The acquisition of Airborne by Schiff Nutrition is part of the company’s strategy to gain a competitive edge in the immune support category, president and chief executive Tarang Amin told investors and analysts yesterday during a conference call.
“The acquisition positions Schiff Nutrition as a leader in the immune support category with one of the most recognizable brands, a loyal consumer following, and product that offer a better user experience than typical supplement forms,” he said.
“We believe the immune support category offers rich potential for innovation.”
The OTC immunity category is valued at over $1 billion, growing at about 3%, he said. Within this is the category of immune support, which is valued at about $0.5 billion and growing at an impressive 5 to 6%.
The two main brands in this segment are Airborne, now Schiff’s property, and Emergen-C, which was recently snapped up by Pfizer for an estimated $350 million.
Amin told investors that, from a competitive landscape, Schiff sees a lot of opportunity and that the company has a track record of competing with much bigger companies.
“Just look at our experience with Schiff MegaRed: Every major player has come after our krill oil brand, including Bayer, NBTY, Pharmavite, and private label, and we still have over 70 share SDMX of the krill oil market.”
“We believe that both Airborne and Emergen-C can be successful in the marketplace.”
The acquisition allows Schiff to expand beyond its three main health categories of joint health, heart health, and digestive health.
“We remain confident about the ongoing importance of these conditions and our ability to build competitive advantage with our leading brands,” said Amin.
“Immune support is one of the largest categories in the health space, addressing the needs of millions of consumers and we believe it becomes even more important going forward due to the aging population.
“Within immune health, Airborne is one of only two scale brands and it fits squarely within our growth strategy – it has high brand awareness, it is widely accessible and has a very loyal consumer following.”
“Airborne one of the most recognizable brands with over 70% consumer awareness,” he added.
To read our article about recent M&A activity within the dietary supplements segment, please click here.