The plan to write standards was announced late last week as part of a planned store makeover that will feature“a new assortment of healthier food, health-focused products and expanded beauty selections,”according to the company.
In the new plan, the company appears to be reacting to ingredients as a newly emerging element of risk. CVS said the catalyst for the new standards evolution was its decision in 2014 to stop selling tobacco. To expand on that “commitment to corporate responsibility,” CVS committed to the new standards for supplements, focusing especially on “ingredients of concern.”
Testing central to new plan
“CVS Pharmacy is embarking on the development of new standards for vitamins and supplements, with the goal of full implementation by 2019. The standards will require third-party testing of ingredient listings for vitamins and supplements, as well as product testing for certain ingredients of concern. As we embark on introducing our supplement standards program, along with our testing protocols, we will focus on items within vitamins, supplements, weight control, protein powders, energy shots and energy powders. This program will encompass over 100 supplier partners and more than 800 products within our current assortment. It will also include the testing of any new items added to our assortment,”said the company in a statement released to NutraIngredients-USA.
Condition specific displays
The company says it is revamping and expanding its line of supplement offerings to include products from specialty brands like Irwin Naturals and New Chapter, as well as expanded nutrition products like Vega and Naturade protein powders and Navitas Organics Superfood Mix Ins. In the revamped store concept, these will be grouped into condition-specific “discovery zone” displays that will offer “holistic solutions and easy navigation through educational displays,” according to the company.
For beauty and personal care lines, the company is also taking an ingredient-centric approach. “By the end of 2019, all parabens, phthalates and formaldehyde donors in products within the CVS Health, Beauty 360, Essence of Beauty, Promise Organic and Blade store brand product lines will be removed,” the company said. In the food arena, the company said healthier offerings will now make up at least 50% of overall inventory.
Unlike some other vitamin retailers, CVS does not appear to be instituting its corporate makeover plans from a position of earnings weakness. In February the company reported full year fiscal 2016 earnings of $177 billion, up more than 15% from the previous year. Profits, earnings per share and EBITDA were all also up strongly, too.