What's new in health at Priceline?

This month BEAUTYDIRECTORY is speaking with three of Priceline Pharmacy’s top buyers in the skincare, makeup and health & wellness categories. Last week we interviewed Priceline’s senior skincare buyer Bronwyn Davies on what it takes to get her attention; and this week we’re chatting with Priceline Pharmacy’s health buying manager Dimitra Papantoniou.

Priceline is one of Australia’s leading health, beauty and skincare stores, as well as the ultimate place to be stocked if you want to get your products into the hands of consumers. Below you’ll find her top tips for catching trends, and how brands can grab her attention; plus, keep your eyes out next week as we find out from Priceline’s Beauty buyer  what she looks for when curating its offering.

Could you please tell us a little bit more about yourself and your background in the industry?
I have always worked in the health industry, starting with my first casual job in a pharmacy. Following this, I continued to work in the pharmacy channel and have spent half of my career in retail buying and as a national sales manager for a vitamins business. I’m currently the health buying manager for Priceline Pharmacy and I look after a fabulous team of eight across our health categories of medicinal health, vitamins, and nutritional health and wellbeing.

How do you spot trends?
We use a wide range of channels to spot trends, including local and international industry conventions, and subscribing to industry reports about what’s happening in the market globally. In addition to this, we also meet with new and existing suppliers who have fantastic insights to share about what’s trending.

The way we spot trends differs between medicinal and natural health. The medicinal health industry is highly regulated, so we tend to rely on our own customer shopping behaviour through our sales data as well as industry data. With natural health, a lot of the new trends, ingredients and product formats come from other countries around the world and through social media.

What are some trends we should be looking out for?
Two of the biggest trends we’re seeing right now in the health space are around inner beauty and gut health.

For inner beauty, products with collagen are growing rapidly in sales with benefits including skin hydration, anti-ageing and improved nail health.

As for gut health, it is now the biggest and fastest growing health category, primarily driven by the increasing popularity of probiotics. We’re also seeing a significant growth in sales of products that are endorsed as ‘Practitioner Only’ and ‘Doctor Recommended’, which speaks to the trust piece that many brands try to build with customers.

What’s your process for sourcing new brands?
As a leading health and beauty pharmacy retailer, we get approached by many new suppliers who are keen to get their products on Priceline Pharmacy shelves. We also look out for new brands who have found success in smaller retail outlets such as health food stores, and find up-and-coming brands through social media.

What do you look for when bringing brands into Priceline?
We look for brands with products that are unique to the market and offer a point of difference to our existing offer. Quality ingredients and formulations are paramount as we want to offer our customers the best value, and brands should be supported with an ongoing marketing plan to raise awareness. Appealing packaging is also important for the products to stand out on shelf.

What would you say is the most difficult part of curating Priceline’s beauty/health offering?
It’s always difficult telling suppliers that they were unsuccessful in getting ranged in Priceline Pharmacy, however we always do this by providing constructive feedback to help them in the long term.

Have you had a favourite or most exciting brand discovery so far?
Unichi is one of my favourite brands that we’ve just launched in Priceline Pharmacy. It’s a young, boutique Australian company that creates and supplies premium Australian made supplements and skincare to a global market. Their best-selling product is an ingestible Rosehip Extract Complex that repairs, improves and protects your skin from the inside out.

How do you see the industry changing with regard to smaller brands?
We’ve seen a lot of smaller brands come in to the market over recent years with many of them offering a point of difference to our existing range. We love that these brands are generally very current in terms of ingredient trends are unique to what other larger brands are offering.

Do you have any advice for a brand looking to get into Priceline or grab a buyer’s attention?
Get in touch with us and give it a go! If we reach a point where we’d like to meet with you, preparation is key and so is a professional looking presentation. If you know your stuff and are passionate about your product, it really shines through and goes a long way in getting us to believe in your product too.