Putting wellness on the back-to-school list

According to a July 2013 poll of more than 500 AccentHealth viewers with children of school age, kid's annual physicals and back-to-school shopping go hand-in-hand. Approximately 75% of respondents take their child for a back-to-school physical. Of those, 4-out-of-5 do so at least four weeks before the first day of school-the time at which the majority of viewers indicate their back-to-school shopping kicks off.

This may explain shoppers' growing focus on health and wellness when planning for back-to-school. Behind supplies and apparel, health and wellness products rank third in terms of commonly purchased categories. One-fifth of respondents indicate they plan to buy more preventive care items for their child this year compared to last. Purchasing health and hygiene products for back-to-school is greatest among those with children entering or in college, with 57% purchasing personal care items and 36% buying OTCs and vitamins.

While respondents forecast that overall spending will be up from last year, economic factors are still top of mind. The drivers when selecting a venue(s) for back-to-school shopping are product price and sale offers. Additionally, more than half of respondents say they will shop for sales more this year compared with last.

When it comes to where to shop, mass merchandisers emerge as the most popular destination for back-to-school. However, respondents signal that there is an opportunity for pharmacies to be utilized in the future. While only 38% of respondents report shopping at drug stores for back-to-school, 66% report they are likely to shop at a pharmacy for back-to-school in the future. With cost savings playing an important role, 9-out-of-10 viewers indicate that coupons would incentivize them to try a new store for their back-to-school needs.

If you could ask more than 6,500 patients anything at all, what would it be? Send your questions to reder@lf.com.