THE HBC HOTTIES OF 2001

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Hamacher names the new HBC sensations of 2001

 

SPECIAL REPORT

THE HBC HOTTIES OF 2001

Analysts at Hamacher Resource Group, a Milwaukee-based company that provides marketing services and business intelligence to the healthcare industry, reviewed 1,718 health and beauty care (HBC) items in 2001 and deemed that only 20% (338) of them were worthy of being incorporated into the planograms it prepares for its customers. That's 73 fewer than in 2000 when the HBC specialists judged that 30% (411) of 1,393 product introductions were used in planograms.

Although the experts chose fewer items for planograms in 2001, according to the company, more of the chosen items show a very high potential to succeed. In 2000, only nine of the new items were recommended for all planogram sizes. In 2001, 17 new products got the nod for large, medium, and small planograms. Out of this group, 14 have won a place on Hamacher's elite Top 1,000 HBC list. These include:

Colgate Total Whitening Toothpaste 6 oz.

Crest Whitestrips 56

Dimetapp & Allergy Elixir 4 oz., 8 oz.

Dimetapp DM Elixir 4 oz.

Gillette Venus Razor

Gillette Venus Cartridge 4

Icy Hot Extra Strength Patch 5

One Touch Ultra System

One Touch Ultra Strips 50, 100

Robitussin CF 4 oz., 8 oz.

Rogaine 3x2 oz. Men Extra Strength

Standards for planogram placement

Of more than 39,000 branded and private-label HBC items sold in the United States, Hamacher grants only about 6,500 (slightly more than 16%) a place in planograms each year. So when a new item earns a place in any planogram, its analysts are anticipating that the product will outsell almost 84% of existing HBCs.

Standards for medium and small planograms are very stringent. To be placed in most medium, or B-size, planograms, the item should rank among the top 4,000 HBCs. To be included in the smallest, C-size, planograms, items must show signs of outselling nearly 93% of current items and rank in the top 2,625 HBCs. Even more important is the product's potential within its own department. Before the analysts add an item, they must be convinced that it will outsell at least one item already in the planogram.

The chart at below shows the following:

• New items 2001: The number of items reviewed in 2001 for each department

• Items added: The number of new items added to the largest planogram of the department

• Items in department: The number of items in the Hamacher database for the department

• Number of items in planograms: The number of SKUs in the department's largest planogram

 

21 departments
New items (2001)
Items added
Items in dept.
# in largest planogram
Analgesics
18
4
1,412
367
Antacids/Laxatives
52
20
1,304
373
Baby
217
20
1,949
238
Cough and cold
97
49
2,126
570
Deodorants
75
17
658
331
Diabetic
20
7
719
112
Diet/Nutritionals
88
5
2,090
135
Elastic and sports treatment
18
1
1,709
179
Eye and ear care
3
2
762
197
Family planning
26
2
333
147
Feminine hygiene
37
3
552
226
First aid
50
16
1,444
372
Foot care
23
12
962
200
Hair care
321
45
2,921
679
Health maintenance
13
0
448
64
Incontinence
55
7
532
51
Oral hygiene
97
18
1,600
422
Shaving and men’s grooming
36
9
937
260
Skin care
269
35
4,049
534
Sun care
59
28
818
210
Vitamins
135
17
11,680
499

 

Analgesics

New items declined deeply in the analgesics category—from 45 in 2000 to 18 in 2001. Of the 18 introductions, Hamacher planogrammed only four. However, this year, look for the external analgesics subcategory to continue growing as pain-relieving patches gain popularity. And hope is riding high in 2002 as Bayer releases Bayer Aspirin plus Calcium—a low-dose aspirin regimen for women, Bristol-Myers introduces Excedrin QuickTabs, and P&G Healthcare's ThermaCare Heat Wraps enter the market.

 

Product standouts
Manufacturer
Rank in dept.

 

Antacids/Laxatives

Sales of both antacid tablets and liquids fell in 2001, thanks to direct-to-consumer advertising of Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid. Ads for these prescription antacids raised consumer awareness that heartburn, reflux, and acid indigestion can lead to serious health risks, including ulcers and cancer. The potential for OTC products lies with people who use antacids to treat occasional heartburn.

The laxative market continues to do well. Currently, Metamucil leads the way in bulk laxatives, with Dulcolax and Ex-Lax ranking No. 1 and 2 in the category. New products in 2002 should bring new users to the category. A case in point: In January 2002, Novartis released Benefiber Fiber Supplement, a taste-free, grit-free, sugar-free laxative that dissolves completely in soft foods and liquids.

 

Product standouts
Manufacturer
Rank in dept.
Pepcid Complete Chewtabs 5
McNeil Consumer
249
Pepcid Complete Chewtabs 15
McNeil Consumer
222
Pepcid Complete Chewtabs 50
McNeil Consumer
264
Citrucel Caplet 100
GlaxoSmithKline
131

 

Cough and cold

The cough and cold category rebounded this year. Top newcomers were PPA-free replacements of already existing brands. Among the 97 introductions to the category, Hamacher planogrammed 49, mostly because they were replacements. Dimetapp's Cold & Allergy Elixir and DM Elixir were two of the best new items.

