Immunity sales & NPD activity on the rise

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One of the newer CHC subcategories that appeared in the Top 10 biggest contributors to global consumer healthcare growth in the MAT Q1 2010 period was immune supplements, with the subcategory producing a 28.5% global upturn in the year to end-March 2020. Along with vitamin C products, probiotics and multivitamins, immune supplements were among several major VMS contributors to growth in the first quarter.

For 2019, our CHC New Products Tracker service recorded 95 new product developments in the herbal & natural immune stimulants subcategory, making it the 14th most active subcategory overall in the consumer healthcare market. So far in 2020, immune supplements are already in the Top 10 most active subcategories – a sign of the rapid increase in new product development in response to the Covid-19 pandemic – and we fully expect this growth in NPD activity to accelerate over the remainder of the year.

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There has been a wide array of immunity NPD activity across all regions, notably Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. In certain markets, such as India and China, there is also likely to be a rise in sales of country-specific natural remedies (Ayurvedic medicine and TCM) positioned for immunity support, though marketers will have to be wary of government clampdowns on products that are claimed to prevent or cure Covid-19.

Notable immunity supplement launches in the USA so far in 2020 include GSK’s Emergen-C Turmeric & Ginger and Emergen-C Elderberry, available in fizzy drink mixes, and RB’s Airborne Immune + Natural Energy Ready To Drink Shot. In Europe, Neuraxpharm unveiled Preventan Clasic in Spain and Italy, while Sambcol Immuno Forte and Sambucol Kids + Vitamin C were rolled out in Germany. As for Asia-Pacific, Grandma’s Kadha effervescent tablets were launched in India and Sanofi’s Cenovis line was relaunched in Australia.

Thousands of innovations are launched every year in the global consumer healthcare market, but relatively few offer notable new benefits for consumers in terms of delivery format or formulation. Which new products are breaking through and offering a unique proposition? Where will new product development take the CHC market in future? Contact Melissa Lee (melissa.lee@nicholashall.com) today to pick up your copy of the Innovation in CHC report.

e-Commerce CHC growth accelerating

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All the signs point to accelerated growth for the internet & mail order channel of the global CHC market in the first quarter of 2020. In 2019, the overall global retail CHC market recorded growth of 3.9%, while internet & mail order sales achieved much faster growth of 12.4% that same year, and the channel is forecast to rise by 22.5% in 2020.

Several leading CHC companies reported dynamic e-Commerce growth in their latest quarterly results, with RB reporting a strong e-Commerce upturn across all major platforms and market places, particularly in Greater China, led by Dettol and Infant & Child Nutrition (IFCN), and North America, with Mucinex and VMS in particular making good progress. Likewise, P&G reported 35% growth for e-Commerce channels in its fiscal third quarter (calendar Q1 2020), translating into around 10% of company business. CFO Jon Moeller acknowledged social distancing orders were a key driving factor, but still expects a permanent shift in the portion of business conducted online post-pandemic.

GSK is another company that has been boosted by increased online demand for its analgesics, CCA and VMS products. The company reported that the impact of Covid-19 varied across regions in Q1 2020, as a result of differing government actions and consumer behaviour. USA, UK, Australia and several other markets benefited from increased demand and shopper activity in both traditional retail and e-Commerce channels, which resulted in accelerated purchases across all categories, while some markets, including India and China, were negatively impacted by mandated retailer shutdowns.

Likewise, the benefits of increasing trade channel liberalisation will not be shared equally among all CHC marketers. While many leading companies are well prepared for this increasing consumer appetite for internet & mail order purchases, some marketers with a more limited e-Commerce profile may find it hard to adapt to this shift in demand, especially if they’re highly leveraged in brick & mortar retail outlets, as is the case – for example – with Prestige Brands and the convenience store channel in the USA.

Coming this month — with two timing options on 22 and 23 July — is an all-new Hot Topic webinar focusing on COVID-19: The Impact on the Global and Regional CHC Markets. To find out more or register to join your preferred session, contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

NPD activity in CHC in Q1 2020

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At the same time as our DB6 division publishes data on the sales performance of the global CHC market in the first quarter of 2020, it’s also a good time to reflect on headline new product development trends in the period from January to March 2020, using our CHC New Products Tracker tool which covers 20 key markets. The major development that stands out this year is the dramatic fall in the volume of new product development (NPD) in March 2020, compared to the same month in the three previous years.

March is traditionally the month we see a sharp rise in NPD activity after the quieter month of February, but this year Covid-19 halted that trend. So far for March 2020, we only have 271 entries – including launches, Rx-to-OTC switches, line extensions, rollouts and relaunches – recorded in our Tracker archive, compared to much higher totals in March 2019 (464 entries), March 2018 (434) and March 2017 (397).

