What Retail Buyers Want: Vitamin, Weight Mgmt. & Sports Nutrition  10/6/2017

As part of their preparation for ECRM’s 60+ EPPS meetings, retail buyers complete a form on the EPPS prep site, indicating the subcategories they are buying for, and on what areas they are focusing their buying efforts.

Based on this information, collected from more than 115 buyers and category managers registered so far to attend ECRM's 2018 Vitamin, Weight Management & Sports Nutrition EPPS, here are a few key areas of interest around these categories.

Weight Management: Products that help consumers to lose weight or burn fat, including vitamins, shakes, nutrition bars, and even meal plans. One emerging area of focus is on ketones, which are said to help the body break down fat more effectively.

Products for Aging Consumers/Chronic Care: These include all of those items that address the effects of aging, including supplements to address joint wear and tear, vision, digestion, and vitamins that have anti-aging properties for healthy skin and hair. In addition, supplements aimed at deficiencies caused by chronic conditions, or the medications used to address chronic conditions -- for example, supplements to help with opioid-induced constipation.

Prevention/Immunity-Boosters & Digestive Health: Part of consumers wellness regimens include those products that prevent them from getting sick, particularly if they travel a great deal. These include immunity-boosting supplements as well as probiotics, which in addition to helping with digestive health, also help the immune system.

Protein: Along with the desire to lose fat is the corresponding goal of building muscle and strength, and buyers are looking to meet this demand for protein, particularly plant-based proteins suitable for the growing market of vegans and vegetarians.

Natural & Organic/Certified/Homeopathic Remedies: As consumers demand more clean labels and transparency, vitamins, supplements and sports nutrition products made from natural and organic ingredients, as well as “free-from” products like non-GMO and gluten free are increasingly popular. Other certifications sought by retailers include Grass-Fed Certified and NSF for Sport Verified. In addition, homeopathic products that provide a holistic, natural approach to treating various ailments are increasingly in demand by these consumers.

Unique Formulations and Delivery Methods: Vitamins and supplements are no longer just about popping pills; they can be delivered in powders, sprays, shots, and dissolving strips in a variety of formulations. Retail buyers continue to seek innovation in these areas for their assortments.

Bulk Sizes: Since many of these products are taken as part of a daily regimen, buyers are seeking more bulk sizes that deliver value.

Opportunity Buys, Closeouts & Extreme Value: Buyers seek these so that they can pass the savings on to their consumers. In some cases, retailers that offer a “treasure hunt” assortment for their shoppers that is constantly refreshed to give them a reason to keep coming back to their stores. Additionally, some buyers seek overstocks, excess inventory, packaging or formulation changes to provide extreme value to their shoppers.

Private Brands: Merchandise across all categories that can be sold under the retailer’s brand.

Impulse Items/Packaging: Products that are packaged or displayed for impulse appeal in the aisle or at the checkout, such as shippers, clip strips and power wings. These are also great ways for buyers to text a new brand.

Pre- and Post-Workout Regimens: Products to enhance the performance of athletes (or for working out) such as energy drinks, as well as products that aid in recovery from workouts, such as hydration drinks/powders.

Editor’s note: Kurt Jetta, PhD, CEO of TABS Analytics, will be vitamin and supplement trends and opportunities at the EPPS. Click here for more information!


Tony Giovanini

SVP of General Merchandise

Tony can be reached at (440) 528-0416

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