NACDS is pivoting.
The trade association, officially known as the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, has gone virtual with its annual show. NACDS Annual Virtual will take place from April 26 to 28 and will feature presentations by association leadership, top-level meetings, member recognition and other programs.
As always, opportunities for manufacturers and retailers to participate in Strategic Exchange meetings will exist. Those will be virtual this year, but otherwise similar to previous years’ meetings. “Retailers and suppliers can contact each other, work on an agenda, set up a date and time, and confirm everything,” said Jim Whitman, senior vice president of member programs and services at the Arlington, Va.-based trade association. “We’re trying to make it the same as in person, and obviously meet over electronic format.”
Participants can use Microsoft Teams, Webex or Zoom, as NACDS is not requiring them to use a specific platform. By now retailers and suppliers are used to the technology, so the experience should be seamless and easy. “We’re looking forward to everyone participating,” Whitman said. “The response has been gratifying, not only for the appointment process but for the great business program that’s being provided to all attendees.”
Here are some of the participating companies and the hot new products they plan to present:
Generic prescription medications play a crucial role in health care as they increase access to it. Amneal Pharmaceuticals recently announced it had received Abbreviated New Drug Application approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for 150 mcg/day norelgestromin and 35 mcg/day ethinyl estradiol transdermal system. Also, Amneal received a competitive generic therapy designation from the FDA and was granted 180 days of exclusivity for the generic version of the contraceptive Ortho Evra, which will be marketed under the proprietary name Zafemy.
As the Bridgewater, N.J.-based company’s fifth transdermal product approval, Zafemy provides an alternative to the one equivalent product, Xulane, which is manufactured by Mylan and had U.S. annual sales of approximately $332 million for the 12 months ended December 2020. Xulane is the reference drug, as Ortho Evra was discontinued.
Amneal also announced that it received approval of an additional strength of 500 mg to its ANDA from the FDA for abiraterone acetate tablets. This ANDA is approved for its use in combination with prednisone. Abiraterone acetate tablets are the generic version of Zytiga for treatment of metastatic prostate cancer. U.S. annual sales of the 500-mg dosage strength tablets for the 12 months ended November 2020 were approximately $413 million.
The company also will present emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate tablets, AB-rated generic for Truvada, which is used with other HIV medications to help control HIV infection.
Bausch + Lomb
Bausch + Lomb recently announced the U.S. launch of Alaway Preservative Free antihistamine eye drops, the first and only FDA-approved over-the-counter preservative-free antihistamine eye itch relief drop. The Bridgewater, N.J.-based eye health business said that 80% of people with eye allergies experience itchy eyes as one of the symptoms. The product, available in time for allergy season, provides consumers with a new OTC prescription-strength formula option that provides fast, lasting eye itch relief. The new option has less risk of irritation associated with preservatives to help relieve eye itch symptoms.
Alaway Preservative Free is formulated to block the release of histamines and reduce allergic inflammation. Alaway provides relief within minutes and lasts up to 12 hours with one dose.
The Bountiful Company
Formerly Nature’s Bounty, The Bountiful Company offers wellness brands and products. The Ronkonkoma, N.Y.-based company’s brands include Nature’s Bounty, Solgar, Pure Protein, Osteo Bi-Flex, Puritan’s Pride, Sundown, Body Fortress, MET-Rx, Ester-C and others.
The Bountiful Company’s recent focus has been on immunity, sleep and brain health. Nature’s Bounty Immune 24 Hour+ is a non-GMO product meant to provide 24-hour immune support with ester-C. This clinically studied ingredient also works to help support upper respiratory health. The softgels include vitamin D and zinc for added immune plus antioxidant support, as well as herbal ingredients like elderberry and echinacea.
Nature’s Bounty Sleep3+ Stress Support is a maximum strength tri-layer sleep and stress aid. Using innovative time-release technology, each layer is dissolved at different times throughout the night to help one relax, de-stress and get long-lasting sleep, while ashwagandha helps support a healthy response to occasional stress and anxiety.
The brain platform has three new products: Nature’s Bounty Brain, Nature’s Bounty Brain Superfood and Nature’s Bounty Brain Focus. Also new are Nature’s Bounty Optimal Solutions Advanced Hair, Skin & Nails Jelly Beans with biotin, keratin, and vitamins A, C and E, as well as Nature’s Bounty Stress Comfort Fast Acting Calm dissolving tablets in Watermelon Chili flavor Coolmelts.
Cardinal Health, an integrated healthcare services and products company, has developed three new solutions.
