CINCINNATI -- Kroger Co. here is rolling out part of the Sundown vitamin line to banner stores in all 11 Kroger Marketing Areas following a yearlong test at three of its KMAs.
The retailer will merchandise 127 stockkeeping units including such noncore items as shark cartilage, gingko biloba and grapeseed extract as well as hot products like Saint John's Wort and glucosamine chondroitin, said Jim Airaghi, vice president of special markets for Rexall Sundown, Boca Raton, Fla.
"Sundown's just a little quicker to market in the hot categories," said a Kroger buyer, explaining the decision to add Sundown to the vitamin mix. Kroger officials could not be reached for further comment.
Kroger distributor Peyton is handling 37 of the SKUs, the balance will be supplied through various wholesalers.
The Kroger buyer said the store has no plans to drop other manufacturers' branded products to make room for Sundown. Nature's Made, Nature's Bounty and Your Life are among the other brands Kroger carries.
Each store will devote 4 to 12 linear feet of aisle space to Sundown, said Airaghi, in addition to pharmacy-counter and freestanding floor displays.
"They want to be proactive rather than reactive in vitamins," said Airaghi. "They had a lot of core items. They didn't have a lot of unique items. They wanted items they weren't carrying or were getting at a higher price."
In-store promotional efforts will vary "on a KMA-by-KMA basis," said Airaghi. Some stores already have salespeople handing out Sundown brochures.
Kroger and Rexall Sundown also are working together in sponsoring golf tournaments, including the Kroger Seniors and the Jamie Farr Classic.