NACDS Marketplace heads to the ‘Mile High City’

All the hottest nonfoods products and trends will be featured under one roof in Colorado later this month.

This is a year of firsts and lasts for the NACDS Marketplace. For starters, it will be the first time the conference, which runs from June 23-26, is being held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. NACDS officials are looking forward to having the show here, noting that the location is expected to attract buyers and exhibitors from both coasts.

“The ability to maximize resources, multiply ROI and meet with a number of people in a short span of time in one convenient format is what everyone is looking for these days,” says Jim Whitman, senior vice president, member programs and services for NACDS.

It is also the show’s last year in its current format, as some significant changes were announced for next year. Beginning in 2013, the Marketplace Conference will be merged with the Pharmacy and Technology Conference and the Supply Chain & Logistics Conference. The new event, the NACDS Total Store Expo, debuts Aug. 10-13, 2013, at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.

According to Whitman, this new iteration will better reflect how business is being conducted today to drive efficiencies across the supply chain. “It will also help attendees to better define and develop unified sales strategies, not just 12 months out, but 24 or 36 months out,” he says.

As for this year’s show, the Meet the Market program is back by popular demand. This program enables exhibitors to present their company and products to retailers through a series of NACDS-arranged 10-minute appointments that take place the day before the exhibit hall opens.

The show also features a Product Showcase, giving exhibitors the opportunity to get their products in front of retailers. These products will be featured on the exhibit floor and on the NACDS Marketplace website.

“NACDS Marketplace is always a very busy and productive show for us,” says Art Pirrone, vice president of sales and marketing for Modular Thermal Technologies, based in North Kingstown, R.I.

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

Energizer

Today’s society is a mobile one and the need for charging our personal electronic devices is never ending. To address this, Energizer is introducing a number of new solutions for charging USB-powered devices such as smartphones, MP3 players and Apple products at NACDS Marketplace. Available in two power supply options, 5 Watts and 10 Watts, the chargers can turn any AC or DC power outlet into a charging station. According to company officials, each of the chargers will operate with either existing USB cables or the new Energizer USB Cables.

“Consumers rely heavily on their smartphones, MP3 players, iPods, iPhones and iPads and we responded by expanding our offerings,” says Lou Martire, vice president of trade development for St. Louis-based Energizer.

The new products were a result of Energizer’s research aimed at understanding how consumers use their devices and accessories. “For example, the new Premium 5W USB Chargers for car and wall have cable management features to reduce clutter,” he says. “A FindMe Light on the car charger helps consumers locate the charger in their car and a wall charger with a battery status indicator light lets them know when their devices are done charging.”

Procter & Gamble
The ability to fall asleep and stay asleep is taken for granted by many, but increasingly this issue is affecting a growing number of people, especially those over the age of 30. To address this need, Procter & Gamble is introducing Vicks ZzzQuil LiquiCaps. According to Steve Sholtes, industry affairs manager for the Cincinnati-based company, this marks Vicks’ first entry into the sleep aid category.

“ZzzQuil enables the consumer to fall asleep, sleep soundly and wake up feeling refreshed,” says Sholtes. As he explains, ZzzQuil will build on Nyquil’s strong heritage of “best sleep with a cold” and speak directly to consumers who want a trusted brand that solely addresses sleep issues. “This new initiative gives retailers the opportunity to capitalize on the ZzzQuil launch and revitalize the sleep category,” he says.

American Greetings
This may be the age of digital communications, but as officials at American Greetings so aptly note, consumers still rely on the greeting card aisle to help them connect with people in a creative, authentic and meaningful way.

Among the new collections are the hilariously original Mustache Party, the adorable personalities of Sweet Stuff, and a line of cards that puts funny at your fingertips with Hot Buttons, say company officials. Mustache Party features catchy songs, mustache-powered motion and a free companion app for iPhone and iPad users. Sweet Stuff features adorable felt character magnets paired with popular songs. Hot Buttons feature a large push button that delivers one of five funny audio clips each time it is pressed.

