Significant Updates Made to HRG’s Fine Line Classification System

March 16, 2021By News

Waukesha, Wisconsin — March 15, 2021 — HRG has completed its semiannual update of its Fine Line classification system for health, beauty, and wellness (HBW), home health care (HHC), and general merchandise (GM) products with notable adjustments to reflect industry changes. The March 2021 updates include significant enhancements which support the Fine Line mission of improving reporting capabilities and supporting merchandising strategies. Among the categories affected: Feminine Care, Nicotine Replacement Therapy, and International Foods.

Recognizing the trend toward lower environmental impact products, a new Fine Line, Reusable Feminine Protection, has been added to the Feminine Care category. The number of reusable feminine protection products has dramatically increased since the CARES act made menstrual protection an FSA/HSA eligible benefit.

The category name, Smoking Deterrents, was changed to Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), to be consistent with use by health organizations such as the FDA, the American Cancer Society, and CDC, as well as several manufacturers. It better reflects the therapeutic aspect of these products, which sets them apart from “nicotine on demand” products.

To reflect the more inclusive language being used in the retail industry, the Ethnic Foods category name has been updated to International Foods. It also more closely reflects the product types classified in the category.

HRG’s team of analysts continually reviews the Fine Line classification system to determine whether modifications are necessary based on consumer market changes, emerging categories and subcategories, or merchandising trends. The Fine Line system is used throughout the retail supply chain and has been the industry standard in the retail drug channel since 1984. The system classifies HBW, HHC, and GM products into categories, subcategories, and product segments. The 2-, 3-, and 4-digit Fine Lines are defined by HRG’s team of analysts who take into account consumer behavior and providing a streamlined shopping experience. Retailers and distributors using the Fine Line system have a shopper-driven guide for product placement and a means to easily analyze product performance.

HRG releases updates to Fine Lines twice a year, in March and September. Updates to the HRG Fine Line system may consist of description changes, re-categorization of items, and additions or deletions of categories and/or subcategories. Download Fine Lines, or to learn more about HRG’s industry-standard Fine Line classification system, contact HRG client services at 414.355.1330 or