 

Product standouts
Manufacturer
Rank in dept.
Halls Cough Drop Bag 30 Strawberry
Adams
68
Dimetapp Cold/Allergy Elixir 4 oz.
Whitehall-Robins
20
Dimetapp Cold/Allergy Elixir 8 oz.
Whitehall-Robins
113
Dimetapp Cold/Allergy Tablet 20
Whitehall-Robins
362
Dimetapp DM Elixir 4 oz.
Whitehall-Robins
56
Dimetapp DM Elixir 8 oz.
Whitehall-Robins
153
Tavist Allergy-Sinus-Headache Cap 24
Novartis
407
Triaminic Chest Congestion 4 oz.
Novartis
367
Triaminic Cold & Allergy 4 oz.
Novartis
329
Triaminic Cold & Cough 4 oz.
Novartis
294

 

Diabetes

Both the One Touch System and Strips made it into the Hamacher Top 1,000. The Ultra Strips 100 was named the best introduction of 2001, reaching the heady heights of No. 14 in the entire Hamacher HBC file. Look for further advancements in this category for 2002. Innovations in pain-free testing should continue as manufacturers listen to consumers' preferences.

 

Product standouts
Manufacturer
Rank in dept.
One Touch Ultra Strip 50
J&J/LifeScan
19
One Touch Ultra Strip 100
J&J/LifeScan
10
One Touch Ultra System
J&J/LifeScan
89
Accu-Chek Active Strips 50
Roche Diagnostics
128

 

Family planning

Although the family planning category introduced 25 new items, only two were planogrammed. Both performed well. Carter's Trojan brand still owns the largest share of the department and so should occupy most of your condom shelf space. The Durex brand is making strides in the category—it's a good complement to Trojans in larger departments.

 

Product standouts
Manufacturer
Rank in dept.
Trojan Extended Pleasure Lubricated 12
Carter
84
Trojan Magnum 12 lubricated X/L
Carter
88

 

Foot care

As technology changes, so does foot care. This year's introductions underscore that axiom. Of the 23 new items, eight were insoles or inserts designed for specific needs, such as arthritis or diabetes. As a category, sales dipped slightly.

 

Product standouts
Manufacturer
Rank in dept.
Scholl Clear Away Wart Remover 18 Clear
Schering-Plough
122
Scholl Heel Cup Gel Massage Large
Schering-Plough
175
Scholl Heel Cup Gel Massage Medium
Schering-Plough
157
Scholl Insole S/W Arth/Diab M
Schering-Plough
142
Scholl Insole S/W Arth/Diab W
Schering-Plough
151
Scholl Insole X-Support M
Schering-Plough
118
Scholl Insole X-Support W
Schering-Plough
162
Scholl Relief Corn Cushion 6
Schering-Plough
197
Scholl Relief Remover 6
Schering-Plough
176

 

Hair care

Hair care led all categories in introductions in 2001. Of the 321 items introduced, Hamacher planogrammed 45. Compared with last year, no significant changes occurred in the category: Manufacturers continued to position their brands as hair care systems.

 

Product standouts
Manufacturer
Rank in dept.
Herbal Essence 27 Men Burn Blend
Bristol-Myers
406
Herbal Essence 74 Men Purple Black
Bristol-Myers
414
Pantene PV Shampoo 13.5 oz. 2n1 Cl/Cl
P&G Beauty
320
Pantene PV Shampoo 13.5 oz. 2n1 SH/VL
P&G Beauty
372
Rogaine 3x2 oz. Men Extra Strength
Pharmacia
3
Salon Selectives Styling Putty
Unilever
604
Suave Shampoo 14.5 oz. Refreshing Cucumber
Unilever
515

 

Oral hygiene

The oral hygiene category always manages to get a product or two ranked in our Top 1,000, and 2001 is no exception. Newcomers Crest Whitestrips and Colgate Total Whitening Toothpaste carry the honor this year. Perfectly timed, both products entered the market just when the buzz was whiter-looking teeth. Watch for P&G Healthcare to be back on the short list next year with the introduction of Crest Toothpaste plus Scope.

 

Product standouts
Manufacturer
Rank in dept.
Colgate Total Whitening T/P 4.2 oz.
Colgate-Palmolive
104
Colgate Total Whitening T/P 6 oz.
Colgate-Palmolive
58
Colgate Total Whitening T/P 7.8 oz.
Colgate-Palmolive
113
Listerine E/C Toothpaste 3.4 oz. Tartar Gel
Warner-Lambert
352
Colgate Sensitive+Whitening T/P 4 oz.
Colgate-Palmolive
304
Crest Whitestrips 56
P&G Healthcare
31

 

Shaving and men's grooming

The Venus Razor from Gillette made this a great year for the shaving and men's grooming category. Both the razor and the four-count refill landed within Hamacher's elite Top 1,000 list. This year holds additional promise as Gillette introduces line extensions for the Venus and Mach 3 lines. Of the 36 new items, nine earned places in Hamacher planograms.

