Some retailers interviewed by SN complained that it has been a rather lackluster year as far as new products into the health and beauty care category.
tegories such as cough and cold. "[HBC] is a crazy area and there is a lot going on. But it depends on where you look," said Vierhile.
Here are some thoughts on the subject from retailers and wholesalers.
Ronnie Williams, vice president of Millbrook Distribution Services, Leicester, Mass., counts those products distinguished by technology as those to watch.
"There have been some significant introductions," he said. The hair-color category "seems to be rather exciting right now. It is getting a lot of exposure in the media and our sales have grown significantly. Some supermarkets have expanded space for it." New entrants include Clairol's Hydrience, Belle Color and Revlon's ColorStay, he said.
In other product areas, he said, P&G is coming out with a new sheer solid deodorant product; and the St. Ives and Willow Lake brands are doing extremely well with their botanical shampoos.
Additionally, smoking cessation products and minoxidil items are continuing to do well. Williams also expects wellness and health care products to continue to grow in popularity. "Scottie Pippin is promoting Ginsana and Joe Montana is promoting Endurox," he said.
"A lot of these products are targeted to young and middle-aged audiences to help them stay healthy." Cholesterol reduction products and zinc lozenges are also proving to be good sellers, he noted.
"These products will help increase HBC sales overall because these are sales made by people who are not really using anything else right now. Maybe they are taking a vitamin supplement, that's all," said Williams. "And these are products to enhance their health and vitality. As the population gets older, I think we will see this continue to grow."
Doug Moen, category manager of health and beauty aids, for Buttrey Food & Drug Stores Co., Great Falls, Mont., said that at his stores, "nutrition is extremely important to people right now" and he also expects the vitamin category to continue to do well. And laxatives, he said, is another category that has added new, important items.
And Gary Evey, a spokesman for Spartan Stores, Grand Rapids, Mich., believes the launch of Clairol's Daily Defense will be a winner, and will complement the strong performance of Clairol's Herbal Essence shampoo/conditioner line, which has done well in the last year.
In sun-related products, there is growth in many areas, said Vierhile. He cited new combination insect repellent and sun protection products, and a new children's lotion called Coppertone Kids Color Block, that goes on purple to ensure you are covering all exposed skin and when rubbed in, fades away.
Other innovative new HBC items that have caught Vierhile's attention, include:
Just Five hair color by the Combe Co., which blends away gray hair in only five minutes; Aussie Duplex Conditioner Plus Styler in One, it's applied as a conditioner, and left on to dry turns into a styling agent; Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer, a germ-killing liquid that doesn't require soap or water; Gillette Satin Care Three, a body wash that cleanses, moisturizes and serves as a shave formulation; Dr. Brown's Home Drug Testing System, for parents to test their children for narcotics use; Hawaiian Tropic Clear Sense, an oil-free sun care product with benzoil peroxide to fight acne; and 3M Clean Seals Bandages, designed to block out water, dirt and germs from the wound.