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Natural Foods Merchandiser

5 tips to merchandise cold, flu, immunity products

NFM spoke with five industry experts on the best ways to highlight cold, flu, and immunity products in your store. Their advice may surprise you and will definitely get product moving quickly.

“On a beautiful tray put a pretty tea-pot, cup and saucer, cold remedy tea, a box of lozenges, a bottle of cough syrup and a pretty box of tissues. On another tray put a bottle of water, Wellness Fizz or Emergen-C, and cough drops. Header for end-cap: ‘GOT FLU? GOT SOLUTIONS!’ Merchandise these items using an empty medicine cabinet and fill it with remedies, and stock surrounding shelves with flu solutions and cough and cold products.”
- Cheryl Hughes, owner of Whole Wheatery natural products store in Lancaster, Calif.


“The basic difference between mainstream and natural in their approaches to cold and flu is that natural focuses more energy and attention on prevention. Endcaps with vitamin C and antioxidants to build immunity are infrequent at mainstream stores. Natural also focuses on shortening the duration of the cold with zinc and/or echinacea or elder. Also, delivery systems are typically grouped together when trying to sell items like that. The thought is that the customer is familiar with a certain delivery system and would buy other products within that type of item range.”
Jill Kayser, sales manager at Dynamic Presence SW, a natural products brokerage in Austin, Texas.

“The key is to feature the products in as many creative ways as possible, and display a variety of dosage forms -anything you can do to draw attention to the products. Place as many of the items as you can on end caps and front-end [point of purchase] displays. The peak season for cold and flu products is October through February for most parts of the country, and retailers are typically running promotions during this time. Motivated manufacturers are also getting store staff trained to educate consumers on the benefits of these products to drive sales.”
- Gibson Archer, marketing director at Heel homeopathic remedies in Albuquerque, N.M.

“You know the old story: People going to buy hotdogs are probably going to buy hot dog buns. As far as people who care about building their immunity so they can help fight off any germs that are floating around, if they are using products like hand sanitizer to help keep their hands clean from germs, then they probably want to have the internal germ protection in addition to the external protector.”
- Darren Schneider, of NBTY, a supplements manufacturer in Ronkonkoma, NY

Have an educated person available for customers to talk to. "If they have a cold, you need to ask what symptoms do they have and offer products that fit [those ailments]. I really try to make it individual. Customers are willing to wait to get to talk to a person. There is so much information out there, it takes a really educated person to decipher all of that. You want personal attention."
- Stephen Bernardi, owner of Johnson Compounding & Wellness Center in Waltham, Mass.

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