The enhanced Connect+ platform will provide pharmacies a single solution for digital patient engagement, clinical care, workflow management and finances. The convenient, user-friendly Connect+ platform will help pharmacies reach patients through their preferred method of communication, send them medication reminders and offer telepharmacy services where permitted. “Pharmacists are among the most trusted and accessible healthcare providers for many communities,” said Victor Crawford, Cardinal Health’s pharmaceutical segment CEO. “With the right technology solutions, they can play a valuable role in optimizing medication therapy for their patients, which will result in better overall outcomes.”
Also new is MyScheduling, which allows pharmacies to set up multiple appointment types, schedule appointments, send reminders and view their pharmacy calendar. The scheduling tool, developed to help manage COVID-19 vaccine demand, can help pharmacies manage their administrative workload as patients can schedule, change or cancel their own appointments without calling the pharmacy. The HIPAA-compliant tool can help pharmacies forecast staffing demands, gather screening and demographic information from patients in advance, and manage their supply of vaccines according to demand.
NavixRx, available in the coming months, is a prescription packaging as a service model. It will allow pharmacies to transmit prescriptions electronically to NavixRx for packaging. NavixRx will then send a packaged 30-day supply of the prescription back to the pharmacy for pickup or delivery, allowing pharmacies to offer compliance packaging to their patients while taking care of the most time-consuming and expensive aspects of this process.
HempFusion has several immunity-focused innovations coming to market this year, both from its flagship eponymous CBD brand, as well as its wholly owned probiotics subsidiary Probulin.
In May, the Denver-based company will launch CBD Immune Support Gummies, made with 100 mg Eldermune elderberry complex and 10 mg of CBD. Each gummy contains 100 mg of organic Eldermune immune complex, the equivalent of 4,225 mg of whole elderberries. They are flavored naturally with elderberry.
To stand out in the crowded CBD arena, HempFusion said it uses a slower lower-
heat version of CO2 extraction to get the same amount of CBD and more of other beneficial compounds. The result is a less purified, less processed hemp extract.
The newest product from Probulin is Total Care Immune, which adds the immune-boosting power of elderberry to a specially-formulated blend of 10 probiotic strains. Each easy-to-swallow capsule includes 100 mg of Eldermune (equivalent to 4,225 mg of whole elderberry), 10 distinct probiotic strains for broad spectrum digestive and immune support, prebiotic fiber as food for probiotic cultures, postbiotic compounds to help support a healthy digestive microbiome, and 20 billion colony-
forming units of live active probiotic cultures, including 8 billion CFUs from fermented fruits and vegetables. Probulin’s proprietary MAKTrek 3-D delivery system helps the probiotics survive the journey to the gut, the company said.
Hyland’s is introducing an all-in-one formula via Hyland’s Cold Tablets with Zinc, meant to help shorten colds and provide multi-
symptom cold relief. Made with natural active ingredients, Hyland’s Cold Tablets with Zinc are safe and gentle for adults and children age 6 years old and older. In addition to helping reduce the duration and severity of common cold symptoms, the product provides natural relief for sneezing, runny nose, congestion, cough, sore throat, headache, watery eyes, fever and chills. This formula is nondrowsy and non-habit forming, has no side effects, and can safely complement other medication the consumer may be taking. It also is free of dyes, preservatives and refined sugar.
Los Angeles-based Hyland’s is a division of Standard Homeopathic, the largest homeopathic medicine manufacturer in North America. For more than a century, Hyland’s has worked to provide families with comfort and care, and it offers a wide range of safe homeopathic remedies from infants to adults, using the highest quality natural active ingredients while following the strictest standards of preparation.
Founded in 1995, Iovate Health Sciences International offers quality supplements made with scientifically backed ingredients. The Oakville, Ontario-based company began as a direct-to-consumer mail-order business that launched its wholesale retail division a year later. Now, Iovate offers weight-
management products via the Hydroxycut and Purely Inspired brands, and the active nutrition brands MuscleTech and Six Star.
Purely Inspired has a new look, with refreshed packaging and revamped formulas. Among the newest Hydroxycut products is the Cut Energy line of canned sparkling beverages designed to burn calories, boost metabolism and increase energy. The beverages are available in three flavors: berry lemonade, watermelon pomegranate and orange mango pineapple. They contain such ingredients as B vitamins, vitamin D, niacin, taurine and caffeine, and are free of sugar and calories.
Mars Wrigley will present new items from M&M’S, Orbit and Skittles.
M&M’S Mix brings the classic M&M’S flavors all together in one convenient package. Highly requested by fans for years, M&M’S Mix creates a new snacking experience in Classic and Peanut varieties. Classic includes three traditional flavors: M&M’S Milk Chocolate, M&M’S Peanut and M&M’S Peanut Butter. Peanut includes three flavors: M&M’S Peanut, M&M’S White Chocolate Peanut and M&M’S Dark Chocolate Peanut.