This sharp fall in global NPD activity in March 2020 is likely the result of CHC marketers shelving plans to launch new products in response to the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The question is whether these plans have been postponed or abandoned altogether? We know that several CHC companies have streamlined their portfolios during the pandemic to ensure continued production of core SKUs, so it’s possible portfolio innovation has fallen down the priority list. Alternatively, we may see a surge in NPD activity in the remainder of 2020. Only time will tell.

What will also be interesting to see play out is how NPD activity in 2020 differs in terms of its focus on fast-growing subcategories, fuelled by the Covid-driven spike in demand. For example, we saw an increasing number of antiseptics & disinfectants launched in March 2020, compared to the same month in previous years. This trend will likely be replicated in other subcategories, such as herbal & natural immune stimulants, when we come to analyse NPD activity in Q2 2020 and later quarters.

Thousands of innovations are launched every year in the global consumer healthcare market, but relatively few offer notable new benefits for consumers in terms of delivery format or formulation. Which new products are breaking through and offering a unique proposition? Contact melissa.lee@nicholashall.com to secure your copy of Innovation in CHC, a report showcasing many of the “wow brands” launched in 2019 and highlighting ingredient and delivery format trends that continue to characterise the market in 2020.

 

Health Report 2020: How Europe moves towards the future

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Stada last week published its Health Report 2020: How Europe Moves Towards the Future, conducted by Kantar Health and involving more than 24,000 participants in 12 European countries. The report contained a “corona special feature” involving 6,000+ respondents from six countries, which found that 61% rate medical care during the crisis as positive / very positive. The highest approval rates were in Spain (75%) and UK (74%), which both dealt with particularly high mortality rates, while the assessment was significantly more negative in Russia (31%). Some 44% declared a newfound respect for the work of medical staff and one in four have a better understanding of the importance of good medication.

Everyday illnesses was among the many other topics covered in the report, and this section revealed that – despite the increasing prevalence of sleep problems among Europeans – only one in three are willing to take sleeping pills. Across Europe, 26% of people reported being afraid of developing an addiction to sleeping pills, while awareness of possible causes of sleep disorders was low. Other key findings of note for CHC marketers are that a high proportion (over 80%) of European employees state they will still go to work even if they have a cold, while only 61% of respondents say that they read the instruction leaflet when taking medication. As for other topics, the willingness to receive a remote diagnosis via webcam has notably increased compared to 2019 (70% vs 54%), while 82% of Europeans support the idea of compulsory vaccinations.

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Nicholas Hall commented: How Europe – indeed, the whole world – moves towards the future is a vital topic in these difficult times. Stada’s findings on remote diagnosis bring up the whole question of Telehealth. Earlier this week, we conducted regional trend (d)e-briefings, with delegates from North and Latin America in attendance. One of the questions related to the importance of new technology, and my answer was that a year ago the answer would have focused on medical devices, but now the issue is whether we remain “wired” after Covid-19 recedes.

So, will healthcare be delivered virtually in the future? Will e-detailing and e-selling replace medical and pharmacy reps? Will digital solutions increase the chances of more prescription ingredients going over the counter? This is a big topic, much more than I can go into here, but worthy of its own (d)e-briefing, which we are planning for September. Other webinars will cover the impact of Covid on consumer purchasing and usage – no surprises there – together with CBD and sustainability, two themes echoed in some of our lead stories this week.

Take your final chance to register for the Asia-Pacific CHC Trends webinar, taking place tomorrow (Tuesday 23rd June). You will hear about successful brands from the past 3 years, hot topics, the impact of the Covid-19 situation on the market in 2020 and much more! Please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com to find out more or register without delay.

How will CHC supply chains evolve in Covid-19’s wake?

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Supply chain issues are high on the agenda of consumer healthcare marketers in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Bayer said in its Q1 results that its Consumer Health division was able to respond very flexibly to significantly higher volumes and shifts in the product mix thanks to its supply chain operation. In addition, RB last week appointed Sami Naffakh as Chief Supply Officer and member of the Executive Committee, effective 1st July 2020. RB CEO, Laxman Narasimhan, said: “Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the global supply chain teams have worked tirelessly to step up for our consumers and our customers. As we continue to ‘navigate our new normal’, we must also start to focus on our medium-to-longer-term supply needs across the entire, diverse portfolio.”

