia and it creates a warm fuzzy for people.” Prell’s scent is a big component of the nostalgia, Goldstein said, noting that the scent is gender neutral and appeals to men and women. The company plans to launch Prell conditioner soon. The hair care category changes so much that manufactures have to be nimble, said Vogue International’s Kontz. “We have a finely tuned radar for unique trends that are swirling around us continuously. We have honed our skills at identifying which of those trends are meaningful, and how we can deliver on those trends in a meaningful and quick way.” dsn
HAIR CARE PRODUCTS
Just For Men Extends Control GX Line Combe’s Just For Men brand has extended its line of Control GX, the shampoo that gradually reduces gray. New Just For Men Control GX Grey Reducing Shampoo for Light Shades, designed for blond and medium brown hair, provides subtle, natural-looking results, and gently cleans and revitalizes hair, the company said. Just for Men launched Control GX in 2017 as an alternative to traditional hair color. The “smart shampoo” does not require any extra steps in the user’s current routine. It is a shampoo men can use instead of their usual shampoo for a couple of weeks until they achieve the amount of gray they want, then use it a few times a week in rotation with their usual shampoo to maintain that look.
OGX Launches Athleisure-Inspired Active Beauty Green Tea Fitness Collection Vogue International, a Johnson & Johnson company, has added an athleisure-themed hair care line to its OGX brand. OGX Active Beauty Green Tea Fitness collection features wet and dry hair care options, including shampoo, conditioner, hair and bod spritz, air-dry cream, and dry shampoo foam. The products are infused with a fitness inspired blend of antioxidant-rich green tea and unique lotus aroma. The OGX Active Beauty Green Tea Fitness collection includes Active Beauty Green Tea Fitness Shampoo and Conditioner, which help strands recover while adding healthy shine fast. Active Beauty Green Tea Fitness Air Dry Cream is a heatless styler that saves time and reduces frizz and flyaway hairs. Active Beauty Green Tea Fitness Hair & Body Spritz is a refreshing spray that is safe to use on hair and body post-shower. Active Beauty Green Tea Fitness Dry Shampoo Foam is a quick-drying foam formula that absorbs excess oil to create refreshed, shiny strands.
The Mane Choice Expands Lineup The Mane Choice expanded its Tropical Moringa Sweet Oil & Honey Endless Moisture collection. The advanced moisturizing blend is infused with essential vitamins and Moringa Oleifera seed oil, which is derived from the Moringa tree. It deeply penetrates the hair shaft to infuse it with vital moisture and nutrients. The products are designed to improve shine, strength and manageability, the company said. Tropical Moringa Sweet Oil & Honey Endless Moisture Rinse Out Or Leave-In Conditioner nourishes and moisturizes dry, brittle hair; locks in lasting moisture and essential nutrients; gets rid of frizz; softens and nourishes; and helps to strengthen and protect, the company said. Tropical Moringa Daily Restorative Spray is a daily hair hydration spray formulated to rehydrate, define and reshape hair. It boosts and shapes curls and helps to minimize damage and breakage. Tropical Moringa Oil & Honey Daily Moisturizer & Sealing Cream also is infused with Moringa Oleifera seed oil and essential vitamins to deeply penetrate the hair shaft and infuse it with moisture and nutrients. It is designed for natural, relaxed, permed and colored-treated hair.
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
L’Oréal Paris Debuts ‘The Roots Family’ Web Series Focusing on Gray Roots To mark the launch of L’Oréal Paris’ Magic Root Precision Pen and award-winning line of root solutions, the brand introduced a new campaign that brings its values of beauty and diversity to life, and embodies the iconic phrase, “Because I’m Worth It.” Debuting on the brand’s U.S. YouTube channel, the celebritystudded webisode series spotlights the individuality of each unique person by uniting brand ambassadors who span generations. Together, they form a family — “The Roots Family” — with each member of the family possessing a serious root problem. The cast includes such names as Helen Mirren, Andie MacDowell, Morena Baccarin and Aja Naomi King, among others. To resolve their hair woes, the brand offers a complete range of temporary root-centric products. New Magic Root Precision Pen joins the L’Oréal Paris Hair Color family, which also includes Magic Root Coverup, which conceals gray hair in seconds, leaves no smudging or sticky residue when dry, and is ammonia and peroxide free; and Root Rescue, a quick, precise and gentle way to cover roots in 10 minutes with a low-ammonia formula that covers 100% of grey hairs and matches seamlessly with at-home and salon hair color.
