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F&F LABS' TV SPOTS FOR COUGH/VITAMIN LINES WILL AIR IN OCTOBER

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

F&F LABS' TV SPOTS FOR COUGH/VITAMIN LINES WILL AIR IN OCTOBER and run through March 1994, according to the Chicago-based firm. F&F's advertising agency, Buzz Barton Advertising of Oakbrook, Ill., is developing 15-second national television ads for each product in F&F's cough and vitamin product lines: Daily-C chewable vitamin C tablets, Beta Carotene Plus Vitamin C & E chewable tablets, All-Herbal cough and throat drops, and Smith Brothers throat drops. The four products also will be featured as a "family" of products in a free-standing insert scheduled for release in November. Separate coupons for the All-Herbal line are expected in December, and direct-mail flyers with coupons for Daily-C and Beta Carotene will be mailed out beginning this summer. F&F also plans to include coupons for All-Herbal and Smith Brothers throat drops inside bags of those products starting in June and to provide coupons inside wrappers for Daily C and Beta Carotene roll-packs beginning in October. Eventually, the company expects to put Daily-C and Beta Carotene coupons in All-Herbal and Smith Brothers bags. In addition, radio spots for Daily-C and Beta Carotene are being considered, the company said. Daily-C is available in roll packs of 14 chewable tablets containing 250 mg vitamin C each and packs of 12 tablets containing 60 mg vitamin C. Suggested retail price is 75 " for the 14-count roll and 30 " for the 12-count roll. F&F pointed out in promotional materials that the 250 mg tablets "contain four times" the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin C. "That's more than any other brand," the firm maintained, adding: "With these larger rolls, your customers get a great value and you get great profits." Regarding the 60 mg tablets, F&F said they "may be small, but they contain 100% of the U.S. RDA" of vitamin C. Daily-C also is available to retailers in bins of "pillow packs." Each pillow pack containing two 250 mg- tablets carries a suggested retail price of 20 ". Beta Carotene Plus Vitamin C & E is available in roll packs of 14 tablets that each contain 100% of the U.S. RDA of beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E. Available in "natural citrus fruit flavor," the Beta Carotene roll pack's suggested retail price is 99 ". All-Herbal cough and throat drops are sold in bags containing 24 individually wrapped drops. Available in orange, lemon, cherry, original herbal and menthol eucalyptus flavors, All-Herbal drops contain menthol, as well as inactive ingredients such as eucalyptus oil, cherry bark extract, echinacea, oil of peppermint, horehound extract, rose hips extract, chamomile extract, balsam tolu, slippery elm bark extract and sarsaparilla extract. The suggested retail price for an All-Herbal bag is $ 1.49. On packaging depicting flowers and sun-rays that are color- coordinated to the flavor of the drops, F&F calls All-Herbal throat drops "fast, herbal relief for irritated throats. Soothing for speakers and smokers." Packaging as well as materials to the trade note that echinacea is "reported to help bolster the immune system" and that horehound and balsam tolu act "as expectorants." Smith Brothers throat drops, all containing 12 mg vitamin C, are available in four configurations: 14-count "jumbo rolls" with "27% more product per roll," regular rolls of 11 drops, 14-count boxes and bags of 24 individually wrapped drops. Jumbo rolls, at a suggested retail price of 50 ", come in wild cherry, black licorice, honey lemon and menthol eucalyptus flavors. Thirty-cent regular rolls are available in wild cherry and black licorice, as are boxes, which carry a suggested price of 65 " each. Smith Brothers bags, at a suggested retail price of $ 1.19 each, are sold in all four flavors. In addition to vitamin C, Smith Brothers throat drops black licorice flavor contains anethol and licorice. Wild cherry throat drops contain benzyl alcohol and balsam tolu. The menthol eucalyptus drops contain oil of eucalyptus and menthol, and the honey lemon drops contain menthol and cetyl pyridinium chloride. Founded in 1928 by Morris Fox as a cough lozenge manufacturer, privately held F&F is still run by the Fox family. The company moved into the candy business in the sixties under current President and CEO Bernard Fox with the 1965 acquisition of Merba Confections and the purchases of Candy Masters, Inc. and Lucy Ellen Candies the following year. F&F purchased the Smith Brothers cough drop brand in 1977, the same year it bought Sen-Sen breath freshener from Warner-Lambert. F&F said that the company's "current marketing campaign is aimed at today's fitness and health-minded consumer." SmithKline Beecham's Sucrets lozenges have led the throat lozenges and sprays category in the 12 months ended February 1993 ("The Tan Sheet" March 22, p. 9).
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