Novartis’ supply chain has also coped well during the pandemic, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of its staff – as outlined in this report – but some companies have been harder hit. In February 2020, Blackmores downgraded its FY2020 forecast saying that, while the outbreak has increased demand for key immunity products, this has been countered by supply chain disruptions that the company expected would continue to affect China sales for at least 2-3 months.

As our graphic below shows, China is a key producer of active ingredients (APIs), and absolutely vital to the world supply of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), for example. India, which imports most of its APIs from China, has been hit hard by disruptions in the supply chain, and in March 2020 the Government banned the export of 20+ APIs to protect the supply of essential medicines in the domestic market. This had knock-on effects around the globe, however last week India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade lifted restrictions on the export of active pharmaceutical ingredients of paracetamol.

China, IndiaIn a recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), called “The Great Unwinding”, more and more companies are said to be moving parts of their supply chains away from China, a trend accelerated by Covid-19, with multinationals seeking to build “quasi-independent regional supply chains in the Americas and Europe”, to ensure future resilience. In addition, the report indicates that another long-lasting impact of Covid-19 will be companies looking to store inventory in “strategic locations from where it can be easily accessed and delivered to customers”.

The pharmaceutical industry is also facing rising prices of raw material. According to data from India’s Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil), the cost of paracetamol went up up 50-60% at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the prices of vitamins increased by 40-50%. As the EIU report indicates, companies will need to think strategically about pricing models, given that “both the regionalisation of supply chains and the build-up of strategic inventories will push up final goods prices, denting a product’s competitiveness”. However, one of the upsides to this change is that “a more regionalised supply chain will offer opportunities for companies to focus more on local tastes amid a greater capacity for product differentiation”.

Very soon we will be publishing the second edition of our hot topic review, Coronavirus 2020 and its potential impact on CHCThis report from our Competitive Intelligence & Market Analysis (CIMA) division explores the response to the pandemic from CHC brands and marketers as well as the overall impact on CHC to date. You will also be able to read about trends observed so far (key categories impacted, how consumer behaviour has changed etc), how key CHC players performed in Q1 and projections for the near and longer-term.  If you have purchased the original Coronavirus 2020 Review, you will receive the 2nd edition free of charge. For more information, or to purchase your copy, please contact Melissa.Lee@NicholasHall.com

How will India’s CHC market perform in 2020?

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In its Q1 results, GSK cited the impact of retailer shutdowns in India on its Consumer performance, and the outlook for India’s CHC market in 2020 remains uncertain. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, India reported slower growth for its consumer healthcare market in 2019 (+8.2%) compared to previous years, owing to India’s macro-economic weakness leading to slowing consumption. This has resulted in some marketers, such as Emami, to rethink launch plans and spurred others, including Dabur, to implement strategies to overcome the slump.

Two weeks ago, it was also reported that Blackmores has paused plans to enter India pending clarity about Covid-19 in the country. CEO Alastair Symington announced the decision at the Macquarie Australia Investment conference. He also stated that Australian sales of immunity products – such as vitamin C supplements and practitioner-only BioCeuticals ArmaForce – have boomed since the beginning of the pandemic, with Google analytics showing an upturn in online searches for information on boosting immunity as Australian households focus on maintaining good health.

blackmores-logo-pngWith India in the grip of the Covid-19 outbreak, Dabur has brought forward the launch of a range of Ayurveda-backed preventive healthcare and personal hygiene products. These include Tulsi Drops, a mix of five types of rare Tulsi leaves. With antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, the product claims to help boost immunity, relieve cough & cold symptoms and build respiratory health. In an interview with BusinessLine, CEO Mohit Malhotra said he believes the importance of personal hygiene and healthcare products for boosting immunity will grow in the global consumer mindspace, even post-pandemic.

In addition, several marketers have diversified existing derma brands into hand sanitisers to cater to increased demand. Emami has extended its flagship skin care brand BoroPlus with the launch of BoroPlus Advanced Anti-Germ Hand Sanitiser, the company’s first foray into that segment. Along with immunity supplements, antiseptics & disinfectants is clearly among the CHC categories in India achieving accelerating growth, with RB reporting in its Q1 results that Dettol was growing strongly in both Developed and Emerging Markets in Q1, with Covid-19 demand fuelling greater product penetration in UK, Australia, India and China.

Whether growth in Covid-fuelled categories like immunity supplements and antiseptics & disinfectants is enough to offset wider macroeconomic trends in India and supply issues caused by retailer shutdowns remains an issue of great interest for marketers active in India’s CHC market. At present, however, we’re forecasting a further moderate slowdown in the market in 2020.

