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    ACNielsen Expands Services

    Company begins tracking OTC remedy sales in convenience stores.

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- ACNielsen U.S., an operating unit of ACNielsen, a VNU company, yesterday said its industry-leading Convenience Track service now reports on sales of numerous over-the-counter (OTC) remedies, making it the only information service to track sales of such products in convenience stores.

    The announcement was made here during the annual National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) trade show and convention. The new categories are:
    * Cold Remedies (Adult & Children's)
    * Antacids
    * Pain Remedies
    * Anti-Gas
    * Sinus Remedies
    * Breath Fresheners
    * Cough Drops
    * Oral Antiseptics
    * Cough Syrups & Tablets
    * Vitamins
    * Throat Lozenges

    "We are very pleased to add OTC remedies to the list of categories we report on with Convenience Track. With the launch earlier this year of our Homescan RX/OTC panel, and now the ability to track OTC remedy sales in c-stores, ACNielsen is able to provide an unparalleled portfolio of mission-critical insights to the manufacturers of such products," said John Petrakis, senior vice president of marketing for ACNielsen U.S.

    "In addition, our many c-store retailer clients can, for the first time, benchmark their sales of OTC remedies against market-wide sales where they compete. This expansion of our category coverage reflects ACNielsen's continued commitment to providing the consumer packaged goods industry's premiere convenience store measurement service."

    The ACNielsen Convenience Track service utilizes both scanning data as well as store audits to measure sales in the convenience channel. Since just 50 percent of convenience stores use point-of-sale scanners, and only 25 to 30 percent of stores can provide complete and accurate data on a timely basis, it is essential that audits be conducted in non-scanning stores to derive the most accurate measurement of sales in the convenience store channel.

    Convenience Track is the only c-store service to provide sales information on a local market level. Thirty markets are available for non-alcoholic beverages, candy, other tobacco, ice cream, frozen novelties, energy bars, cookies, crackers, nuts, meat snacks, other salty snacks, and the OTC remedy product categories named above. The service monitors beer sales in 22 markets and in client-defined custom areas.

    In other news, ACNielsen said it has added Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp. to its Convenience Track Account Level Services (ALS).

    Convenience Track ALS reports provide sales and promotional activity information for all UPC-coded products sold by specific retailers, with the information organized by the retailer's entire chain and by its own defined local markets. With the addition of ExxonMobil's nine market areas, ACNielsen now offers 78 such reports, the most in the consumer packaged goods industry.

    Petrakis said the addition of ExxonMobil further strengthens ACNielsen's industry-leading Convenience Track service. "We are extremely pleased to be able to make ExxonMobil information available to our manufacturer clients," he said. "This is a key retailer in the convenience channel and we are very proud to include ExxonMobil within the Convenience Track portfolio of leading c-store retailer reports."

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