Scünci Launches Hair Accessories Collection with Julie Sariñana Hair accessories brand scünci, a division of Conair, announced its collaboration with top international fashion and lifestyle influencer Julie Sariñana, whose blog is Sincerely Jules. The Sincerely Jules for scünci collection combines Sariñana’s style with scünci’s expertise for an assortment of faux-leather and velvet scrunchies in hues of burgundy, pink and black; metallic and rhinestone-studded clips and barrettes; brass and glittered pins; and headbands made of silks, velvets and metals. The line is inspired by the creativity of Sariñana’s mother and her hand-crafted hair accessories.
Drawing upon her heritage, Sariñana collaborated with scünci to design a collection that is trend-driven, relatable and versatile, the company said. The Sincerely Jules for scünci collection will be available at Target stores and on Target.com.
November 2018 DRUGSTORENEWS.COM
Maybelline Expands Lineup for 2019 Maybelline New York is launching a range of new products in January 2019. Maybelline New York Tattoo Studio Brow Pomade is the latest product to join
the long-wearing Tattoo Studio Brow line. The pomade helps create lasting sculpted brows, and is available in eight shades. The Maybelline New York Tattoo Studio Sharpenable Gel Pencil also makes its debut. The liner is waterproof, smudgeand sebum-resistant, and provides up to 36 hours of tattoo intensity, the company said. The color impact won’t smudge or fade, and also is available in eight shades. Maybelline also is adding deep cocoa, a deep brown shade to its Total Temptation Mascara line. It joins other colors brownish black, very black and blackest black. The mascara is part of the Total Temptation collection, which also includes a shadow and highlight palette, as well as a brow definer. Maybelline New York also is rolling out Super Stay Powder Foundation, which the company said is its highest coverage in a powder ever. The high-pigment products are designed to guarantee maximum matte coverage, while the soft-to-the-touch formula allows for a seamless blend. Formulated to provide a 16-hour wear, the weightless formula is available in 12 long-lasting shades.
CONSUMABLES | CANDY
Expanding Candy Candymakers eye healthy, premium options while extending existing lines By Sandra Levy
he candy category is being pulled in three different directions — all for the same reason: to bring more shoppers into the confectionery aisle. Even as more candy suppliers emphasize offering healthier alternatives to their own products, they also are coming out with a broad assortment of line extensions and premium-priced items to get traditional candy consumers to step up and buy a few more items. These strategies could work for the
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category whose annual sales IRI pegged at around $25.3 billion between candy, gum, mints and chocolate in U.S. multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 7. However, it is under pressure from other snack alternatives that are seeking ways to gain more space on retail shelves, often at the expense of the candy section. “Candy is one of the stalwarts of the mass retail industry and has been for decades,” said a candy buyer for a major supermarket chain. “But, I think the pressure is on the vendors to make sure they
stay ahead of the curve on consumer expectations. Today, shoppers want candy products that taste great, but maybe are not as bad for them as in the past. That means less calories and sugar, but it also means interesting products.” A more educated consumer has made it clear that she wants healthier products from the candy category, including items that have fewer calories and chemicals, as well as less fat and sugar. Suppliers are taking steps to keep the category relevant with these shoppers. Some are simple, like
CONSUMABLES | CANDY adding content information to packaging to show consumers that having a candy bar is really not that bad. Others are more dramatic, including new items and sizes that simply have less of everything. “The conversation around sugar — how much to have, if it is good or bad for you — is an ongoing conversation, and it is top-of-mind for people when they think about what they eat,” said Christopher Gindlesperger, senior director of public affairs and communications of Washington, D.C.-based National Confectioners Association, or NCA. “The confectionery industry has made a commitment to make their package sizes smaller, to put calorie information on the front of the packs, and to educate people about the role chocolate and candy can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle.” Interestingly, though, this sudden urge to be healthier comes at the same time that the major players seek to expand interest in their most popular candy items, as well as offer more premium lines. Some suppliers are adding products to such wellknown brands as Milky Way, Snickers, Kit Kat and Reese’s to spur consumer interest in these products and generate incremental sales increases. “These (line extensions) are just another way to reach more consumers and bring more consumers into the candy world,” said an official with Hackettstown, N.J.-based Mars. Gindlesperger used Mars as a great example of a company that it using a combination of well-known brand name and line extensions to build sales. He said that Mars has extended its classic Snickers bar brand to include Snickers 2 To Go, Snickers 24-count Sharing Size, Snickers with Almonds, Snickers Peanut Butter, Snickers Hazelnut, Snickers Crisper, and a Snickers Easter Egg. “You can see that across companies. Where they have one classic iconic brand, they put it into different types of products; it showcases the innovation,” he said. Premium-priced items also are gaining a foothold in this category as younger and more demanding shoppers put price aside in their search for quality. Millennials are driving the popularity of these chocolates, Gindlesperger said, noting Lindt,
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All three trends show just how high the stakes are for this category. The bottom line is that candy has served as a major category for mass retailers for decades, and both retailers and suppliers want to make sure that this category continues to draw shoppers into stores.
