Category Captains: Sports Nutritionals: Abbott Nutrition

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Category Captains: Sports Nutritionals: Abbott Nutrition


Loyalty card data indicated that there were categories at a national food retailer with a high rate of overlap, including sport nutrition products with bottled water, sport drinks and isotonics (New Age beverages). The retailer had many stores featuring at least 12 feet dedicated to water/isotonic beverages, despite this category’s decline of more than 15 percent annually. Water/isotonic items had multiple facings, along with significant secondary display support on a consistent basis.

From October 2010 through March 2011, the retailer tested a 3-foot sport nutrition set including EAS, Muscle Milk, Power Bar and Clif products within the water/isotonic beverage aisle as a secondary location in 10 stores. A store intercept study ran to glean consumer insights on where the optimal location for sport nutrition items should be. Among the goals of the test were to drive increased household penetration of a fast-growing category, build market baskets through cross-category purchases, grow the sport nutrition category in an alternate high-traffic location vs. GM/HBC, and improve shelf organization and assortment to meet consumer needs.

The test led to a 15.9 percent increase in sport nutrition category sales, according to Nielsen, and stores with dual placement outperformed the control store by 9 percent vs. the prior period. The 10 test stores also outperformed the total division and total corporate, with sales for the overall sport nutrition category twice as high in the dual-placement locations. The 3-foot sport nutrition set in the water/isotonic aisle will roll out across a division of the retailer in 2012.