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New at the Healthy Living Show

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Healthy living has many aspects – food, personal care and environment — and all of it was on display at today’s Healthy Living Media Event held in midtown Manhattan.

More than 50 exhibitors were present. Vendors like Truvia, Seventh Generation, The Natural Dentist and Campbell’s (sampling low-sodium soups and new antioxidant-infused varieties of its V-Fusion juice line), are well-known to the supermarket channel.

Many products designed for the home — Whirlpool, Honeywell, Bissell, Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart, Philips and Moen, among others — are also players in the mass channel and supply retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and Meijer.

aspirinpod.jpgThen, there were the new products, which are ideal for this type of show, because the new companies can stand out with a higher profile in a smaller venue. That’s how we came across Patti Frenette, inventor of the Aspirinpod (pictured), an anatomical-shaped heart “locket” that holds one regular or several baby aspirin to be used for heart attack victims. The lockets (“Keep Survival Within Reach!”) are just coming to market now.

There was also the NightWave Sleep Assistant, a portable fixture that shines a rhythmic, pulsating light onto the ceiling of your bedroom (“How It Works: 1. Light gently ebbs and flows; 2. Inhale/exhale with the light; 3. Light slows down; 4. You relax deeper and deeper. The next thing you know it’s morning!”). Tabletop and travel versions are currently being tested at Bed, Bath & Beyond stores.

There was even a small, independent botanicals company from Dearborn Heights, Mich., called Holistic Healer & Wellness, makers of essential oils, herbal remedies and related goods (even their press kit smells great).

Perhaps the one theme that ran among several exhibitors, though, involved feminine care and comfort. There were chlorine-free, organic cotton tampons from Seventh Generation, Zestra, a product containing “essential arousal oils” and GoGirl, an FUD, or female urination device, that allows women to urinate standing up (“You won’t be like a man. You’ll just pee like one.”) GoGirl is reusable and is made of surgery-grade silicon.

I mention these products not for the shock factor, but because they are products that can find a home in today's wellness-oriented supermarkets. For example, Patti and I talked about how retailers might be able to get a local health care provider to underwrite the cost of her new Aspirinpods so stores can distribute them free or at reduced prices during National Heart Month in February, or during health fairs or screenings.

Or, put a facing of Nightwaves next to the other sleep aids. After all, the sleep deprivation market is huge. A poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that 20% of respondents average less than 6 hours of sleep daily. That’s a market plenty big enough to support alternative therapies and, for stores already in the business of selling prescription medication and OTC sleep promoters, NightWaves is the kind of product likely to catch the eye of even the sleepiest shopper.

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