Progressive Grocer

JUN 2016

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176 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | June 2016 General Merchandise D espite slow growth in a mature category, some segments of the battery category have seen an uptick. Overall, the category has had sluggish growth at 1.5 percent for the 52 weeks ending April 17, according to IRI data. Still, Chicago-based IRI fnds that higher- priced premium performance alkaline batteries, which last longer than traditional alkaline batter- ies, are becoming a bigger part of the category and driving proft. Rayovac's high-performance Fusion brand incredibly grew more than 1,000 percent in the 52-week period, while Duracell's Quantum grew 15.8 percent and Quantum Powercheck surged an impressive 51.9 percent. Leading the Charge High-performance, hearing aid batteries are fueling the category. By Barbara Sax Energizer's Eco Energizer, the frst AA battery made with 4 percent recycled batteries — and the brand's highest-performing alkaline battery — skyrocketed an amazing 500 percent in dollar sales for the 52-week period, proving that consumers will pay more for sustainable products as long as they perform well. St. Louis-based Energizer recently introduced Energizer Recharge, the frst rechargeable AA and AAA batteries made with recycled batteries, also featuring 4 percent recycled battery material. Since consumers have been slower to adopt rechargeables, it will be an interesting product to watch. Premium batteries have had an impact on private label, which holds a 12.5 percent share of category sales, down 2.6 percent from a year ago, Price-only tactics at the battery shelf will not yield category growth." —William De Groot, Duracell Nonfoods

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