Hamacher names the new HBC sensations 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 departmentsNew items (2001)Items addedItems in dept.# in largest planogram
Cough and cold97492,126570
Elastic and sports treatment1811,709179
Eye and ear care32762197
Family planning262333147
Feminine hygiene373552226
First aid50161,444372
Foot care2312962200
Hair care321452,921679
Health maintenance13044864
Oral hygiene97181,600422
Shaving and men’s grooming369937260
Skin care269354,049534
Sun care5928818210



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 standoutsManufacturerRank in dept.



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 standoutsManufacturerRank in dept.
Pepcid Complete Chewtabs 5McNeil Consumer249
Pepcid Complete Chewtabs 15McNeil Consumer222
Pepcid Complete Chewtabs 50McNeil Consumer264
Citrucel Caplet 100GlaxoSmithKline131


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 standoutsManufacturerRank in dept.
Halls Cough Drop Bag 30 StrawberryAdams68
Dimetapp Cold/Allergy Elixir 4 oz.Whitehall-Robins20
Dimetapp Cold/Allergy Elixir 8 oz.Whitehall-Robins113
Dimetapp Cold/Allergy Tablet 20Whitehall-Robins362
Dimetapp DM Elixir 4 oz.Whitehall-Robins56
Dimetapp DM Elixir 8 oz.Whitehall-Robins153
Tavist Allergy-Sinus-Headache Cap 24Novartis407
Triaminic Chest Congestion 4 oz.Novartis367
Triaminic Cold & Allergy 4 oz.Novartis329
Triaminic Cold & Cough 4 oz.Novartis294



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 standoutsManufacturerRank in dept.
One Touch Ultra Strip 50J&J/LifeScan19
One Touch Ultra Strip 100J&J/LifeScan10
One Touch Ultra SystemJ&J/LifeScan89
Accu-Chek Active Strips 50Roche Diagnostics128


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 standoutsManufacturerRank in dept.
Trojan Extended Pleasure Lubricated 12Carter84
Trojan Magnum 12 lubricated X/LCarter88


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 standoutsManufacturerRank in dept.
Scholl Clear Away Wart Remover 18 ClearSchering-Plough122
Scholl Heel Cup Gel Massage LargeSchering-Plough175
Scholl Heel Cup Gel Massage MediumSchering-Plough157
Scholl Insole S/W Arth/Diab MSchering-Plough142
Scholl Insole S/W Arth/Diab WSchering-Plough151
Scholl Insole X-Support MSchering-Plough118
Scholl Insole X-Support WSchering-Plough162
Scholl Relief Corn Cushion 6Schering-Plough197
Scholl Relief Remover 6Schering-Plough176


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 standoutsManufacturerRank in dept.
Herbal Essence 27 Men Burn BlendBristol-Myers406
Herbal Essence 74 Men Purple BlackBristol-Myers414
Pantene PV Shampoo 13.5 oz. 2n1 Cl/ClP&G Beauty320
Pantene PV Shampoo 13.5 oz. 2n1 SH/VLP&G Beauty372
Rogaine 3x2 oz. Men Extra StrengthPharmacia3
Salon Selectives Styling PuttyUnilever604
Suave Shampoo 14.5 oz. Refreshing CucumberUnilever515


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 standoutsManufacturerRank in dept.
Colgate Total Whitening T/P 4.2 oz.Colgate-Palmolive104
Colgate Total Whitening T/P 6 oz.Colgate-Palmolive58
Colgate Total Whitening T/P 7.8 oz.Colgate-Palmolive113
Listerine E/C Toothpaste 3.4 oz. Tartar GelWarner-Lambert352
Colgate Sensitive+Whitening T/P 4 oz.Colgate-Palmolive304
Crest Whitestrips 56P&G Healthcare31


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 standoutsManufacturerRank in dept.
Gillette Venus Cartridge 4Gillette10
Gillette Venus Cartridge 8Gillette28
Gillette Venus RazorGillette13
Nivea Men Aftershave Balm 3.3 oz. MildBeiersdorf202
Nivea Men Aftershave Balm 3.3 oz. SensitiveBeiersdorf192
Nivea Men Shave Gel 7 oz. MildBeiersdorf206
Nivea Men Shave Gel 7 oz. SensitiveBeiersdorf168


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 standoutsManufacturerRank in dept.
Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Lotion 3.3 oz.Warner-Lambert368
Lubriderm Fragrance-Free Lotion 3.3 oz.Warner-Lambert424
Clean & Clear S/Control Powder .23 oz.Johnson & Johnson379
Zest Soap 4.5 oz. 3-Pack AquaP&G Beauty436
Oil of Olay Total Effect 1.7 oz. F/F DuvpP&G Beauty258
Oil of Olay Total Effect Clean Treat 30 TubP&G Beauty289


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 standoutsManufacturerRank in dept.
Bullfrog Fst/Blst 4.7 oz. SPF 36Chattem136
Neutrogena H/DF Sunblock .47 oz. SPF 30Neutrogena79
Neutrogena H/DF Sunblock 4 oz. SPF 30Neutrogena63
Neutrogena H/DF Sunblock 4 oz. SPF 45Neutrogena24
Ombrelle Lotion 4 oz. SPF 40L'Oreal102



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 standoutsManufacturerRank in dept.
Caltrate 600 Plus Tab 120Whitehall-Robins253
Centrum Performance Tablet 120Whitehall-Robins265
Remifemin Menopause Tablets 60GlaxoSmithKline119
One-A-Day Active Tablet 50Bayer Inc.338
Osteo-Bi-Flex Regular Strength 48Sundown Vitamins336
Osteo-Bi-Flex Double Strength 50Sundown Vitamins256
Osteo-Bi-Flex Double Strength 110Sundown Vitamins263


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


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