Best foot forward

Foot care sales are declining, but there is some growth in this category.

By Seth Mendelson

As the foot care category tired? Some industry observers would say yes, especially after looking at the latest tracking information from Chicago-based SymphonyIRI Group that shows category sales tumbling by more than 13% and the foot care device segment showing an 18% drop in dollar sales.

But, there seems to be some excitement in this staid and yet still important category as more suppliers introduce or promote their lines of foot care ointments, creams and medications to the marketplace.

“I think there is a big trend towards self medication and that is really helping our sales,” says Clarissa Sanchez, brand manager for Miami-based Kramer Labs. “Consumers are looking for specific products to help them and it is important that retailers respond with a foot care section that has the best selling items available and is easy to shop.”

In the device segment, Schering-Plough remains the top player in the field and the company was able to produce a solid 5.4% increase in dollar volume during the tracked period, ended March 21, from the same timespan the previous year. The medication segment is much more fragmented with Schering-Plough sharing the category with a number of other players, including Novartis and Chattem. Private label market share is also increasing in both segments of the foot care category.

Smaller players such as Kramer Labs, Taro Pharmaceuticals and Princeton, N.J.-based Xenna Corp., have made a dent in the category by stressing unique formulas. Xenna manufactures NonyX, a product that is designed to clear out discoloring keratin debris under the nail, and Callex, an ointment that is designed to softens hardened skin and exfoliates dry, cracked heels. Kramer manufactures Fungi-Nail, an anti-fungal item that is available in two SKUs.

“May is the time of the year for retailers to really promote their foot care section,” says Carol Buck, the CEO of Xenna. “After the long winter, many consumers are taking a closer look at their feet to see what needs to be done to fix them. Retailers must react with a display that draws their attention and gets them to think about their feet.”

As seen on TV products have also developed a following in the footcare category.

This entry was posted in 2010 05 Article Archives, Nonfoods for Profit. Bookmark the permalink.