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The SNEWSÂ® team of editors sucked down countless espressos, beer and muffins over the course of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market to ensure we could bring you the most comprehensive take on trends, directions, colors, styles and innovations in stories that have been running each week since Jan. 31. No, each report is not complete and we apologize in advance if a company feels its product was not mentioned when it should have been. We’re only covering product that stood out to us, so if you’re not mentioned, we were either too hyped up on caffeine to see you, we didn’t think your product stood out sufficiently, or we were just plain clueless — you pick one. With that in mind, here’s our take on trends and new products for first aid and health:
Adventure Medical Kits — AMK gives retailers and consumers one-stop shopping for all things first aid. If it doesn’t have it, you’re probably not qualified to use it. With so many products to choose from, AMK has done an exceptional job of making first-aid supplies easy to purchase for both buyers and consumers with a merchandising program that takes out the guesswork. Holiday display cards offer gift suggestions by activity and price range, so the medics on your gift list can get something they can use. The cards swap out after the season with placards that clearly identify the type of products and who it is designed for. The display program also features a customer-friendly flip chart product guide that directs customers to the best product selection. AMK also introduced lightweight first-aid kits this year targeting adventure racers as well as paddlers, skiers and hikers. With a particular interest in water protection, AMK’s Ultralight series kits feature a silicone-coated ripstop nylon outer bag and an Aloksak waterproof inner bag to protect moisture-sensitive supplies. www.adventuremedicalkits.com
Atwater Carey — Phil Carey is back on board and his influence is immediately noticeable as the company is once again paying attention to the little details — like providing lightweight kits with waterproof packaging. Atwater’s Light & Dry series features waterproof Bitran bags from Saranex — similar to Aloksak designs and features. And true to Carey form — attention to specialized consumer service has been amped up a notch. Atwater now offers online medical assistance through its website. With a password that comes inside an Atwater kit, users can ask questions directly to members of the company’s medical advisory board. The “Ask the Experts” service features one-on-one guidance from backcountry medics like Buck Tilton, co-founder of the Wilderness Medical Institute. Users can expect a response within 24 hours, the company tells us. www.pharmacalway.com
Kiss My Face — Hot Spots are cool. The non-scented stick contains UVA and UVB protection for the lips, nose, cheeks and ears — or anywhere else a little dab will do ya — with ingredients that are 52 percent certified organic. Spa-goers will revel in the blend of beeswax, coconut oil, aloe, herbs and Shea butter. www.kissmyface.com
Sawyer — Sawyer President Kurt Avery told SNEWSÂ® at Winter Market that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had reviewed and accepted a low absorption formula insect repellent study done for Sawyer Products by the Coulston Foundation. The study confirms that the technology used in Sawyer’s Controlled Release Family formula inhibits the skin’s ability to absorb DEET and therefore can reduce the absorption of DEET by up to 60 percent per application. The technology behind the Sawyer Family Formula is a sub-micron encapsulation which time releases the DEET while inhibiting absorption. The study compared one application of Sawyer’s Controlled Release DEET Low Absorption Formula with one application of a comparable DEET concentration in the traditional alcohol base. Results showed that 16.3 percent of the DEET in the alcohol formula was absorbed in the skin versus only 6.6 percent of Sawyer’s Controlled Release DEET Low Absorption Formula. www.sawyerproducts.com
Scherer — Scherer Laboratories, Inc. offers relief for when the bugs beat your best defense. Bite Relief is a medicated ointment that sooths the itch and irritation of bug bites. With formula containing aloe vera and chamomile, it also speeds heeling. It’s non-greasy and resists staining clothes. www.schererlabs.com
Zanfel Labs — Zanfel gets the award for perhaps the biggest waste of money at a trade show. After investing in direct-mail promotions to retailers and press prior to Winter Market 2005, the cost of three staff members attending Winter Market to staff the 10×10 booth, the cost of the booth, full page ads in the daily trade show rag each day, and sponsorship of Robyn Benincasa, adventure racing diva, we have been informed that the company has told retailers now trying to place orders that it is going to focus on the mass drug, food and retail chains for now and back out of distributing to the outdoor specialty market. You’d think the company might have considered this before attending the show and getting retailers and media hyped about its product which reportedly removes urushiol from the skin anytime after exposure to poison oak, ivy or sumac. www.zanfel.com