Navigating the NACDS Marketplace

Retailers can learn about emerging nonfoods segments and the latest merchandising tactics at the show later this month.

By Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Grocers looking to freshen their nonfoods assortments and merchandising strategies in the face of competition from other classes of trade will be making their way to the NACDS Marketplace being held in Boston from June 25-28.

The event, sponsored by the Alexandria, Va.-based National Association of Chain Drug Stores, will mark its 25th anniversary when it sets up shop at the Boston Convention and Exhibit Center. Ap­proximately 3,000 attendees—comprised of retail executives across drug, food, mass and specialty retail—visited last year’s show and NACDS officials expect to hit the same attendance target this year.

With approximately 500 suppliers awaiting their arrival on the exhibition floor, retailers will be seeking stand-out products and merchandising strategies to make the HBC and GM aisles destinations for shoppers.

“Our job is to reflect developing categories as well as those that have the potential to develop,” says Jim Whitman, senior vice president, member programs and services for NACDS.

Products that offer convenience are gaining attention as retailers look to expand, “and that plays a role for food,” he says. “Our goal is to put together the retailers and manufacturers to collaborate and determine how categories and new products can build sales.”

NACDS has created two Meet the Market programs to help attendees and suppliers make the most of their time at the show.

Officials say the Meet the Market program for retailers is ideal for first-time retail attendees, allowing them to connect with suppliers face-to-face. Available on June 25, the program will schedule retail participants with 10-minute appointments according to the categories selected on their retailer registration Form. Each participating buyer will be assigned to a table and supplier participants will circulate among the assigned tables to present their products according to the NACDS-arranged schedules.

First-time exhibitors, or those with products launched since July 2010, have a similar opportunity during a Meet the Market program for suppliers, taking place on June 26. NACDS will schedule companies to meet with retail buyers within their categories through a series of 10-minute appointments.

In addition to evaluating new merchandise, attendees are also looking for ways to leverage new concepts that are impacting consumers’ purchase behavior. These include e-commerce and social networking, as well as how to deliver consumers innovative, trusted and affordable items in a recovering economy.

“The economy is improving and everyone is looking for ways to encourage shoppers to visit the stores,” says Dunnan D. Edell, CEO and president of CCA Industries, based in East Rutherford, N.J. “Supply partners must find ways to collaborate and get the shoppers into the stores.”

Here is a preview of what attendees can expect to see from some of the companies exhibiting at the show.

CCA Industries
Just in time to kick off summer, CCA Industries is highlighting new skin care products across its Sudden Change and Bi­kini Zone lines. The company is also feature new advertising campaigns, including a sneak peek at its 2012 television ads.

Modular Thermal Technologies
In support of its newly revamped CryoMAX 8-Hour Cold Pack, Modular Thermal Technologies is showing its support wrap in three sizes.

While most cold packs last between 15 and 30 minutes, CryoMax’s new technology, which is supported by more than 30 patents, is designed to deliver cold therapy for up to eight hours.

“The wrap features new technology that provides a better therapeutic experience for consumers,” says Art Pirrone, vice president of sales and marketing for the North Kingstown, R.I.-based company. “We are also featuring new packaging, complete with three-dimensional illustrations that show specific points of healing.”

Wahl Clipper Corp.
Catering to eco-friendly consumers, Wahl Clip­per Corp. is highlighting a new family of Lithium Ion grooming products. The all-in-one grooming kit from the Sterling, Ill.-based company includes a facial hair trimmer and a rechargeable clipper that does not lose its charge when stored. Although powered by rechargeable batteries, the accessories feature benefits of fully corded units, company officials note.

Wahl will also showcase a new line of therapeutic massagers. “Consumers are questioning the logic of over-the-counter medication for pain relief when the benefits of massage have lasted for centuries,” says Pat Anello, director of marketing. “They can rejuvenate their muscles more readily with a good massage and we offer portable items.”

First Quality
Tri-Form Fabric baby wipes from First Quality are debuting at the NACDS Marketplace. The thick, three-layer wipe is comprised of spun material that stretches. Company officials say the two outer layers are quilted and cotton-enhanced to ensure cleanliness and the strong third inner layer is constructed to prevent tearing and stretching. The three sheets work together to deliver a combination of softness and strength, without leaving behind lint.

The Great Neck, N.Y.-based company currently produces private label products for most major U.S. retailers, say company officials.

Ansell Healthcare
The latest extensions to the SKYN brand franchise, including a larger size, more comfortable condom and a SKYN brand condom with double lubrication, will be featured at the Ansell Healthcare booth. The Red Bank, N.J.-based company extended its Life­Styles brand with its Black Label condom, designed to appeal to the urban market; and the 3Sum condom, a 3-in-1 condom that includes studs for him, ribs for her and a contoured fit to enhance the sensitivity and experience.

Leaping into the vibrating device category, the company is introducing its a:muse body massager, “which has already experienced better-than-expected sales success at leading drug stores in the Northeast and Midwest,” says Carol Carrozza, vice president of global marketing, sexual health and wellness.

In addition to traditional marketing, Ansell is supporting these new product launches in the digital world. “We utilize our own Facebook and Twitter centers to educate and promote the products,” she says. “Consumers have told us they want to learn of new products in this environment, which will make their ultimate purchase easier and quicker at the shelf.”

Alcon Laboratories
Consumers are not willing to compromise on products that affect their vision, so Alcon Labora­tories is highlighting its newest products  recommended by eye doctors.

Its OPTI-FREE RepleniSH contact lens solution was created with technology that keeps lenses moist for 14 hours, according to officials for the Fort Worth, Texas-based company. They say the company’s new  SYSTANE Balance offers the latest technology in dry eye to benefit all layers of the tear film. Part of the SYSTANE family, the solution offers relief for dry eye sufferers.

