Bringing Health Back to the Pharmacy




Pharmacies, by definition, are where we get medication when we’re sick. That’s not what they have become. They are a hot spot of health and preventative care, many of them operated by traditional and natural grocers.  According to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), chains operate more than 40,000 pharmacies, employing 179,000 pharmacists filling 2.9 billion in prescriptions yearly. The Total Store Expo is an NACDS operated event that was held in Boston, MA August 6-9, 2016.  The show floor was packed with what’s next in health & wellness.

Here are a few of my favorites:

A touch of fizz  

We’re not getting enough nutrients from food. We’re not getting enough hydration from water. Pill fatigue makes it harder to get nutrients from supplements. All of these factors are leading to the popularity of tablets.

Fizzilicious is a fun and flavorsome alternative for kids, replacing the cravings for soda with 11 essential vitamins and minerals. Available in six different flavors, the no-sugar, no-caffeine, no-artificial-anything alternative is also dentist approved for the tots.

Tablets are not just for nutrition.

An absolute game-changer, Smith and Vandiver Aromatherapaes Shower Tablets are the aromatherapy solution for those who shower, not bathe. Available in energize, de-stress and breathe, the tablets are easy to use and just as effective. Tossing them on to the shower floor, not in the main water stream, will allow for the release of the essential oils, providing a much-needed spa treatment in your daily routine.


Changing the conversation about ear health

No one is going to escape hearing loss as we age.  Taking care of your ears now is the best we can do to avoid problems later.

Though it’s the source of one of the five senses, most people neglect their ears. Tightness, clogging and an itchy ear can make you feel uncomfortable and unbalanced. Wally’s Natural helps to not only soothe ears but also to relax the entire body and mind. Candling with Wally’s Natural is super safe and easy. Their candles are made with minimal wax, have a filtered tip to stop debris and are engineered not to drip. During a candling session, the candle sends warm air and rhythmic sounds down through the hollow chute, massaging the ear canal via small vibrations as the candle burns. For added relaxation, you can moisturize your earw with Wally’s Natural Organic Ear Oil after candling.

Helping you to remove deep ear wax, which accumulates even more thanks to ear buds and hearing aids, Quest Products EarOil is one way to safely soften and loosen dry wax build up that clogs the inner ear canal. With an ergonomic pump spray that releases the perfect amount with each use, each bottle holds 200 doses.

Established companies like Mack’s offers a full range of moldable and pre-molded silicone and foam earplugs for a variety of uses. Dan Asma, President, McKeon Products, Inc. makers of Mack’s Ear Plugs says, “A continued increase in prescriptions drives more traffic to the drugstore creating opportunity for more engagement with shoppers.”  Mack’s Audible Personal Sound Amplifier device, while not a hearing aid, is designed to assist consumers who want a boost (e.g., amplification) for sounds in settings where they may benefit from it.  It is a product that looks high tech (like a Bluetooth) while providing a simple solution for those moments when consumers might want sound amplification.

A newcomer like Pluggerz has a Uni-Fit, low-cost hearing protector with a special filter that attenuates noise to a safe level while still allowing you to communicate with others. They are also tailored to specific uses, for example swimming, going to concerts or motorcycling.


Iconic brands get facelifts

Old, trusted brands stand the test of time because they continue to work.

With an old tale dating back to the winter of 1933, and it’s distinctive green tin, the legend of Bag Balm paints the viscous ointment as nothing short of a skin-saver. The balm, unchanged for 115 years, is made of four simple ingredients and helps chapped skin, cuts, burns and the like.

It’s still just as popular, if not more popular, today.


The concern about posture

Proper posture is healthy posture. Not only does it save you from short-term effects like back pain and stiffness, it also promotes long-term benefits to your spine, neck and muscles.

Jobri has been making posture products mostly used in the workplace for close to 20 years.  “Most people complain of back and neck pain from sitting or sleeping,” explains Brian K. Gourley, CEO or Jobri, LLC.   “People go to the pharmacy for pain medication as well as to find products that mask or distract from the pain.  It’s time they go to the pharmacy to prevent the pain,” Gourley continued.  That’s what Jobri’s BetterBack, BetterHealth, BetterPosture and BetterRest products are designed to do. “As more people spend more time looking at their phone or at a computer, the more they will need posture aids to prevent or alleviate back pain and neck pain.”