In spring 2021, Orbit will be bigger and bolder with the launch of Orbit Mega Packs, an upsize pack containing 30 pieces that is designed to be portable and keep gum fresh, offering shelf longevity. They are available in peppermint and spearmint flavors.
New Skittles Gummies are a pop-able gummy candy with a burst of fruit flavor. Available in the original five fruity flavors and wild berry varieties, Skittles Gummies offer the same intense fruit flavors consumers are familiar with, in a delicious and innovative gummy form.
Immunity, sleep, brain health and beauty are the growth categories in vitamins, minerals and supplements, and Mason Vitamins has new products that fill consumer demands for all of these areas. “We put investment aside for innovation,” said Chuck Tacl, senior vice president of sales and business development. “We try to innovate as fast as we can, and we try to stay ahead of the trends.”
New products in the Miami Lakes, Fla.-based company’s lineup include Vitamin C 1,000 mg with Rose Hips and Zinc caplets. Rosehips contain antioxidants to help shield immune cells and zinc has exploded in popularity over the past year due to its role in immune function. Also new from Mason Vitamins is Eazzzy Sleep with Magnesium and Chamomile tablets. Magnesium provides a wide range of benefits, including calming the body and mind, and chamomile promotes sleepiness and relaxed mood. Mental health currently also is a growing category, and Brain Power with Sage Extract may support mental focus, memory and positive mood.
Mason Vitamins’ value line, Healthy Sense, is launching four new gummies in the immunity area. The lineup consists of Multivitamin & Zinc, C Vitamin with Beta Carotene and Rose Hips, Immune Support with Elderberry, Echinacea & Propulis, and Vitamin D3. The pectin-based gummies contain no artificial colors or added preservatives.
The value segment is gaining momentum as consumers look for convenience and smaller packages, and shop at a variety of retailers. With that in mind, Mason Vitamins also is launching sachets with two tablets or caplets for travel, convenience stores and alternate channels.
No Fade Fresh
Whether from a professional colorist or from a box, hair color can fade. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based No Fade Fresh offers a line of lathering, color-depositing shampoos and conditioners that deposit high quality, semipermanent hair color directly to the hair while in the shower.
The company said the salon-quality products, suitable for all hair types, feature a built-in bond rebuilder that counteracts the effects of bleach and permanent hair color. No Fade Fresh products are vegan and free of gluten, sulfates, PPD, parabens, formaldehyde,
phthalates and mineral oil. All products feature color swatches showing hair colors and results, as well as QR codes that link the consumer to online product videos and demonstrations.
The Color Depositing Shampoo-Conditioner Duos are available in natural brown, natural blonde, silver platinum (which reduces yellow), light pink, lavender, bright red and purple bordeaux. The newest colors are copper, blue blast, raspberry rush, hot pink and sunflower bright blonde. There also is the BondHeal Clear Conditioning Mask, which can be used with all colors.
Women’s health, mood and sleep are three categories Olly is focusing on.
The Future is Female Collection offers such benefits as support for libido, mood, bloating, urinary tract health and vaginal health in easy to swallow capsules. The San Francisco-based company said there is strong consumer interest for women’s health supplements.
“We wanted to create a line of supplements that addresses the unique physiological needs of women that is both efficacious and fun/approachable,” said Dorothy Huynh, associate brand manager at Olly. “We’re achieving this via clinically studied ingredients; approachable, humorous, easy to understand benefit names; and counter-worthy packaging.”
Olly also is expanding its mood portfolio with Hello Happy, a gummy worm supplement that includes 30 mg of saffron to boost serotonin and 2,000 IU of vitamin D to support a positive mood. The company said that demand for mood supplements increased by double digits in the past year. “We really wanted to bring Hello Happy to life, so we packed two powerful mood-supporting ingredients into a delightful gummy worm format for grown-ups,” Huynh said. “Kids aren’t the only ones that get to have all the fun.”
In its sleep portfolio, Olly is launching Muscle Recovery Sleep, a dual-benefit gummy supplement that supports both restful sleep and sore muscle relief. It includes 3 mg of melatonin, as well as vitamin D and tart cherry, which support muscle recovery after physical activity. The product is designed with active millennials in mind. “Since sleep is integral to muscle recovery and healing, we decided to launch a dual-benefit supplement that supports both restful sleep and sore muscle relief,” said brand manager Michelle Yoon.
Pharmavite is expanding its Nature Made’s line of need-focused sleep solutions and launching a stress solutions line under the brand. The West Hills, Calif.-based company’s innovation efforts are focused on supporting specific areas of health that have become top of mind for consumers.
