Natural products to bloom in sales
Homeopathy is hopping. Sales of many of the homeopathy brands represent some of the fastest-growing products across the OTC landscape these days, as evidenced by the number of brands escalating on the top 10 lists across several categories. Overall, sales of homeopathic medicines totaled $1.3 billion for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 22, up 8% according to SPINS, which tracks sales across both the natural channel (excluding Whole Foods) and mass retailers.
According to a survey conducted by the market research firm Kline, more than 45% of consumers consider natural OTCs like homeopathic products effective. And more than 40% believe that natural OTCs are safer and/or have fewer side effects than traditional OTCs.
Business opportunities vary across product categories, noted Laura Mahecha, industry manager at Kline’s Healthcare practice. "For instance, while cough and cold preparations are expected to grow at a rate of only 5% to reach $320.9 billion in 2016, it is anticipated that sleeping aids will grow by about 18% per year to reach $54 million in 2016 from $23.5 million reported in 2011," she said. "Growth in natural OTCs will be dependent on whether consumers continue to find them effective and safe."
Beyond opportunities within sleep, external analgesics containing arnica may become another growth driver. "You’re going to see the leg cramps and the arnica really come full force in the next 12 months," said Les Hamilton, VP sales for Hyland’s. Menthol rubs are common across the category, he added, and the homeopathic external analgesic solutions could supply some "newness" to the category.
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Homeopathy Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.
DSN Flu Tracker: Illustrating the 2012-2013 season
There were more sick people cruising the cold relief aisles this year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu incidence peaked at 6.1% this season, making this season the most virulent since the 2007-2008 season — excepting the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, which was atypical.
With that in mind, sales of cough and cold medicines — or sales of just about anything else that had something to do with the flu, from hand sanitizers to flu shots — were through the roof.
To watch the DSN Flu Tracker slideshow, loaded with key data, including sales in core OTC cough-cold categories during the thick of cold and flu activity, visit click here.
Age, gender play significant role in VMS use
As many as 72% of consumers use vitamins and dietary supplements, according to an online survey of more than 900 AccentHealth viewers conducted in late 2012. Those most likely to report supplement use include women and all consumers over the age of 55 years. Almost 3-in-4 women surveyed supplement their diets (74%) vs. 65% of men, and 81% of consumers over 55 years reported supplementing vs. 72% of consumers between the ages of 35 years and 54 years.
"While pharmacists are reported as the primary source of information on OTCs, doctors are the ‘go-to’ on vitamins and dietary supplements," noted Sara Mawhinney, AccentHealth senior market research analyst. Two-in-5 survey participants reported that they were primarily given information about their supplements from their doctor, followed by 28% who received that information from a friend or relative, and 18% who researched their supplements online.
Notably, survey participants over the age of 55 years were more likely to seek multiple sources of dietary supplement information (33%) as compared with younger shoppers (25%).
There are other differences regarding how survey participants over 55 years got their supplement information. While physicians are the most commonly used resource, those ages 55 years and older are significantly more likely to use the Internet for information on vitamins as compared with younger shoppers. "Additionally, respondents ages 55-plus years are more likely than those younger to consult a doctor or pharmacist and read … magazines for vitamin information," Mawhinney said. Radio was the least-cited source for information — only 1% of consumers over 55 years identified the radio as an information source.
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