Nicholas Hall’s 2022 Marketing Awards

Nicholas Hall’s 32nd European CHC Conference took place last week in Athens, and below are the winners of this year’s awards for marketing and innovation in the consumer healthcare industry.

For the Colin Borg European Marketing Award, the top three awarded were as follows:

1st Place: Procto-Glyvenol from Recordati
2nd Place: Otrivin from GSK
3rd Place: Enandol from Menarini

The Winners of the Worldwide Marketing Award were as follows:

1st Place: Xyzal from Sanofi
2nd Place: Eno from GSK
3rd Place: Doril Enxaqueca from Hypera

We finally gave a Special Achievement Award to HRA Pharma (now owned by Perrigo) for Hana, with an honourable mention to Maxwellia’s Lovima, which has the same ingredient as Hana. For this award we celebrated the 360 degree marketing campaign run by HRA for Hana.

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: “The Athens conference has been a very special meeting; as well as the high level of content and great foresights shared, just to be together as a community will remain fresh in our memories for months and years to come.

The awards we presented this year were particularly welcome as they celebrate achievements made under the extreme circumstances of the pandemic. Not least, we presented a Special Achievement Award for only the 7th time in the almost 35 years of holding events. Three of these awards were given to individuals who made outstanding contributions to the industry, and three to marketers of truly significant new brands. It was in this tradition that we presented the 7th Special Achievement Award to HRA for the launch of Hana, the world’s first OTC daily oral contraceptive supported with 360° marketing support. An honourable mention was given to Maxwellia’s Lovima.

The hope and expectation is that these two new brands will trailblaze a new CHC category, which is vital as our market goes forward. If you look at the DB6 forecasts (see this week’s Dashboard infographic) – growth at 2021 levels is unlikely to be sustained. The only way to put us onto a higher trajectory will be to launch more significant new products and entice increasingly large numbers of consumers to participate in the self-care revolution. Hana is a superb example of how this can be achieved.

We have now released DB6 forecasts to 2026 & 2031, following the recent publication of our year-end 2021 data. Arrange a demo to take a look for yourself, exploring the expanded channels dataset, which now includes internet & mail order, direct sales and CBD. DB6 offers over 150,000 pieces of data, with more than 30,000 records covering 13,000+ brands and 3,000 companies across 63 countries. To find out more, or to set up a free demo, please contact kate.fieldingsmith@NicholasHall.com.  

Q1 Results Round-Up: J&J, Nestlé and P&G

J&J sales rose by 5.0% on a reported basis in Q1 2022 to US$23.4bn, with operational growth of 7.7%. Consumer Health sales fell by 1.5%, but grew 0.8% operationally. Excluding the net impact of acquisitions, divestitures and translational currency, adjusted CH operational sales increased by 1.6%. This was primarily driven by OTC products, with Tylenol and Motrin, upper respiratory products and Imodium major contributors. 

P&G net sales rose by 7% in Q3 fiscal 2022 (Jan-Mar 2022) to US$19.4bn. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, acquisitions and divestitures, organic sales grew by 10%, driven by a 3% rise in shipment volumes, 5% from increased pricing, and a 2% increase from positive geographic and product mix, with each category growing. Health Care – US$2.7bn, +13% – was once again P&G’s strongest division. Personal Health Care organic sales were up more than 30%, owing to a stronger cough / cold & flu season vs the prior year, as well as innovation in sleep and digestive wellness.

Nestlé sales rose by 5.4% in Q1 2022 to CHF22.2bn (US$23.4bn). Growth was broadly based across most geographies and categories. E-Commerce sales grew by 5.0%, building on 39.6% growth in Q1 2021. Nestlé Health Science, which earlier this month completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Orgain, a leader in plant-based nutrition, advanced by 55.8% to CHF1.4bn (US$1.5bn). Organic growth was 5.6%, building on two consecutive years of double-digit growth, with real internal growth of 4.3% and pricing +1.3%. 

Source: J&J

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: Here at NHC we are in the final countdown for the Athens Conference, already postponed three times because of Covid. I’m looking forward so much to meeting delegates in the old-fashioned way, even if we are still required to wear masks and preserve some form of social distancing.

And we will have a lot to celebrate at the conference. Even though society is not quite ready for the New Normal – the pandemic is not yet over and almost certainly we will face a global recession in the months ahead – I sense a new optimism in the CHC industry. Some of our players are reporting positive and even spectacular results and the pulse of Licensing & Acquisition never slackens.

With less than two weeks to go until our 32nd European CHC Conference & CHC Training Academy Workshop, why not reserve your place now! Taking place in Athens on 4-6 May 2022, industry experts including speakers from Bayer, J&J, Menarini and Teva will explore how as an industry we can move forward with CHC Innovation. Contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com to book your seat.