 

Product standouts
Manufacturer
Rank in dept.
Gillette Venus Cartridge 4
Gillette
10
Gillette Venus Cartridge 8
Gillette
28
Gillette Venus Razor
Gillette
13
Nivea Men Aftershave Balm 3.3 oz. Mild
Beiersdorf
202
Nivea Men Aftershave Balm 3.3 oz. Sensitive
Beiersdorf
192
Nivea Men Shave Gel 7 oz. Mild
Beiersdorf
206
Nivea Men Shave Gel 7 oz. Sensitive
Beiersdorf
168

 

Skin care

In 2000, 156 items entered the skin care category. In 2001, the number grew by 113, to reach 269. Most of the new items—101 to be exact—came from the hand and body cleansing subcategory. Within that segment, the two fastest-growing product areas, facial cleansers and fade creams, targeted each end of the buying spectrum: teens and boomers.

 

Product standouts
Manufacturer
Rank in dept.
Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Lotion 3.3 oz.
Warner-Lambert
368
Lubriderm Fragrance-Free Lotion 3.3 oz.
Warner-Lambert
424
Clean & Clear S/Control Powder .23 oz.
Johnson & Johnson
379
Zest Soap 4.5 oz. 3-Pack Aqua
P&G Beauty
436
Oil of Olay Total Effect 1.7 oz. F/F Duvp
P&G Beauty
258
Oil of Olay Total Effect Clean Treat 30 Tub
P&G Beauty
289

 

Sun care

New items in the sun care category usually drive sales for the year. In 2001, there were 59 new items, and Hamacher planogrammed 29—or almost 50%. Sport and sunless products continue to increase sales.

 

Product standouts
Manufacturer
Rank in dept.
Bullfrog Fst/Blst 4.7 oz. SPF 36
Chattem
136
Neutrogena H/DF Sunblock .47 oz. SPF 30
Neutrogena
79
Neutrogena H/DF Sunblock 4 oz. SPF 30
Neutrogena
63
Neutrogena H/DF Sunblock 4 oz. SPF 45
Neutrogena
24
Ombrelle Lotion 4 oz. SPF 40
L'Oreal
102

 

Vitamins

For the first time in years, no new stars rose in the vitamins category. In fact, it was another year of declining sales. The products producing relatively impressive numbers belong to specialty categories, such as calcium, menopause, and joint health. Of the 135 new items in the category, 17 made their way into the vitamins planogram. New forms hold the hope for the future. Look for Centrum Chewables to be a big hit in 2002.

 

Product standouts
Manufacturer
Rank in dept.
Caltrate 600 Plus Tab 120
Whitehall-Robins
253
Centrum Performance Tablet 120
Whitehall-Robins
265
Remifemin Menopause Tablets 60
GlaxoSmithKline
119
One-A-Day Active Tablet 50
Bayer Inc.
338
Osteo-Bi-Flex Regular Strength 48
Sundown Vitamins
336
Osteo-Bi-Flex Double Strength 50
Sundown Vitamins
256
Osteo-Bi-Flex Double Strength 110
Sundown Vitamins
263

 

End-of-year introductions

All signs so far point to Listerine PocketPacks as a potential star that began its rise in 2001. Released in November, this product already enjoys great distribution. Credit goes to its marketing team. In all the outlets reviewed, a dump bin of Listerine PocketPack 24-Counts sits at the pharmacy counter. Also, you can expect the Reach Power Brush to capitalize on the electric toothbrush craze—it's an inexpensive alternative to the high-priced professional brands.

Predictions for 2002

If the first two months are any indication, 2002 should be a banner year for HBC launches. So far, there have been 610. At least a couple of category stars are sure to be among them. Here are a few items to watch: Centrum Chewables from Whitehall-Robins, Benefiber from Novartis, Dexatrim Results from Chattem, Excedrin QuickTabs from Bristol-Myers, ThermaCare from P&G Health, and extensions of the Mach 3 and Venus lines from Gillette.

Making choices

Traditionally, new items with the best chance of rising quickly on the top-sellers list are those backed by strong advertising and marketing support. However, many of these items soar and then fade into obscurity or become niche items as people get past the initial "try me" stage. Staying power comes from a product's ability to keep its promises. If you're not on a planogram program, staying informed about new items can be challenging. Keep in close contact with your sales representative to make sure your store is the first to bring new items to your market.

Editor's note: The Hamacher Resource Group provided the information for this article. The Milwaukee company provides marketing services and business intelligence to the healthcare industry. Wholesalers, manufacturers, and retailers partner with Hamacher Resource Group to improve their profitability. For more information, visit www.hamacher.com.

 

THE HBC HOTTIES OF 2001. Drug Topics 2002;4:38.

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