First Quality Keeps Shoppers at the Center of Innovation – CDR – Chain Drug Review

First Quality Keeps Shoppers at the Center of Innovation - CDR – Chain Drug Review

First Quality is on a mission to make things better for today’s retailers and consumers while protecting the environment for future generations. A leader in private label manufacturing, First Quality makes adult incontinence products, baby diapers, training and youth pants, menstrual pads, baby wipes, and household paper and tissue products. Chain Drug Review had a chance to talk to Sima Delafraz Chief Commerical Officer at First Quality about some new developments at the company. Q: First Quality recently announced a new round of investments in the North American
absorbent hygiene market. What’s driving your growth? A: Our latest investments are driven not only by rising customer demand, but also our commitment to bringing the latest innovations to the North American market. We’re expanding our baby diaper and training pant manufacturing capacity by 50%. This expansion will include an investment in a new manufacturing facility, new diaper manufacturing lines, new training pant lines and a new state-of-the-art automated warehouse facility. We’re also increasing capacity for adult incontinence products — including bladder control pads, protective underwear and underpads — by over 25%. We’re excited to continue growing alongside our retail customers. Q: Where is First Quality
focusing your innovation efforts for absorbent hygiene products? A: All of our innovations start with the same question: Who are we helping? A big part of this is tapping into our shopper insights. For example, understanding the needs of parents and child caregivers is what led us to launch single-hand dispensing wipes with a lid that pops open at the touch of a finger, allowing users to access the wipes with one hand. As we look at innovations for private label brands, we know today’s shoppers are extremely value-conscious, and many are giving store brands a fresh look in the current economy. Our focus is on delivering innovations that improve product quality and affordability without ever sacrificing performance. Q: How does First Quality help retail pharmacies strengthen their store brands? A: We take a holistic view of the shopper’s purchasing journey for store brand products. We aim to provide not only top-quality products but also the support that shoppers need to make decisions about how to care for themselves and their families. In today’s health care landscape, pharmacies are becoming a go-to resource for consumers who have questions about absorbent hygiene products. This is one reason why First Quality invests in our clinical support services, which provide consumers with round-the-clock access to our team of licensed nurses who can answer shoppers’ questions about incontinence, period and baby care products. Q: Why are clinical support services so important, particularly for incontinence care? A: When First Quality started out in the health care industry more than 30 years ago, our focus was on providing adult incontinence products to assisted living and long-term care facilities. Our clinical team would go into facilities to help make sure that residents were using the right products for their individual needs. This is where we saw firsthand the importance of quality products and personalized care. That same level of care is needed for individuals and caregivers who are managing incontinence in a home setting. Incontinence is a deeply personal topic, and it can feel overwhelming without the right products and support. Our nurses are experienced and trained to have confidential conversations and assist consumers any time, day or night. Taking this personalized approach to incontinence care is what has made us a leader in the category. Q: What role is technology
playing in shopper trends and your approach to e-commerce? A: For adult incontinence products, one of the biggest factors shaping the market is the number of people aging into the category who are open to using technology for convenience and education. Today, more people and caregivers use technology as support services, creating opportunity in senior-focused e-commerce. Again, this is where our clinical support services become so important to reach people who are managing incontinence at home. Q: Sustainability is top of mind for retailers and consumers alike. What progress are you making in this area? A: Our company motto is Make Things Better, and that extends to making the world better for future generations. An area where we are making progress is reducing our greenhouse gas footprint from our manufacturing facilities — which also helps support our customers’ reduction goals. One way we have done this is by sourcing carbon-free electricity for all three of our manufacturing sites in Pennsylvania. Another area where we’re making an impact is incorporating more recycled content into our packaging. Today, most of our product packaging includes a minimum of 20% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content, and we’re exploring how to incorporate even more in the future. As we look ahead, not only will we seek to further reduce the use of virgin plastic in our packaging, we are also focused on reducing plastic usage overall. First Quality and Make Things Better are registered trademarks of First Quality Enterprises LLC.