16 HA NDBOO
What is the consumer
interest level in naturally-oriented eye and ear care
YANN PIGEAIRE: We are seeing a
continued interest in naturally-oriented OTCs overall. Consumer
interest in limiting exposure to
chemical ingredients has not waivered during the last several years.
If anything it has grown stronger.
This is evidenced by increasing interest in naturally-oriented
eye and ear care products—core
categories for Similasan. For eyes,
consumers have seen that repeated
use of drops with vasoconstrictors can lead to a “rebound effect”
where redness actually gets worse
and not better. Similasan drops do
not contain vasoconstrictors, but
use natural active ingredients.
Talk about Similasan.
Similasan is a Swiss company that has
been manufacturing high-quality homeopathic products for more than 30 years.
It was started by a pharmacist who was
making hay fever remedies for friends and
family. Today our company offers a broad
range of products for other symptoms.
Similasan’s core competency, however,
is in eye drops. Our key eye drop products are Irritated Eye Relief, Dry Eye
Relief, Allergy Eye Relief and Stye Eye
Relief. We have also recently introduced
two new SKUs: Complete Eye Relief, and
Redness and Itchy Eye Relief. Unlike other
eye drops on the marketplace, ours are
The vast majority of naturally-
oriented brands driving this
category are smaller than the
big national brands. What advice
would you give to retailers
looking to partner with these
smaller brands to grow this
It is important for grocery buyers to regularly meet with smaller brands in their
categories. We often hear about their focus
on “fewer, bigger launches,” however, consumers want to see more natural OTC
choices that fit their healthier lifestyles
and the big companies are not the ones
launching those types of products.
I have heard people ask, “if interest is
there why are natural OTCs losing share?”
Part of the solution in reversing this has to
do with all sides of the industry agreeing
this is an important segment. We know
buyers are busy, but taking the time to see
vendors of these products at trade
shows would help them stay in
touch with new product launches.
Granted, there is not much time at
those shows, so if interest is there
encourage these smaller companies
to follow-up with a headquarters
On a similar note, some grocery
retailers are organized in decentralized regions or divisions. We
understand this allows local deci-sion-making autonomy, but this
poses a challenge for many smaller
companies. For us, one appointment with a central buying office is
much more efficient than multiple
appointments across the country.
Other than on-package
descriptors, how does
about its products?
Similasan advertises its products to
consumers via TV campaigns, FSIs,
samples, etc. We are also active on
social media and find reaching consumers through our Facebook page has been
a great way to get our fans, as well as those
who have never tried our products, to
learn more about our company and what
we stand for. It is also a highly effective
way to promote new launches.
What is new from Similasan this
This has been an exciting year for
Similasan. For one, we launched a new
TV campaign focusing on our eye care
business. We also introduced an Ear Wax
Relief kit, combining drops with a bulb. It
helps remove wax and clean ears without
hydrogen peroxide, an ingredient typically found in earwax removal products. ■
EYE & EAR CARE
Consumers want retailers to carry more natural OTC choices that fit healthier
lifestyles, says YANN PIGEAIRE, director of marketing for SIMILASAN.