Face-to-face with HBW
By Molly Zimnoch
The game changers and decision makers of the health, beauty and wellness categories will gather in Orlando this month for the 2014 GMDC Health Beauty Wellness Marketing Conference. The Orlando World Marriott Center in Orlando, Fla. will play host to some 9,000 meetings between retailers, wholesalers and suppliers during the 2014 GMDC Health Beauty Wellness Marketing Conference, taking place May 29 – June 2. Hosted by the Global Market Development Center (GMDC), based in Colorado Springs, Colo., the conference brings together the decision makers and game changers of this lucrative industry. The main feature of the conference is the Senior Executive and Controlled Casual meetings. The Senior Executive Conferences (SECs) are prescheduled 40-minute meetings that give participants the opportunity to discuss key issues and opportunities for trade partners to grow their mutual business across the entire store. Category management, merchandising, center store and marketing departments are represented on the behalf of retailers and wholesalers. Supplier and solution departments may include shopper marketing, sales, operations, research and product development teams. Telepresence via GMDC Connect is also available during SECs to extend the reach and incorporate the participation of member executives at company headquarters. The conference’s Controlled Casual Conferences (CCCs) are pre-scheduled, executive-level meetings designed to focus on new opportunities including; new product presentations; business and category reviews; and collaborative business-building discussions. Lasting anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, these high-energy meetings have the ability to bring together retailers, wholesalers, supplier and service member companies, say GMDC officials. GMDC has also arranged for a series of educational sessions and workshops featuring consumer and business insights focused on building the health, beauty and wellness categories. One session will feature Todd Hale, senior vice president at Nielsen, and Maryellen Molyneaux, president of the Natural Marketing Institute. Hale and Molyneaux will be addressing “2014 Game Changers in Health, Beauty and Wellness.” “Their partnership is fairly new so this will be a good opportunity for them to present what’s going on in health, beauty and wellness from two unique standpoints across key trends, especially sustainability since that’s a growing concern among health and wellness consumers,” says Keith Wypyszynski, vice president of business development and chief member officer for GMDC. “This session will identify macro-trends affecting retailers, while addressing health and sustainability platforms that they can utilize in their marketing and merchandising strategies at the store level.” Before stepping foot in Orlando, retailers are exposed to nearly 80 new items from GMDC suppliers via the conference-sponsored preview box. “It’s a really unique element to this conference and one we are excited to contribute to,” says Karen Page, national sales manager for Penn Herb Co. “Retailers can touch, taste, smell and see the product before they step into a single meeting. They can share it with their colleagues, friends and family, gathering opinions and questions for the conference.” Based on the contents of the preview box, retailers have the opportunity to then schedule a meeting with that supplier if they had not done so already. “One retailer can meet with approximately 140 companies throughout the conference,” says Wypyszynski. “Even though a large majority of those meetings are prescheduled, retailers leave about 20% of their time open for companies and products that spark their interest at the conference.” Below are advanced “meetings” for just a few of the companies attending. Diva International For Diva International, the Kitchener, Ont., Canada-based manufacturer of The Diva Cup, 2014 is all about “Switch to the Diva Cup.” Currently being introduced across the U.S., the manufacturer has created a 30-second television commercial to entice feminine hygiene consumers to make this change. They will be bringing that same message to the 2014 GMDC Health Beauty Wellness Marketing Conference. “The time has come for women all over the U.S. to switch to The Diva Cup and get away from tampons and pads forever by moving to this new, better alternative,” says John Szustaczek, director of sales and marketing. Made of medical-grade silicone, The Diva Cup offers women easy-to-use, convenient, comfortable leak-free protection for up to 12 hours at a time. Rather than utilizing single use feminine hygiene products, The Diva Cup appeals to the conscious consumer because of its reusable nature. That can also be very appealing to retailers, Szustaczek adds. “The traditional spend for competing products is spread out amongst many channels and retailers. Women typically buy these products on sale, and according to IRI, this category is on sale 50% of the time,” he says. “When consumers buy The Diva Cup at a single grocer, they capture that consumer’s fem-hy dollars for an entire year. That retailer’s sales, profits and dollars are all growing and they’re capturing that consumer’s loyalty.” Hyland’s Every retailer carries the basic cough, cold and flu remedies, but many consumers are looking for a more personalized approach to their family’s healthcare needs. That is why Los Angeles-based Hyland’s has created four new products to address specific, niche symptoms with natural remedies that are safe for the whole family. Hyland’s new Hyland’s Baby Nighttime Tiny Cold Syrup, Hyland’s 4 Kids Cold ‘n Mucus and Hyland’s DEFEND Cold & Mucus products were designed to address mucus-based colds, coughs and flus. “These