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Acquisitions show supplement potential

Avid Health, which produces Vitafusion supplements, recently was acquired by Church & Dwight.

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Judging from the number of dietary supplement companies that are being snatched up by heavy-hitting suppliers in the over-the-counter space, the 5% uptick in supplement sales for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 12 is one trend that stands to continue. Sales across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart) for that period totaled $1.5 billion, according to SymphonyIRI Group data. 


Procter & Gamble in March acquired New Chapter, and with that now fields a comprehensive line of supplements that goes well beyond the probiotic Align and the fiber supplement Metamucil it already owned. 


“Entering the vitamins, minerals and supplements category is consistent with P&G Personal Health Care’s growth goals and long-term vision — to become the largest, most profitable, most trusted company in consumer health care,” P&G spokeswoman Liz Ming told DSN. New Chapter is a well-known brand in the specialty channel, and P&G will look to maintain that channel dominance, Ming said. But that doesn’t preclude P&G from launching entirely new brand offerings in food, drug and mass. 


And last month, Church & Dwight announced its acquisition of gummy vitamin manufacturer Avid Health, which propels C&D into the gummy vitamin space in a big way under the Vitafusion and L’il Critters banners. 


Almost 60% of all children’s vitamins are sold in the gummy format, Jim Craigie, C&D chairman and CEO, told analysts on a conference call regarding the acquisition, but only 3% of adult vitamins are in gummy format. “There’s a significant opportunity to grow gummy form in adult vitamins and continue to grow the kid gummy-vitamin business,” he said. 


Growth in adult gummy offerings is another hot trend. Pharmavite earlier this summer launched a complete line of gummies. And both Pfizer under its Centrum brand and Bayer under One-A-Day recently launched additional gummy offerings.

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