What are your convenience store best-sellers? Why?
Our best selling products remain the analgesics in both dollars and units. Sheets Energy Strips were launched this summer and sales are extremely positive with our celebrity partners such as LeBron James, Shannon Elizabeth and Pitbull having a great impact to product awareness and sales. Energy, vitamins and supplements are currently driving the growth of the category.
How has your product mix changed over the years?
There have been a few factors impacting the assortment including product recalls, heightened frequency of allergies, and products moving from prescription based to over the counter. According to Quest Diagnostics, allergy sufferers have grown 6% since 2005. Claritin is a top 5 product for us in terms of $ sales and is an example of a successful product moving to OTC.
What has captured customer interest recently in this area?
According to current IRI data, the sub-categories showing the most gains include energy, vitamins and supplements as well as sleeping remedies and lip balm. As well, IRI lists Trojan Magnum 3 ct. Condoms as one of the best performing SKUs in the entire category, currently performing +7%.
How has the growth in this category been lately?
The sales numbers within the HBC category have been explosive since NACS classified Energy and Energy Shots as a sub-segment of HBC. However, excluding the energy information, core HBC items have grown slightly and Convenience Valet® has recognized strong gains through many of our new products including Sheets Energy Strips, Emergen-C and GNC vitamins.
What are the current trends in health and beauty products?
Were regularly watching trends through IRI and wholesaler data and the Energy category has shown that it is far from being a mature category. Energy is on trend within the HBC category and new products such as energy shots and Sheets Energy Stripshave continued to support the growth of the category overall. New products such as Axe Deodorant have also been on trend.
What is the future of health and beauty products in general in convenience stores?
The future is bright for the HBC category when done well (optimizing category management including pricing, assortment and planogram, etc.) as it is the second highest GM% category in the store (second only to ice). We as manufacturers need to continue to partner with our retail customers to ensure strategies are on-target to successfully compete with the encroachment of drug store chains.