Family planning tests get passing marks


stockchecker on family planning test market


Family planning tests get passing marks

D. P. Hamacher & Associates, a division of NONSTOP Solutions Inc., provided the material for this column. The Hamacher firm is a Milwaukee-based management consulting company specializing in drugstore management tools. For further information, call Hamacher at 1-(800) 888-0889, or e-mail the company at Hamacher also has a Web site at .

The pregnancy, ovulation, and fertility test subcategory is growing tremendously. And this growth can be attributed to a new generation of women who are taking charge of their reproductive lives and postponing children. What’s more, when these women are ready to have children, they take a more organized approach. They rely on products designed to predict when they will be most likely to conceive.

Subcategory growth

Just what is the effect of this proactive attitude toward family planning? A. C. Nielsen reports that both unit and dollar sales rose over 8% in the pregnancy, ovulation, and fertility test subcategory, reaching $270 million. Pregnancy tests contributed around $200 million to that total. Drugstores control nearly 53% of these sales and continue to be the outlet of choice for this subcategory (IRI 12/31/00).

Ovulation and fertility monitoring kits

In a recent survey from, 6,700 women were asked about the methods they use to try to conceive. Nearly 12% of respondents used a basal thermometer, 12% used an ovulation predictor kit, and 2% used a fertility monitor. With the popularity of natural family planning and the wide availability of products that once could be obtained only from a doctor, more women are predicting their best time to conceive.

Ovulation predictor kits and fertility monitors target two distinct groups of women. Ovulation tests are best suited to women with regular cycles, identifying the two to three most fertile days of their cycle. Fertility monitors are much more costly but are more useful to women with irregular cycles of 21-42 days, because the monitors identify up to six days of peak fertility.

Pregnancy tests

Of 7,000 women surveyed, 54% tested two or more times before believing the positive test results. Over the past five years, the category’s technology has improved, making kits all the more attractive to consumers. Test sticks and wands have replaced urinating in a cup. Plus, results–ready in just one minute–can be obtained as early as the first day after a missed menstrual period.

Sales of private-label pregnancy tests are on the rise, and consumer confidence in private labels has grown, generating nearly 36% of the drugstore market share. Margins for branded items average 35%, while private-label margins average 50%.


In a large family planning planogram (8 ft. x 54 in.), analysts at Hamacher include 19 pregnancy tests and 10 ovulation kits, along with two basal thermometers and fertility monitors. We include the Clear Plan Easy Fertility Monitor, which retails for $199. Our best advice with this high-end item: Keep an empty box on the shelf so customers can read package information. These monitors are purchased mostly by women with irregular cycles who typically will not buy this product without a doctor’s recommendation.

Place pregnancy tests on the shelves above ovulation tests. They generate the largest portion of subcategory sales. Be sure to include at least two different private-label pregnancy tests in your mix.

Locate this department as close to the pharmacy as possible. In doing so, you let your customers know you are available for questions and respect their privacy in consulting with them.



Large dept.

Medium dept.
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Linear feet


Number of SKUs




Estimated inventory retail





Health Check One Step One Minute Preg Test 1

Health Check One Step One Minute Preg Test 2

Health Check One Step Ovulation Detection 5 Day

Health Check One Step Pregnancy Test Single

Health Check One Step Pregnancy Test Double

Health Check Ovulation Detection 6 Test Strips


Use this Never Out list to monitor your in-stock condition. The items listed account for more than 50% of the dollar sales in the Pregnancy & Ovulation Test subcategory. An out-of-stock on any of these items represents a significant loss of sales.

Answer One-Step Pregnancy Test 1

____ EPT Stick Pregnancy Test Single

____ EPT Stick Pregnancy Test Double

____ First Response 1 Step Single

____ Selfcare EPT Stick Kit Single

____ Clear Plan Easy Ovulation Test Kit

____ Clear Plan Easy Fertility Monitor




$7.99 — $10.99

Answer One-Step Ovulation Test Kit

Confirm Pregnancy Test 1

EPT Stick Pregnancy Test Single


Sandra Levy. Family planning tests get passing marks.

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