Nicholas Hall’s New Paradigms for CHC 2019: Over the Horizon includes chapters on How to Innovate, Rx-to-OTC Switch, e-Commerce and Digital Engagement, to name just a few of the key trends explored in the report. Written by Nicholas himself, you can also upgrade your purchase to include a customised webinar. To find out more or to purchase your copy, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Q4 update: Middle East & Africa highlights

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One key feature of your CHC DASHBOARD subscription is exclusive reporting on the consumer healthcare market in the Rest of World region, predominantly the Middle East & Africa. This dynamic region now accounts for almost 7% of the global CHC market, and produced continued strong growth in 2019, with sales up 7.0% to total US$9.6bn. Three countries in the region – South Africa, Turkey and Saudi Arabia – rank 20th, 24th and 25th respectively in terms of CHC market size.

Company Watch: Unsurprisingly, dominant global No.1 GSK is the leading CHC marketer in the region, as it is in all regions except Latin America. Multinationals Sanofi, Bayer and RB also feature in the regional Top 5, and each of these companies produced growth in 2019 in excess of the regional average of 7%. South Africa’s No.1 CHC marketer Adcock Ingram is the only local company to feature at the top of the rankings, while Abdi Ibrahim sits just outside the Top 5.

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Category Watch: Strong growth for analgesics (+8.1%) and Derma (+8.1%) helped ensure the region’s impressive rise in 2019. Three of the Top 5 regional analgesic brands – Panadol, Voltaren and Grand-Pa – are marketed by GSK, while RB markets another of the Top 5 regional CHC analgesic brands, Nurofen. As for Derma, a strong upturn for the leading dermatologicals category in the region, wound healers (+11.9%), was powered by Bayer’s Bepanthen / Bepanthol and Madecassol brands.

Brand Watch: Thanks to M&A activity in recent years, GSK now markets four of the Top 10 brands in the region, with No.3 Otrivin and No.8 Centrum added to the company’s existing key brands, Panadol and Voltaren. RB also markets multiple brands in the regional Top 10, with analgesic Nurofen, antacid Gaviscon and sore throat remedy Strepsils all featuring at the top of the rankings. However, the fastest-growing brand in the Top 10 in 2019 was Galderma / Nestle’s eczema & psoriasis treatment Cetaphil.

We are pleased to announce that Nicholas Hall’s CHC Yearbook 2020 is now published digitally, with print copies landing on desks next week! With the latest facts & figures, it offers the most up-to-date and fully-informed picture of the CHC industry around the world. To order or explore digital licence and multiple copy discount options, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Highlights from the Q4 update

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The latest quarterly report on the global CHC market is now available on the CHC DASHBOARD website, including data & trends on the market’s performance at a global, regional and country level (for all 63 markets) in the year to end-December 2019. Here we highlight some of the key topline trends from this update, selecting one major global development from each of our company, category and brand watch sections.

Company Watch: Stada enters the global Top 20

While the list of global Top 5 CHC marketers remains relatively stable, one company that shot up the global rankings in late 2019 thanks to M&A activity, and now claims the No.11 position worldwide, is Stada. The German marketer agreed two major deals in November 2019 that elevated it into the global Top 20. First, as part of Takeda’s goal to divest around US$10bn in non-core assets, Stada bought around 20 selected OTC and Rx products marketed in Russia, Georgia & CIS countries, for US$660mn. Secondly, Stada entered into an agreement to acquire Walmark from Mid Europa Partners for an undisclosed sum. With global No.9 Takeda reportedly now planning to sell its wholly owned OTC subsidiary, Takeda Consumer Healthcare, Stada may feature soon among the Top 10.

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Category Watch: Analgesics already accelerating before Q1

Driven by accelerating growth in North America and Europe in Q4, analgesics recorded an upturn of 4.7% in 2019, ensuring the category’s best performance in three years. This trend looks set to accelerate even further in Q1 2020, with various top marketers reporting very strong analgesics growth for their key brands in the latest quarterly results, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019, topical analgesics still grew faster than systemics, though the latter showed the strongest improvement in growth, powered in particular by upturns in USA, Brazil and Germany.

Brand Watch: Vicks and Tylenol race ahead

Only two CHC brands generate more than US$1bn in sales globally – P&G’s global No.1 Vicks and J&J’s global No.2 Tylenol – and both also grew more than twice as fast as the global CHC market overall in 2019. The latest company quarterly results indicate that both brands have shown further acceleration in Q1 2020, driven in particular by gains in North America.