“Over the last 50 years, Nature Made has become synonymous with supplements grounded in scientific evidence that are routinely tested for purity and potency,” said Bryan Donaldson, chief sales officer. “Pharmavite’s vision for the future is using that foundation of science and quality to build new solutions that meet consumer’s specific needs.”
Nature Made Sleep Longer Triple Action time-release tablets are a new maximum-
strength supplement to help calm the mind, fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Nature Made Stress Relief Gummies are a new fast-acting supplement that features a proprietary blend of L-theanine and chamomile to help manage feelings of stress in the moment. Pharmavite also created new items that bolster Nature Made’s extensive offering of immune support products.
Piping Rock is focusing on immune support, health and wellness with new products in its Nature’s Truth and Pink brands.
Nature’s Truth Zinc Softgels is the brand’s latest immune formula, delivering 50 mg of zinc per serving. One rapid-release liquid softgel a day provides both zinc and vitamin C. Also from Nature’s Truth, new Vitamin D3 Gummies provide the most popular potency among users — 2,000 IU per serving. The gummies have a natural pineapple flavor and are suitable for vegetarians. The company, citing Nielsen data, said that vitamin D continues to grow by triple digits.
Pink, which the company calls the purpose
-driven wellness brand created by women, for women, added two new gummies to its dedicated line of women’s supplements. Stress Less Gummies have a strawberry lemon flavor and a blend of GABA, L-theanine and lemon balm. Tropical fruit-flavored Girl Boss Teen Multivitamin Gummies deliver the essential vitamins teenage girls need most.
Purina has several new products, including two that the St. Louis-based pet food company plans to highlight at the show.
Fancy Feast Petites are single-serve entrees. The single-serve trays break into two compartments, meaning no mess and no leftovers for easy cleanup. Fancy Feast Petites, crafted without artificial colors or preservatives, provide 100% complete and balanced nutrition for adult cats. The two 1.4-oz. servings are available in Seared Salmon & Spinach in Gravy, Grilled Chicken Entrée with Rice in Gravy and Ocean Whitefish with Tomato in Gravy.
Beyond Organic is a line of USDA Certified Organic dog and cat food that features organic free-range chicken raised with no antibiotics as the first ingredient. Purina said its farmers are dedicated to protecting natural resources and biodiversity when growing the brand’s organic ingredients that are naturally rich in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that the pet needs for a healthy life. Beyond Organic dog and cat food, available in both wet and dry food varieties, contain no prohibited synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, antibiotics or growth hormones, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, corn, wheat or soy.
The Swiss homeopathic remedies company Similasan will feature two products. Pink Eye Nighttime Gel provides nighttime relief for pink eye symptoms, including redness, burning, watery discharge and sensation of grittiness. Pink Eye Nighttime Gel is made with natural active ingredients like eyebright — the plant euphrasia — and no harsh chemicals. The gel provides a thicker drop for overnight relief.
Officials said the product meets several key consumer demands. “Pink eye tends to keep parents away from work and kids away from schooling,” said Makenzie Geist, senior product manager at Highlands Ranch, Colo.-based Similasan. “This natural alternative nighttime option will give people flexibility for treatment of that condition, help them treat these symptoms at nighttime and have relief when they are sleeping instead of only during the day.”
Similasan also will feature Swimmer’s Ear Relief, an ear-drying aid with natural active ingredients like the plant pulsatilla and no harsh chemicals. The product, which dries water-clogged ears and relieves discomfort from trapped water, is glycerin based so there is no stinging or burning.
There is a need for an ear-drying aid with natural ingredients because alcohol-based products sting, which can make treating children very difficult, Geist said. The product is launching in time for such outdoor summer activities as going to beaches or lakes, and people are likely to continue going outside. “We saw the same trends last year with allergy eye drops, that people are spending time outside,” she said. “We believe that will be the case this year too.”
Westrock helps retailers and manufacturers respond to consumer demands during this era of COVID-accelerated innovation, including an explosion in e-commerce. “We want our customers to be thinking about Westrock as a provider of end-to-end solutions,” said Leon Nicholas, vice president of retail insights and solutions at the Atlanta-based company. “We help them address sustainability, merchandising and e-fulfillment, all of which involves packaging.”
Stores are reimagining merchandising, and they are also rethinking fulfillment. Nicholas said that the right package impacts sustainability not only in materials, but also in reducing waste. Companies use automation and robotics to select boxes that are the right size, so they don’t end up shipping more air than products. “Paradoxically, we are trying to get people to use less packaging,” he said. Also, companies must make sure the packaging is robust enough to withstand robotics.
Online shopping and click and collect have increased dramatically during the pandemic, and will likely continue. “That has implications for how you think about packaging,” Nicholas said. “It’s all been designed to see off a shelf. More and more of these products aren’t going to be sold on shelves.”