The expanded assortment and new vitamin and supplement testing standards are the latest evolution in CVS Pharmacy’s commitment to being a trusted partner in health and holistic wellness, and they are the focus of a new campaign dedicated to the importance of self-care. CVS Pharmacy says it is the first and only national retailer to implement a program that requires this caliber of standards for vitamins and supplements.
“CVS Pharmacy’s requirement of third-party testing of all vitamins and supplements uniquely positions us as a trusted retailer and health partner where consumers can shop for proactive wellness solutions with confidence,” said Kevin Hourican, executive vice president at CVS Health and president of CVS Pharmacy. “We are seeing more customers focus on self-care as part of their overall health, and CVS is committed to providing access to new products and categories to empower people to practice self-care in their daily lives, especially since self-care varies based on an individual’s needs.”
The new self-care campaign features advertising centered on the Tested to Be Trusted program and the bold decisions CVS Pharmacy has made with the health of consumers in mind. Since the removal of tobacco from its stores in 2014, CVS Pharmacy has made a number of choices to bring to life across its retail business its enterprise purpose of helping people on their path to better health. Recent major steps include:
• The removal of products with SPF less than 15 from shelves.
• The reformulation of nearly 600 store brand beauty and personal care products to remove parabens, phthalates and formaldehyde donors.
• The CVS Beauty Mark initiative, which is a commitment to lead positive change around transparency in beauty in order to educate customers on the difference between authentic and digitally altered imagery.
To ensure greater transparency regarding the ingredients of all vitamins and supplements, in 2017 CVS Pharmacy said it would require all products with a supplement panel to undergo third-party testing and verification by the end of 2019 in order to be sold in-store or on CVS.com. While enhanced standards were already in place for all of CVS Pharmacy’s exclusive store brand products, including the CVS Health, radiance and radiance platinum lines, this marks the first time that all national brand vitamins and supplements carried in-store and online must receive specific and consistent third-party validation before they can be sold.
“By requiring third-party testing of the vitamins and supplements they sell, CVS Pharmacy is demonstrating a real commitment to trust, transparency and health,” explained David Trosin, interim general manager of dietary supplements at NSF International, a global public health testing, inspection and certification organization. “The Tested to Be Trusted program is unprecedented in the retail industry, and we’re proud to serve CVS and its customers.”
The Tested to Be Trusted program, completed six months ahead of schedule, requires all products with a supplement panel at CVS Pharmacy to be either certified by NSF International or verified by USP (United States Pharmacopeia, a nonprofit organization that publishes an annual compendium of drug information), or participate in CVS Pharmacy’s required third-party testing program conducted through NSF or Eurofins, a laboratory specializing in food, pharma and environmental testing, which includes:
• Dietary ingredient review and testing to verify that the dietary ingredients listed on the supplement facts panel are in the product in the amount stated.
• Contaminant review, which consists of testing, such as microbiological and analytical, to verify that there are no harmful levels of certain specified contaminants in the product.
Throughout the course of the testing, 7% of products failed, resulting in either an update to the supplement facts panel or removal of the product from CVS Pharmacy shelves.
As an evolving leader in the proactive wellness space, CVS Pharmacy is introducing more than 300 new items in six new health and wellness categories, with an emphasis on cognitive, nutrition, mood and sleep therapies, that focus on allowing consumers to treat themselves well and make it more accessible and convenient for consumers across the nation to do so.
The new product assortment, which includes collagen protein, essential oils and aromatherapy stress spray, bone broth protein, beet root powder, weighted blankets, yoga mats, free weights, bee pollen and honey immunity products will be available in more than 3,000 stores and on CVS.com by the middle of 2019.
As self-care continues to be a growing trend supported by leading health organizations, CVS Pharmacy’s new “Treat Yourself Well” campaign will champion the idea that, while self-care may mean different things to different people, it is a critical part of everyday health for everyone, regardless of age, gender or income. Designed to empower consumers to make self-care a part of their daily routine, the year-long campaign will hit a variety of consumer touch points including TV commercials, digital advertising, social media content across Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, in-store “healthy-hour” events to educate consumers on new trends and brands, and in-store signage.