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Sturtevant spurs medicated powder arena. (RX/Branded Drugs).

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- A 21st century company with a 19th century pedigree, F.C. Sturtevant Co. is raising the bar in the medicated powder category with a bold new look.

Founded in 1877, the supplier has always been ahead of its time. According to a spokesman for the manufacturer, when company founder Francis Crayton Sturtevant created a compound to treat a gall condition his horse was suffering from, the medicine (then known as Columbia Healing Powder) was so effective that not only did farriers and blacksmiths use it on their own animals but doctors soon started treating their patients with it for a host of skin conditions.

Flash ahead 126 years, and Columbia Antiseptic Powder is still being used by the great-grandchildren of many of the original customers for heat rash, sore feet, minor cuts and other skin irritations.

While Columbia Antiseptic Powder's customer base is loyal and growing, the spokesman says the company is not content to rest on its laurels.

Although the manufacturer has experienced double-digit growth during the past five years, president Steven Rosenfeld believes that this is only scratching the surface of Columbia Antiseptic Powder's potential sales and profitability.

"This is the defining moment in our 126-year history," he remarks. "We are poised to launch the first truly tamper-evident, state-of-the-art packaging in the industry."

Sturtevant has made a significant investment in redesigning the Columbia Antiseptic Powder bottles.

"They will have a modern look -- the same shape, but taken to the next level with a bit of a retro feel," explains Rosenfeld.

"The product will stand out so dramatically on retailers' shelves that shoppers passing by that aisle will be compelled to look at it," Rosenfeld says. "Even if they did not enter the store seeking a medicated powder, they will be stopped in their tracks."

Retailers have seen their profits stagnate in the category, Rosenfeld points out, saying, "We aim to jumpstart it with our new packaging, line extensions and strong merchandising support."

Chain drug retailers can count on the company supplying innovative point-of-purchase materials, including signs and banners, while the Columbia Powder web site lists drug stores that carry the brand.

"We have known for years that our product is the best in the category -- and now we are putting our money where our mouth is," notes Rosenfeld.

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Title Annotation:F.C. Sturtevant Co. redesigns Columbia Antiseptic Powder packaging
Publication:Chain Drug Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 28, 2003
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