“Scientifically differentiated eye care products that are recommended by doctors drive overall eye care category growth and profitability for retailers,” says Sandy Harrison, marketing manager for OPTI-FREE products.
Alcon encourages retailers to understand consumer demand and to review the category at least once a year in order to stay abreast of these insights, and act on them.

“Our consumer research tells us that shelf merchandising is critical to creating a positive shopping experience in the eye care department,” she says. “Consumers prefer to shop at retailers where key brands and SKUs are easy to find, grouped by manufacturer and well-stocked.”

Northwest Natural Products
Combining consumers’ focus on nutrition and desire for great flavor, Northwest Natu­ral Products is showcasing a variety of product en­hancements across its Vitafusion line.

The company has doubled the amount of CoQ10 from 100mg to 200mg in its Vitafusion CoQ10 supplement, giving the consumer twice the amount of heart support in their daily supplements, say company officials. It has created a new formula for its Vitamin D product that features twice the amount of IUs per serving, which maintains maximum bone and joint strength.

Similarly, the company increased the IUs from 100 to 400 per serving, which is four times the previous amount of antioxidants, in its Defense E product. The company is also introduce a new formula of its Omega-3 product, which provides benefits but no fishy taste. It also improved the flavor of its L’il Critters Omega-3 supplement for kids.

All of the products are supported by a marketing campaign that includes a 30-second national cable commercial and a national print advertising campaign, along with sampling and other consumer outreach.

Dr. Fresh
Orazyme Dry Mouth Mouthwash, which targets the causes and symptoms of dry mouth and helps balance good and bad oral bacteria, is one of the many new products at the Dr. Fresh booth. Officials for the Buena Park, Ca­lif.-based company will also be available to discuss its domestic capabilities for private label products.  The company is also re-launching the Dr. Ken’s line of natural oral care products “with streamlined packages and more impacting graphics,” says Barry Goodridge, vice president of sales. Dr. Ken’s offers toothpastes, mouthwashes and breath strips, and all feature therapeutic benefits of green tea extract.

Finally, the company is expanding the line of Binaca products. As Dr. Fresh transitions the brand from breath freshening products to a complete line of oral care, it is highlighting Bi­naca Breath Strips and Binaca Breath Drops. “There will soon be other offerings under the Binaca brand banner,” he says.

Appealing to consumers looking for reading glasses made from natural and recycled materials, Select-A-Vision is introducing several sustainable products at the show. An  addition to its Green Readers eyeglasses collection, the Bamboo Temple readers feature all-natural sustainable bamboo temples in four frame styles. Officials for the Collegeville, Pa.-based company say that the frames and display tags are made from recycled plastics and each pair includes a carrying case made from a recycled paper-based material.

The Optitek Premium Lens and Screen care product line now features wet wipe cloths in a natural formula.

Building on the success of its Fifth Avenue collection, the company is introducing a new line called Accents. The line features patterned reading glasses, a matching case and necklace holder. The line is available in various colorful animal prints and rhinestones designs.

Its Coppertone Sunreaders combines reading and sunglasses in one product. The line, comprised of six sunglass styles, contains an invisible sunglass bifocal and blocks 100% of the harmful UV rays.

“The latest optical technology now allows us to curve the lens to provide better sunglass coverage along with more trendy looks,” says Steve Liebers, president.

“Most of our new fashion product launches are designed specifically for our current customer base, which boosts store excitement all year long. Then we specifically target their consumers through their store circulars.”

Firstline Brands
The Evolve Deep and WavEnforcer Spin brush lines made of high-quality 100% pure natural boar brushes will be among the products on display from Firstline Brands. The supplier is also showing hair accessories, including its Evolve Silky Scarves/Knot, a line that features fashion-forward prints such as wildlife, geometric, metallic, and polka dots, according to officials for the Houston-based company.

Firstline is also highlighting its Evolve NuDo Hair Extensions clip-on hair attachments and its Evolve and WavEnforcer lines designed to care for African-American hair.

World Trend

Vibrating toothbrushes and other products featuring Dora the Explorer and Olivia are among the new items from World Trend. The Pomona, Calif.-based licensor of oral care and hair brushes for children and tweens is also showcasing its holiday gift sets that include hairbrushes and accessories.

“The gift sets are a great way to grab shoppers’ a­t­tention, and they also help retailers to get a feel for specialty licensed merchandise,” says Richard Hyken, executive vice pres­ident.

Dovetailing with the Nivea brand’s 100th anniversary, Beiersdorf has reformulated its entire Nivea body wash portfolio with Hydra IQ, a moisturizing technology that lasts for more than 24 hours. The technology is also available in its two line extensions: A Touch of Cashmere and A Touch of Serenity. Created in partnership with top global fragrance, A Touch of Cashmere has an orchid blossom scent and cashmere proteins, while A Touch of Serenity has aloe essence and a hibiscus blossom scent, according to officials for the Wilton, Conn.-based company.

Besides reformulating the entire existing bodyline with the Hydra IQ technology, the company is introducing its Express Hydration Freshening Gel and Nivea Express Hydration Daily Lotion.

The company is also highlighting its Eucerin Daily + Strength Body Crème; a lightweight fortifying body cream designed to help balance the skin’s natural pH level while enhancing its defenses against external elements. The non-greasy, fast-absorbing formula strengthens the skin’s protective barrier and provides 24-hour moisturization. The launch follows last year’s introduction of Eucerin Daily Skin Balance skin-fortifying body lotion and hand cream, de­signed to enhance skin’s health and help balance its natural pH level.

“In conjunction with the product launch, the company continues to promote its ‘Skin First’ platform to elevate the importance of skin care and demonstrate the importance of skin to overall health,” explains Bill Grah­am, vice president of sales.

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