are very specific solutions that both consumers and retailers aren’t used to seeing on OTC shelves,” says Mary C. Borneman, senior director of communications and public affairs. “Even though many retailer’s first instinct is to group natural products together, the consumer is often shopping by symptom,” says Borneman. She advises retailers to incorporate Hyland’s new symptom-specific products amongst their conventional counterparts. Hyland’s sales team will be discussing this matter and much more, Borneman adds. “We are really looking forward to returning to GMDC’s HBW conference. At the end of the day, it’s very easy for us to get caught up in this tech-centric world, but having face-to-face time with our business partners is an invaluable opportunity. It creates and fosters a better relationship between retailer and supplier.” Mason Vitamins Along with a commitment to producing high-quality, new and unique trending SKUs in the vitamins and supplements category, Mason Vitamins officials say they are on a mission to educate consumers and retailers about the value of the in-store pharmacy. “It’s difficult to get this done with most retailers,” says Gary Pigott, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Miami Lakes, Fla.-based company. “The key is understanding the value of the pharmacy technician.” During SECs and CCCs, Pigott will be encouraging retailers to make use of this valuable resource that they already have in-store. He says that by utilizing pharmacists as communicators of healthcare trends and standards, retailers can earn consumer’s trust and loyalty as their partner in healthcare. “For example, a pharmacist will fill a doctor’s prescription, but it might not work for that particular consumer. They will then return to the pharmacy where the technician has the knowledge and opportunity to direct them to an OTC alternative, like Mason Vitamins,” says Pigott. “They have the opportunity and the traffic already. Consumers see the pharmacy staff as healthcare professionals and trust their knowledge and expertise.” Modular Thermal Technologies The maker of Cryo-Max 8-Hour Cold Packs are excited to introduce redesigned packaging to retailers at this year’s conference. Modular Thermal Technologies has reduced its packaging footprint by 50%, allowing retailers to stock more of its product and possibly add additional SKUs. “It was actually a retailer who suggested this change and we’ve gotten some very positive feedback since its implementation—as well as orders,” says Art Pirrone, vice president of sales and manufacturing for the North Kingstown, R.I.-based company. He says Cryo-Max’s medium-size cold pack is the brand’s most popular item, with distribution in 38,000 stores. The 6-inch-by-12-inch cold pack is compatible for use on the back, knee, shoulder, neck and more. In an effort to increase distribution and sell supermarket retailers on its brand, Cryo-Max has created a smaller, 6-inch-by-6-inch cold pack. “The great thing about this new size is that it does not cannibalize sales of the medium or large varieties,” Pirrone says. The smaller version is designed for the foot, hand or face and to be used by small children. Modular Thermal heads to the HBW conference to discuss strategies to grow the line with retailers, whether it is with new product, secondary placement within the store or promotional opportunities. “This show has a unique emphasis on grocery retail, and that is of great value to us because that’s where we see the greatest potential for growth of the Cryo-Max brand,” Pirrone says. MZB Personal Care With a decade of experience in developing bath products for kids, MZB Personal Care officials are confident that they have the ability to help any retailer build their everyday assortment, promotional and seasonal business in the category. With access to today’s top entertainment licenses, the Long Island City, N.Y.-based company will be showcasing its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-themed three-in-one body wash, shampoo and conditioner. “The 14-ounce body wash comes in four different custom-made Turtle-inspired bottles. Each features its own fun-scented, kid-approved fragrance,” says Amy Alperin, senior vice president. MZB has created a floor-ready display featuring 28 bottles. Its shipment is scheduled to tie into the theatrical release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on August 8. The manufacturer also hopes to entice retailers with its unique Crayola bath activity line during their Senior Executive and Controlled Casual Conferences. The innovative line includes bathtub crayons, markers and soap paints along with bathtub color tints. Penn Herb Co. The exclusive U.S. importer of Olbas Oil products, Penn Herb Co., has big plans to bring its Olbas Inhaler to the HBW conference and then consumers. The Philadelphia, Pa.-based company has created two new merchandising displays for the Olbas Inhaler, its core product. Now available in a 12-count vertical-stand display and a clip strip configuration, the Olbas Inhaler can be placed anywhere throughout the store, at anytime, say company officials. “The Olbas Inhaler is a great product for the natural HBW space and a perfect entry-point for any retailer or consumer,” says Karen Page, national sales manager. “We’ve even decided to place these two new configurations in the GMDC preview box so retailers can see what great merchandising tools they are before our meetings.” As spring allergies take full affect, the Olbas Inhaler can be used to clear nasal and bronchial passages with its four essential oils, says Page. The all-natural brand includes pastilles, lozenges, honey-based cough syrup, an analgesic salve and herbal tea, all inspired by the Swiss methods behind Olbas Oil.