“Our latest inventions leverage the freshest ideas and the most in-depth consumer insights in the industry to deliver greetings that offer a truly unique experience,” says Steve Laserson, vice president of greeting cards for the Cleveland-based company.

Wahl Clipper Corp.
Known for its quality grooming products, Wahl Clipper Corp. is changing course a bit at the show. In addition to highlighting its clippers, the company will also be featuring its line of pain management therapy products. Wahl’s Hot & Cold Therapy Massager is the latest in hand-held massage. This advanced pain management solution combines soothing massage with temperature therapy, say officials for the Sterling, Ill.-based company. Heat can be added to increase circulation or it can be used cold to help reduce swelling and inflammation.

Wahl also has a Deluxe Heat Therapy Massager, a lightweight, ergonomic massager featuring nine interchangeable heads and variable speeds. Third is Wahl’s Deep Tissue Therapeutic Massager, a percussion massager ideal for those with active lifestyles as it offers targeted or all-around deep muscle relief.

Since the line launched last year, sales in the declining category turned around significantly, say company officials. “We saw this as an opportunity to revitalize the category and appeal to a whole new market of consumers—those who lead active lifestyles looking for pain relief,” says Bruce Kramer, vice president of North America consumer sales and marketing for Wahl. “To set our new massagers apart, we convinced key retailers to test these products in the pain management section of their stores. The results were immediate.”

Modular Thermal Technologies
If there is one thing officials at Modular Technologies know about, it is pain relief. The company has created a revolutionary cold pack designed to deliver therapy for up to eight hours. Cryo-Max Cold Packs come with a support wrap, which helps to absorb condensation and givers users the freedom to move around while they are applying the relief. The reusable cold packs are available in small, medium and large sizes.

According to Art Pirrone, vice president of sales and marketing for the North Kingstown, R.I.-based company, most ice packs on the market today are gel-based, prone to dripping and leaking and have a short window in which they are effective. “Cryo-Max features a patented module matrix design which allows it to stay flexible and comfortable when frozen,” he says. “Whether for the knee, back, shoulder, head, etc., its design not only provides targeted relief, it maintains the doctor-recommended temperature range of 36 to 40 degrees for up to 8 hours.”

Dr. Fresh
It may have gained popularity as a downloadable game, but the Angry Bird license has also been lent to plush toys, a feature film, theme park—and now oral care. Later this year, Dr. Fresh will be premiering FireFly Angry Birds Squirt ‘N Brush Tooth Foam, the first in a series of licensed Angry Birds oral care products from the company. According to officials, the Squirt ‘N Brush Tooth Foam with fluoride creates a new genre within the toothpaste category—one that promises to change the way children in particular view the task of brushing.

Unlike traditional toothpaste that is applied to a toothbrush, the foam is designed to be squirted directly into the mouth and its light foamy formula can easily penetrate hard-to-reach spots, say company officials. “Dr. Fresh is excited to offer a complete line of oral care products with the Angry Birds license,” says Barry Goodridge, vice president of sales for the Buena Park, Calif.-based company. In addition to the tooth foam, Goodridge says the company will also be introducing other Angry Bird products including travel kits, manual toothbrushes and power toothbrushes.

Select-A-Vision
Select-A-Vision, known for its quality eyewear, originality and dependable in-store service, is introducing Dog Bone Readers at NACDS Marketplace. Perfect for the mature pet-lover, each frame comes with matching proprietary registered dog Bone-shaped case, say company officials. Dog Bone Readers are intended exclusively to be cross-merchandised in the pet category. Available with eye-catching display graphics, Dog Bone Reader power wings and aisle intruders will surely capture the attention of pet lovers, company officials note.

“Our strategy since starting the company in 1986 has been simple—give the consumer options,” says Steve Liebers, president of the Collegeville, Pa.-based company. According to Liebers, the pet category is exploding with opportunity as more shoppers seek out interesting products that best identify their pet relationships.

Similasan USA
As many parents can attest, eye allergies are common occurrences with children, especially at the change of seasons. Often accompanied by coughing, sneezing and itchy throats and eyes, eye allergies can also cause severe eye itching, redness, watering and even burning.