Ghirardelli, Hershey’s and Mars’ premium lines, as well as mom-and-pop companies producing “bean to bar” premium chocolate products, are being embraced. “You’ll see beautifully wrapped chocolate tablet bars that this demographic enjoys and are loyal to. Interestingly, this group also likes gummy and sours on the non-chocolate side,” he said.
One of the confection companies addressing consumers’ health concerns is Bethlehem, Pa.-based Just Born Quality Confections — makers of such brands as Mike and Ike, Peeps and Hot Tamales. “As part of our commitment to transparency, we now carry front-of-pack labeling to allow consumers to make informed decisions on all our products,” said Keith Domalewski, the company’s director of marketing and consumer engagement. “We offer a range of candies that meet special dietary needs, including products that are fat-free, gluten-free, kosher and dairy-free. For Easter, we also make Sugar-Free Peeps.” He said the company offers these special varieties in various pack types and sizes, and also offers allergen information on its labels. Some candy manufacturers also are working on addressing consumer’s concerns about artificial additives. In 2016, Mars, for example, pledged to remove artificial additives used to make the vibrant colors in M&Ms, Skittles and other candy by 2021. Educating consumers is vital, industry officials said. The NCA has launched a few website initiatives, including Alwaysatreat. com, which aims to help consumers make informed choices and help educate them about actions the confectionery industry is taking to address their health concerns. As Thanksgiving and the winter holidays approach, the NCA will build out a winter holidays section on the website. “The winter holidays are candy moments,” Gindlesperger said. “They are times when people naturally think about chocolate and candy, and we want to say, ‘Here are some resources and a place where people can go to think through all of this and learn what they can expect from the companies, and what support they can get.’” NCA also recently launched PowerOfSweet.com, an online resource that
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e first to the party with electrifying New Original Gummi Fun Mixâ„˘! Our Six exciting varieties feature up to 18 shapes, flavors and colors in a single bag, bringing excitement to consumers and driving the gummi category to new heights. So Get the Party Started in your candy aisles and RSVP to your PIM Sales Rep at 1-800-369-7391.
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CONSUMABLES | CANDY highlights the industry’s state, national and community impact. It also features research about the economic impact of the industry.
Domalewski also is witnessing a spike in the popularity of sour flavors, especially among teens. “Teens love sour candy and they look for it everywhere they shop, translating into a growth rate nearly double that of the category overall,” he said. “The sour candy segment makes up nearly onefifth of the everyday candy category and is among the fastest growing.” In January, Just Born will unveil its most intense sour product yet — Mike and Ike Mega Mix Sour! in 10 flavors, including Sour Power Pineapple, Sour Zappin Apple and Sour Pucker Punch. The company also is responding to a growing interest in spicy sweets, introducing Hot Tamales in Mango Tango, Pineapple Picante and Limon Fever. In 2019, the company will roll out Hot Tamales Fire & Ice candies, featuring two flavors inside one box: classic Hot Tamales Fierce Cinnamon and the new blue Cool Mint. “Just Born realized the trend of the rise in Hispanic population in the U.S., and as you see with other recent candy launches, all of the big players are coming out with spicy varieties,” Domalewski said. Yet consumers also are craving a specific sweet flavor. “A trend that is on the rise is maple, and taking fun flavors like this and extending it beyond the traditional breakfast or baking category and into the candy aisle is fun for our fans,” Domalewski said about the company’s plan to add pancakes and syrup-flavored marshmallow to its Peeps brand lineup. Officials at Promotion in Motion have identified a category shift towards smart snacking and flavor options, as well as the introduction of seasonally specific items. The Allandale, N.J.-based company offers Go Organically Fruit Snacks, Welch’s Fruit ‘N Yogurt, Welch’s Fruit Rolls and its new Original Gummi FunMix, “which allows consumers to customize their snacking experience in more ways than ever before,” said Josh Shapiro, senior vice president of marketing. “We also want to ensure
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we are part of special moments around key holidays, so we have developed seasonally specific items for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas.”Shapiro also said that millennials and Gen Z consumers are enthusiastic about a number of factors related to snacking, including unique and trendy flavor offerings. As a result, the company has introduced its Superfruit Mix, which includes a mix of flavors featuring pomegranate-passionfruit, goji-apricot, starfruit-kiwi, dragonfruit-blackberry and açai-blueberry. The company also launched its new