Thank you to everybody who attended Nicholas’ CHC Trends Webinar! If you were unable to join live, you can now purchase a recording of the full discussion, and submit up to 3 questions via email. To find out more or to purchase your copy of the recording, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com

Survey shows growing support for pharmacies in Europe

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According to a YouGov survey, commissioned by Stada and focusing on four European countries (Germany, Italy, Spain and UK), hope and confidence in healthcare professionals has grown in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, though the picture does vary from one country to the next. With measures to reduce coronavirus infection rates defining daily life, Spaniards show the greatest concern for their health (51%), while people in Germany, Italy and UK are less worried (36-39%).

Germans (18%) are least likely to believe their healthcare system has absolutely proven itself, while 47% of Spaniards gave their health system top marks, followed by the UK (35%) and Italy (29%). Spaniards (32%) and Italians (28%) are most likely to have avoided visiting pharmacies vs only 14% in Germany and 19% in UK. In total, one in five people have greater respect and more recognition of what pharmacies provide on a day-to-day basis.

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The potentially good news for community pharmacies in Europe is that the coronavirus crisis does not appear to be leading to a large number of people ordering more medicines online. In fact, only 6% of those surveyed say they are taking this action. However, it will remain to be seen how consumer attitudes to internet & mail order purchasing of OTCs change in the coming years, especially in Europe. According to DB6 VP, Celine Waller, internet & mail order is expected to account for 19.2% of the total CHC market within the next decade, more than doubling its share from 9.4% currently. 

The survey also highlighted the likely impact of Covid-19 on the VMS market in Europe. UK consumers and Germans are generally not motivated to take more vitamins or similar products (<9%). In Italy and Spain, the readiness to do so is higher, particularly for vitamin C, D and multivitamins (13-15%). Paying greater attention to nutrition and taking more exercise hold greater attraction in the southern countries than in Germany and the UK, where people are more likely to say that the coronavirus situation has not changed their habits. 

Ensure that you have registered to join Nicholas online for a special webinar presentation with Q&A, which will take place next week! On 29 April at 10:00-11:30 UK time, Nicholas will review 2019 CHC market performance, explore the impact of Covid-19 and identify growth prospects for the future. For those unable to join, there will be the option to purchase a recording and submit up to 3 questions via email. To find out more or to register to join, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com without hesitation!

CHC market forecast to hold up well in 2020

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Forecasts released by Nicholas Hall’s CHC sales database DB6 project that the global retail CHC market is expected to slow to 3.5% in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Analgesics are expected to increase to 6.1% driven by strong sales of paracetamol-based systemics, while topicals are forecast to slow to 3.3% in spite of the switch of Voltaren in USA
  • CCA is projected to be the fastest-growing category with an increase of 6.5% boosted by coronavirus and reports of a high incidence of seasonal cold & flu at the start of 2020
  • GIs (+0.4%) and Derma (+0.8%) are expected to remain static as consumers cut back on non-essential purchases amid the tougher economic environment
  • Antiseptics & disinfectants are forecast to buck the low-growth trend in derma with a double-digit increase
  • Lifestyle CHC sales are predicted to slow to 1.8%, with erectile dysfunction (+13.2%) and sedatives & sleep aids (+7.8%) bright spots in an otherwise challenging category
  • VMS sales are expected to maintain growth of 3.4% with anticipated gains in some subcategories — notably vitamins C & D, zinc and immune supplements, offset by a deceleration in some other subcategories

The market is expected to bounce back in the longer term with a forecast CAGR 24/19 of 4.3% and CAGR 29/24 of 4.7% driven by switch, most notably of erectile dysfunction and daily oral contraceptives. CBD is not included in these retail forecasts.

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DB6 VP, Celine Waller writes: The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted an unprecedented surge in sales of certain CHC products as consumers have stocked up on essential medicines and sought products to protect their health. However, latest data points suggest that this spike has been short-lived with the market now stabilising and in some cases receding. We expect this trend to continue over the next few months, leading to a slight slowdown in CHC retail sales across 2020 in its entirety, although of course the industry is expected to be far more resilient than many others.

However, this only tells part of the story – as consumers are unwilling or not permitted to leave their homes, we expect an acceleration of the channel shift from bricks & mortar to e-Commerce. CHC sales in the Internet & Mail Order channel are forecast to increase by 22.5% in 2020. This will boost growth of the holistic “all channels” view of the market, which also includes CBD, to 5.0% in 2020 (an improvement on 4.3% in 2019). Internet & Mail Order is expected to account for 19.2% of the total CHC market within next decade, more than doubling its share from 9.4% currently. 

We are pleased to announce the latest DB6 market forecasts are now available! With over 150,000 pieces of data across 63 markets, DB6 now includes topline data across all channels of distribution, including e-Commerce! To find out more about our extensive database or to set up a free demo, please contact Kate.Holdcroft@Nicholashall.com.