Reaching the increasingly powerful Hispanic consumer

Hispanics will change the profile of American society over the next four decades. The Hispanic population will grow much more quickly than other population segments, and Hispanic consumers will represent an increasing percentage of the American consumer base.  Currently, the Hispanic population accounts for about 15% of the U.S. labor force and is projected to reach almost 20% by the year 2020. Their purchasing power has increased at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5%, more than twice as fast as the 2.8% growth for the total U.S. purchasing power; it has increased 45% in the last five years, and has reached $1.38 trillion.

Linea Beauty, an internationally respected, Spanish brand is leveraging its roots by penetrating the Hispanic communities of the U.S. and turning its fast-acting berry-flavored tablets for hair, skin and slimming into a secret that everyone wants to try.

Masglo Nail Polish is making the same move into the U.S. market.


Hair is the next thing to mask

We all experience the buzz about facial masks.  The application is moving beyond the face to the scalp.

Smith & Vandiver Aromatherapaes Conditioning Hair Mask replenishes hair, adding shine, volume and creating tangle free tresses. Masks for the hair counteract environmental factors of every day life that leave hair lifeless and limp. With vitamins, shea butter, wheat protein and panthenol, the mask leaves hair feeling healthy and full again.


Get known in online circles

It’s not what you say about your bran; it’s what others have to say.  That includes Instaggramers who use their influence and followers to make brands.

With a solid 100k following on Instagram, Rebekah Letch created the answer to her own problems associated with skin care. Radha Beauty, a line of pharmaceutical-grade, pure luxury oils, was born, and Letch was able to garner huge exposure through the success of her personal following.


New ways to market portion control

A key problem with weight management lies in the fact that we’re eating with our eyes and not our stomachs, leading us to consume more than we actually need to. Since the early 1990s, the standard size of dinner plates, for example, have grown from 10 to 12 inches. This has led to a direct increase in portion and serving sizes, and ultimately, our waistlines. Clearly, people need help controlling their portion sizes.

Goodness Knows Snack Squares perfectly portion snack bars into 4 delicious bite size servings, so you don’t have to eat all at once. Perfect for a trail walk, long run or just to snack on during the work day, the pre-cut portions keep you accountable for your consumption and mindful eating is the way to a strong, healthy body.

Self-training goes home

DIY is not just for home improvement. It’s for self-improvement too. A number of brands are available to help you learn your body and take better care of it.

BacTrack helps you make better decisions about drinking by using a professional, police-grade sensor technology to learn your drinking limit, drink healthier and potentially save lives.

Intimina helps women do their daily kegels by excercising with it’s KegelSmart technology.

Rehydration is the new hydration

We’ve been told to drink eight glasses of good old tap water.  Does everyone feel efficiently hydrated after?  It depends on how active you are.

Available in powder form, iceblocks and tablets, Hydralyte encourages hydration while replenishing electrolytes lost from heat, illness, travel, exercise and excessive alcohol. All products in the range contain the correct balance of glucose and electrolytes required for rapid rehydration, according the World Health Organization, and are widely used in hospitals and by health professionals.


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Nancy TrentNancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a globe-trotting trend watcher and the founder and president of Trent & Company, a New York-based marketing communications firm.  Trent & Company grew out of Nancy’s personal commitment to helping people live longer and healthier lives.  A former journalist for New York magazine, Nancy has written seven books on healthy lifestyles, serves on the editorial boards of several magazines and travels around the worc ld speaking at conferences and trade shows on trends in the marketplace. She is a recognized expert icdn PR with more than 30 years of experience creating and managing highly successful campaigns. Nancy can be reached at (212) 966-0024 or through e-mail at  You may also visit


NOTE: WholeFoods Magazine does not endorse any specific brand or product. The opinions expressed in bylined articles are not necessarily those of the publisher.

Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 8/18/2016