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Earplugs continue to win converts among consumers.

NEW YORK -- The earplug market is booming right now, and it is expected to witness significant growth over the next few years.

Every sound or noise has a decibel (dB) level, and being exposed to levels over 85 dB can cause permanent hearing damage over time. The increasing awareness regarding ear protection from loud noises as well as earplugs being used more and more as a sleeping aid among users is helping to drive that demand.

"We see two significant trends for earplug sales at this time. First, consumers are showing significantly more interest, with corresponding sales growth, in products that provide sleep specific solutions -- such as our Mack's Snoreblockers product," says Dan Asma, president of McKeon Products Inc. "Second, we also see that sales for foam earplugs to consumers are increasing for larger count packaging --indicating a continued effort on their part to seek increased value in their branded earplug purchases."

The company just introduced Mack's Flightguard Airplane Pressure Relief Earplugs, a product designed specifically for today's hectic travel to provide flyers with a better, more comfortable flight experience. Developed by hearing protection specialists, its performance has been proven by independent engineering assessments and extensive consumer testing.

"Today's travel is hectic. Flights are oversold. Airplanes are noisy and crowded. Air travel is not only stressful, but can even be painful," says Asma. "For many people, flying can cause inner ear discomfort due to air pressure changes, while for others, just the noise of the airplane during flight can be enough to cause a headache. In some cases, engine and cabin noise can even lead to hearing loss."

Asma explains Mack's Flightguard PR3TM design provides both in-flight air pressure relief and noise protection. The earplugs feature a dual durometer pressure-relieving earplug. Utilizing two different proprietary silicones, Mack's Flightguard earplugs feature a soft, semirigid stem and super-soft seal rings to allow for easy insertion and extreme comfort. The clear stem facilitates discreet wear.

Meanwhile, Alex Welleweerd, export manager at Comfoor B.V. Pluggerz, says that consumers are looking for reliability, comfortability and quality in today's products. "The drug channel is a great market for the earplug category in that it can offer a wide variety of styles. The normal foam earplugs are supplied by everybody."

Welleweerd says the company offers products with unique filters for each specific environment. "The products have a real story, and the advice role of the drug store staff really comes into play here to ensure the highest possible customer satisfaction and expectation."

With more people wearing earplugs, it has now even become a fashion statement. This summer Hearos, a DAP World Inc. brand, launched DazzlEars "the first dazzling ear plugs."

Having pioneered the first Xtreme NRR 33 and first pink ear plug, through DazzlEars the company is now taking the niche market on "an exciting, quantum leap journey," says founder and chief executive officer Doug Pick. "At the heart of our new brand is the fact that many women love 'bling.' DazzlEars is that 'I've got to have it' product. The emotional connection women have to this item is unlike anything we've seen."

DazzlEars' patented design provides special product efficacy through improved manageability. "The earplug connoisseur will immediately recognize she has better control and can achieve the most optimal fit during insertion," Pick says. "It uniquely combines the best of industrial-strength protection with glamorous fashion."

Noting that DazzlEars is being promoted through a variety of online vehicles, he adds that Hearos remains "the most ambitious marketer of ear plugs." The company is engaging with "social media and online influencers who are communicating with millions of loyal followers," he says.

Splintek Inc. also offers earplugs for flying with its HearRight Volume Control Ear Plugs.

HearRight Volume Control Ear Plugs are said to be uniquely designed with volume control knobs that open and close the pneumatic chamber to regulate the level of sound protection (controlled attenuation). This patented design also slows the rate at which the air pressure changes with changes in altitude..

The patented, ultra-soft GelFoam provides a comfortable fit and the highest noise reduction rating (NRR 27) among air-pressure reducing earplugs. A NRR of 27 dB means that, when worn correctly, it will lower the decibel level of a noise. For example, a chainsaw, which is 100 dB, will be reduced to a safer noise level of 73 dB.

The ear plugs can be washed and reused more than 100 times, adding value over disposable ear plugs that are only worn once or twice. HearRight Volume Control Ear Plugs are hypoallergenic, silicone free and latex free.

Caption: Mack's Flightguard earplugs are made with two special silicones.
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Comment:Earplugs continue to win converts among consumers.(CATEGORY INSIGHTS: EYE/EAR CARE)
Publication:Chain Drug Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 6, 2017
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