Report: OTC market not largely impacted by recession
LITTLE FALLS, N.J. The overall over-the-counter medicine market grew 3.2% during nonrecession years and only 1.2% during recessions, according to the latest research — Impact of Recessions on the U.S. OTC Market — from consulting and research firm Kline & Co.
The impact of recessions on the OTC market mainly comes from erosion of branded OTC sales by private-label products and is reflected in slower growth rates, Kline concluded.
The level of erosion varies by product classes and categories. However, Rx-to-OTC switches, major innovations and new product launches with related promotions that occur during recessions help cancel the effect of private-label erosion.
While overall the U.S. OTC market grows at slower rates than during non-recession periods, private-label OTC medicines outgrow 2007 rates by 5.7% over the same time period, suggesting that consumers are more aware of private-label products and are generally satisfied with the efficacy and price. Private-label products in categories such as general pain relievers, antacids and allergy medicines posted the highest growth, driven primarily by launches of private-label omeprazole (Procter & Gamble’s Prilosec OTC) and cetirizine (Johnson & Johnson’s Zyrtec).
Sales of Rx-to-OTC switch brands are either not impacted or are less impacted than regular OTC brands by recessions. For instance, the Rx-to-OTC switch of Claritin in 2003 only lost 18% of its sales to private-label competitors in the non-recession period, while private-label equivalents of Zyrtec launched in early 2008 seized one-forth of brand sales during 2009, a recession year.
“There is clear evidence that private-label OTCs grow at significant rates during a recession,” stated Laura Mahecha, industry manager at Kline’s Healthcare practice. “Consumers did trade down to private label, and branded products lost considerable shared private label, but at the same time, several switch products still did really well as consumers are still willing to pay extra for a product they feel is more innovative and offers more relief.”
In previous recessionary periods, overall OTC sales declined two years in a row; from 1999 to 2000 overall manufacturers’ sales were down 0.6%, and then declined again from 2000 to 2001 by 0.5%.
Cub Foods launches nutrition information program in stores
MINNEAPOLIS Cub Foods announced the launch of Nutrition iQ, a unique nutrition information program designed to help consumers make better-informed, better-for-you food choices right at the grocery store shelf.
Nutrition iQ was developed in collaboration with Joslin Clinic, part of an academic medical center affiliated with Boston’s Harvard Medical School. The Nutrition iQ program is available in the 73 Cub Foods stores located in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois.
The Nutrition iQ program comes as research shows that consumers are having difficulty making sense of nutrition guidelines and are looking for an easier way to make informed food choices for better health. For example, approximately three-in-five consumers think diet and nutrition are very important, yet more than half say they need practical tips to help them eat right and 41% don’t know or understand nutrition guidelines, according to the American Dietetic Association.
The Nutrition iQ program uses easy-to-see, color-coded shelf tags – hung just below an item’s price tag – to help consumers quickly identify healthier food choices for themselves and their families.
“Cub Foods is committed to helping its customers lead healthy lifestyles. With more than 60,000 items on our grocery store shelves, it can take considerable time to read and compare nutrition labels. The Nutrition iQ program provides a convenient way for consumers to evaluate food choices on the spot as they shop,” said Chuck Lynch, SVP operations at Cub Foods.
“Poor food choices contribute to many health problems, including obesity and heart disease,” said Nora Saul, M.S., R.D., C.D.E., nutrition services manager, Joslin Clinic. “We’re pleased to have been able to contribute our nutritional expertise to a program that offers people a way to make healthy eating choices.”
Cub Foods is the second of Supervalu’s nationwide family of grocery stores to receive the Nutrition iQ program, which initially launched in January 2009 at the company’s Albertsons banner. Preliminary data from Albertsons suggest that the program has helped steer consumers to purchase better-for-you foods. Supervalu will roll out the program to its other stores, including Acme in Philadelphia, bigg’s in Cincinnati, Farm Fresh in Virginia, Hornbacher’s in Fargo, Jewel-Osco in Chicago, Shaw’s/Star Market in New England, Shop ‘n Save in St. Louis and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, this year.
CVS Caremark Charitable Trust invests grant to Easter Seals
CHICAGO The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust has invested a $300,000 grant to Easter Seals’ autism services for young children nationwide, CVS Caremark announced on Tuesday.
The grant, made possible through the CVS Caremark All Kids Can Program, enhances nearly $6 million already provided to Easter Seals through the All Kids Can Program in which Easter Seals is a national partner.
“CVS Caremark is committed to helping improve the quality of life for children with autism through this grant,” stated Eileen Howard Dunn, SVP corporate communications and community relations for CVS Caremark. “By supporting Easter Seals in enhancing evidence-based therapies, our reach can impact families living with autism now and those who many be diagnosed in the future.”
As many as one-out-of-150 children is diagnosed with autism, and the need for treatments continues to grow exponentially. Getting the right support at the earliest stage in life is critical. Known as early intervention, this type of service gives children the skills they need to be successful, stated CVS Caremark.
Established in 2006, the CVS Caremark All Kids Can Program selected Easter Seals as a national partner in the five-year, $25 million initiative to support children with diabilities.