Original Gummi FunMix that is available in six varieties with up to 18 gummy shapes and flavors in a single bag. “It gives consumers the power to create endless combinations and customize every bite,” Shapiro said. “One of the most exciting things about the candy space is that it boasts a spectrum of appealing options. There is something in this category for virtually everybody,” he said. “We anticipate this trend toward nontraditional snacking will only continue, and the possibilities for innovation within the candy market will only continue to expand.” Jim Klein, vice president of sales at Ferrero U.S., agreed that consumers are looking for more options to accommodate their needs, and this holds true for the holidays. “What you’ll see this upcoming season is an expanded assortment of treats to satisfy any gifting occasion, regardless of who it’s for. Whether it’s gifting a teacher, a friend or a significant other, holiday shoppers will have a range of confectionery items to choose from,” he said. This holiday season, consumers can expect to find seasonal packaging from Ferrero’s Tic Tac brand, including Merry Elf Mix — a mixture of cranberry, lime and apple flavored mints — along with limitededition Kinder Joy eggs. Nutella will offer limited-edition holiday jars, featuring stencil and decorating tools under the cap. “This will make it easy for families to start the day on a positive note, and create happy memories over breakfast,” Klein said. “We’re also giving Nutella consumers more options to choose from by bringing back the popular Nutella Mini Jars.” With consumers increasingly shopping online, Klein emphasized that confectionery brands must identify ways to target online shoppers, including an equally strong presence online and in stores. Finally, Klein believes that with consumer purchasing behaviors constantly evolving, the confectionery market will need to consistently adapt to meet these needs. “Production innovation is one way to cater to this ongoing shift, and you’ll see this in 2019 with the introduction of new flavors,” he said. “You’ll also continue to see seasonal packaging during key periods like Easter and Mother’s Day.” dsn
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Take Me Out to the Marketing Game Retailers can steal great ideas from ball fields By David Orgel
A 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.
merica’s summer sport, baseball, has collided with fall’s chill. Football is now top-of-mind. Yet, there’s one baseball story worth recapping, at least for retailers. This wasn’t about box scores, but marketing. First, let me emphasize that retailers also are strong marketers. They are creative and good at adapting ideas from other retailers. Yet, therein lies a possible limitation. If some retailers only borrow ideas from other retailers, they are missing out. Retailers vying to differentiate themselves in this hyper-competitive environment might benefit from taking marketing ideas from a different field — the baseball field. Major League Baseball teams presented great marketing in 2018. But for really bigleague ideas, keep an eye on the minor leagues. One New Jersey minor league team called the Somerset Patriots regularly hits it out of the park with an outstanding range of special events and other efforts. It’s on my radar because the team is local to my area. I’d call its approach marketing on steroids. (Wait, did I really use steroids in a baseball reference?) The Patriots are part of the Atlantic League, an independent minor league begun in 1998. The team advanced to its sixth straight postseason this year under the current manager, fueled by winning performances by numerous players. Yet just as important was the team’s superb marketing performance, which helped it lead the league in 2018 attendance. Marketing was driven by a range of strategies, including robust social media, a mobile app with access to a rewards program, and outstanding special events. The events were crowd-pleasers, whether or not fans cared about a baseball game. Here’s an events sampler. Consider how the range of events might translate to retail: • Superhero Day plus Ballpark ComiCon • Augtoberfest • SpongeBob Squarepants appearance • Senior Wednesday
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Fireworks and Fortnite (gaming set on the concourse) • Giveaways from T-shirts to backpacks • Run the bases • Meet and greet with a New York Giants football legend • Bark In The Park bring your dog, with a pregame Pooch Parade • XPogo Stunt Team high-flying performances between innings OK, maybe retailers won’t conduct a pooch parade up front of store aisles. However, given the range of events, there’s opportunity for retailers to steal more than just home plate. How would these translate to retail? Senior Wednesday — or Thursday or Friday — could focus on retail health solutions for the older set. Superhero Day could be a terrific Halloween event. Fortnite and gaming themes are smart ways to get on the radar of the youngest consumers. Marc Russinoff, the Patriots’ vice president of public relations, explained to me that fans pulled in by one promotion are often pleased to encounter other opportunities, “whether it’s food options, another special event or impulse buys.” This is a one-stop-shop approach — sound familiar? Plus, marketing and events underscore the team’s role as a community player, which of course also is a big retailer strategy. Can retailers get excited about reaching out of the box for ideas in this way? Absolutely. I checked with Coborn’s, a highly innovative Midwest independent grocer, and a winner of the prestigious National Grocers Association Creative Choice Marketing Award. The retailer’s vice president of marketing, Dennis Host, said sharing can go both ways: Retailers can get ideas from sports teams, and sports teams from retailers. He should know. Coborn’s has a front-row seat as a partner for events by local sports teams. Whether translating ideas from sports or some other sector, a few bold marketing moves can produce differentiation and boost customer loyalty. When that happens, it’s a new ball game. dsn
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