The preliminary findings of the American Greetings Research Council's research on the marketing of vitamins have been released. Here are some of the findings:
Several retailers across channels are using fixtures and brochures to educate consumers.
Supermarkets with pharmacies sell a lot more vitamins than those without pharmacies.
Sales of mineral supplements for the same period were almost $514 million, while sales in a second category (which included homeopathic remedies and other items normally sold in the vitamin section) were about $581 million.
The council data also showed that the average space devoted to vitamins in the supermarkets it looked at, Bashas' and Albertson's, was 14 feet and 32 feet, respectively. Bashas' carried 289 stockkeeping units, while Albertson's had 547 SKUs.
The American Greetings Research Council began its six-month in-store test of how best to promote vitamins in early 1996. Different merchandising techniques were used to attempt to change customers' ideas about vitamins and nutritional supplements, said Ken Luzney, the nonfood merchandiser for Martin's Super Markets, headquartered in South Bend, Ind., one of the stores that took part in the test. The test was run in six of Martin's 14 stores.
As a result of the research test, Martin's has made some changes. "We've changed the sets to run linear across the shelves; we've added dividers and category signs and informational point-of-sale material," Luzney said. He added Martin's also increased advertising and off-shelf displays.
"We've had a very good response to what we're trying to do. We are going to roll this out in all of the stores and expand this into other categories," Luzney said.
According to Sara Eames, spokeswoman for American Greetings, the final report on the studies done at store level will be revealed at the Food Marketing Institute's annual show next May.