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Sunday, May 16, 2010

You Aren't Spending Enough Money

Digestive Advantage sent out a press release to announce that their trademark combination of probiotics and lactase is now protected by patent as well. So don't even think of copying it.

This isn't really news for anybody outside the company, but what caught my eye was a filler paragraph later on in the release.

"The lactase enzyme market is rather stagnant, with the leading brands declining in sales. We believe this is because it's not the ideal solution to lactose intolerance -- it's not always easy to take a lactase pill before eating dairy, especially if you don't know that the food you're about to eat contains dairy," said Marshall Fong, who heads the marketing team at Ganeden. "Our Digestive Advantage Lactose Intolerance combines lactase enzyme plus probiotics to increase lactose digestion throughout the digestive tract. People love our product because it works, and because they don't need to take it with every meal."

Yes, that's mostly marketing speech. But that first line jumps out. It may even be true. (Oh, I'll hear from them tomorrow.)

The lactase enzyme market is pretty much down to Lactaid, some natural foods brands, and lots of cheap house brand imitations of Lactaid. No new national brands have entered the market for years. The amount of shelf space given to them in stores - always the best indicator of how well something is selling - hasn't grown in many years.

Yet awareness of lactose intolerance is as high as its ever been.

So you aren't doing your part.

Go out and spend some money.

Here's the weird part. Digestive Advantage Lactose Intolerance Lactase Plus Formula and Lactaid and its imitators usually aren't shelved together in the store. How that helps us I can't imagine. Stores need to get their acts together. Tell your store managers.

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