Consumer trust intact as McNeil brands like Tylenol return back to shelf


NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — McNeil Consumer Healthcare has about 75% of its consumer brands back on shelf, Dominic Caruso, Johnson & Johnson VP finance and CFO, told attendees of the Cowen and Company Health Care Conference on Tuesday. 

"We are schedule to restore our reliable supply of products in the OTC marketplace," he said. "You should start seeing more Tylenol Children's advertising on TV. That's a good sign. It means we are confident that the products now are not only back on the shelves but they are back on the shelves in a reliable manner."

And consumers still trust McNeil's venerable brand names, such as Tylenol. "The various trusts … remain strong," Caruso said. "We’re communicating with consumers as these products are back on the shelf. And I’m happy to tell you that once they are back on the shelf … consumers are readopting these products as a main stay in their regimen."

The proof of Tylenol's successful return to market is in the sales. For the 52 weeks ended Dec. 29, 2013, sales of Tylenol internal analgesic tablets were up 39.9% to $200.1 million across U.S. multi-outlet, according to IRI. McNeil is successfully converting consumers back to brand — sales of private label internal analgesic tablets totaled almost $1.3 billion, but were down 3.8%, in part because of the return of Tylenol. 

Consumer sales accounts for approximately 20% of J&J sales overall, Caruso said, with the division generating nearly $15 billion in sales and growing at a 3% clip. "We have in fact restored reliable supplier products in the market," he said. "We have really 12 major brands that we’re investing behind which we think are the major growth engines in this business."



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