With that in mind, Similasan USA, makers of a broad line of homeopathic products, will be highlighting their Kids Allergy Eye Relief product at the show. Made with 100% natural active ingredients, Kids Allergy Eye Relief stimulates the body’s natural ability to relieve symptoms such as redness, burning, dryness, stinging, grittiness and watering due to environmental pollutants and exposure to wind and sun, say company officials.

“Extending our children’s line to include Kids Irritated Eye Relief and Kids Allergy Eye Relief adds to our commitment of finding safe and effective solutions for all ages,” says Dan Quail, vice president of sales for the Highlands Ranch, Colo.-based company.

Hisamitsu America
Consumers are increasingly turning to topical pain relievers for two simple reasons—they offers relief without having to be concerned about drug-to-drug interactions or stomach upset that can accompany oral analgesics.

To meet these demands, Florham Park, N.J.-based Hisamitsu America has expanding its line of pain patches to include Salonpas Pain Relieving Gel-Patch Hot. The new patch features capsaicin and menthol in a soothing cloth patch that is ideal for minor aches and pain relief in the shoulder, upper back and lower back. Unlike an oral medication, the active ingredients in Salonpas Patch are absorbed through the skin and go directly to the pain site.

According to CEO John Incledon, when capsaicin is used on the skin topically it helps relieve pain by first stimulating and then diminishing the intensity of pain signals. “We employed our most update water-based gel technology in a menthol/capsaicin formulation to create Salonpas Gel-Patch Hot,” says Incledon. “The product soothes on contact and then provides waves of deep penetrating heat.”

Unilever
Unilever will be debuting its Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy brand. The line consists of Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy, a line of six shampoos and five conditioners to meet a variety of hair and scalp needs; Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy Ultra Shea, nourishing treatments, shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated to meet the needs of African American women; and Clear Men Scalp Therapy, a new generation of 2-in-1 shampoo plus conditioners and shampoos designed specifically for men and clinically proven to stop dandruff.

Officials at Unilever say the breakthrough approach was created to help women and men think differently about hair care and to generate awareness that a well-nourished scalp is the right foundation for strong, beautiful hair. “Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy is a new approach to hair care that starts with scalp nourishment and creates the right foundation for strong, beautiful hair for women and dandruff-free hair for men,” says David Rubin, U.S. haircare marketing director for the Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based company.

Mueller Sports Medicine
Mueller Sports Medicine has designed a support that stays comfortable through extended wear. Mueller’s 4-Way Stretch Elastics feature a unique stretch design for superior comfort without pinching, binding or bunching, say officials for the Prairie du Sac, Wis.-based company.

The circular weaving produces targeted 360-degree compression and its contoured knit design offers a superior fit, say company officials. It is antimicrobial and its new, longer design helps to ensure a snug fit. It is available in configurations for knees, elbows and ankles.

“There was clearly a void in the category,” says Herb Raschka, senior vice president, noting that opening price point elastic supports often fit poorly and were uncomfortable. “As the name implies, our product stretches four separate ways, twice as much as traditional supports which means our products fit more customers and provide all-day support for all active life styles,” he says.

King Bio
The increase in the number of people diagnosed with asthma has fueled demand for natural options that can help relieve mild symptoms associated with the disease. In response, King Bio offers AsthmaCare.

Officials at King Bio note that AsthmaCare, which is sold under its Safecare label, addresses two needs. It helps retailers fill some of the void left by the recall of Primatene Mist inhalers which were pulled from shelves last year due to their ozone-damaging CFCs and even more importantly, it helps fill consumers’ desire for natural, safe and affordable OTC products. AsthmaCare is intended to complement, not replace, standard medical care for mild symptoms of asthma.

“AsthmaCare is unique because it is delivered as an oral spray mist in a taste-free, pure water base,” says Dr. Frank J. King, Jr., founder of King Bio. “Everyone appreciates this dosage system, since taking a dose looks similar to using a spray breath freshener. Children who don’t want to be labeled as different by their peers when taking medicine are especially appreciative of this.”

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