Two Rx-to-OTC allergy switches approved by FDA

In a clear sign of a more favourable attitude to Rx-to-OTC switch, the US FDA last week approved two new allergy products for non-prescription use.

Lastacaft alcaftadine ophthalmic 0.25% solution (Allergan / AbbVie) is now available without a prescription online and in retail stores for individuals aged 2+ years with ocular allergies. As demonstrated in clinical studies, one drop works in as little as three minutes to provide relief from itchy eyes for up to 16 hours. Following the recent FDA Rx-to-OTC switch approval, the original patented prescription-strength formulation of Lastacaft is available in a 5ml multidose bottle containing a 60-day supply, as well as a twin pack with two 5ml multidose bottles.

Perrigo also received final approval last week from the FDA for the OTC use of Nasonex 24HR Allergy (mometasone furoate monohydrate 50mcg). This marks the first branded Rx-to-OTC switch for the company, which expects to begin offering the nasal spray later this year. Nasonex is a registered trademark of Organon and is used by Perrigo and its affiliates under licence.

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: This development will no doubt lead to an increase in switch activity after House and Senate committee members cited concerns that “very few products in recent years have switched from prescription drugs to nonprescription drugs” and pointed out that the FDA is expected to “meet the goals of the Fall 2021 Unified Agenda and publish and subsequently finalise the proposed rule titled Nonprescription Drug Product with an Additional Condition for Nonprescription Use.”

The appropriations committees are also: “Concerned about dietary supplement products that are adulterated or misbranded, in particular with imported products. The agreement provides an increase of US$2mn in the FDA’s budget [US$6.1bn in total] to be used for inspections, as well as enforcement of the Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act of 1994”. My sense is that in the biggest market for both switch and dietary supplements, we could see a correction in the prevailing trend from treatment to prevention.

Take a look at the latest CHC innovations in our forthcoming 2022 edition of Innovation in CHC from CHC New Products Tracker. This report offers a look at Rx-to-OTC switch activity, as well as innovation by region, marketer and 20 individual countries. To pre-order your copy and save up to £1,350 with the pre-publication discount, or for further information on this report, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Tailored digital ads, e-Commerce to drive OTC adspend growth

GLOBAL: Advertising expenditure by OTC brands in the 13 key markets that account for 74% of total global adspend will expand by 7.6% in 2022 and 5.0% in 2023, according to Zenith’s Business Intelligence – OTC Healthcare report. This will be driven by tailored digital brand advertising, as well as performance advertising driving traffic to OTC e-Commerce platforms. Lockdowns and pandemic-related restrictions led to a leap in OTC e-Commerce in 2020 and with more consumers aware of and comfortable with shopping for OTC products online, this will become an increasingly important sales channel.

Traditional sales outlets are facing competition and brands have opportunities to launch new partnerships or DtC ventures, which will fuel continued growth in brand and performance advertising. Zenith forecasts that OTC brands will increase their digital adspend at an average rate of 11% a year between 2021-23, radio by 5%, TV 3% and magazines will shrink by 3%. Digital will account for 49% of OTC advertising in 2023 vs 46% in 2021.

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: I truly sympathise with Zenith. Up to a year’s work goes into a major report like this – we know from painful experience – and then the invasion of Ukraine changed everything. Following on shortly after the disruptive impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the recession that will certainly result from the hike in oil prices – and a recession is the best that we can hope for – will upend the global economy and invalidate many of the assumptions that have underpinned CHC industry forecasts.

Six months into the pandemic, in June 2020, my colleagues Nina Monk, Laura Howard Werling and the CIMA team prepared a very interesting report on the impact on CHC consumption of previous catastrophes: the 2008 economic recession and historic viral outbreaks such as SARS in 2003 and Swine Flu in 2009. In the words of the report: “Past events suggest the CHC industry is somewhat ‘recession-proof’: as the global GDP dipped following the 2008 global financial crisis, CHC sales increased in both value and volume terms.”

The 2022 recession is likely to be somewhat different from that of 2008. It will last longer and consumers all over the world will be hard-pressed to balance family budgets. Staple items will become discretionary, including some consumer healthcare items, and CHC marketers will become cautious about launching new products, initiatives and campaigns. In the next month we will start to prepare forecasts for the new edition of our CHC sales database, DB6. This year will be even more difficult than usual.

We are delighted to announce that our annual Asia-Pacific Conference will return to Singapore this November! This event will include the presentation of our Regional CHC Marketing Awards. Stay tuned for details on speakers and topics! Please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com to reserve your seat, to find out about sponsorship or for information on awards criteria.

Chr Hansen: Immunity a key driver of probiotic purchasing

Results from a Chr Hansen survey undertaken in 2021 among 16,000 people in 16 countries around the world reflect a strong interest in probiotics, signalling an opportunity for global players. Consumers are aware that robust gut health makes them feel better and supports immunity, which drives decision-making and has sparked motivation to learn more about which probiotics may offer the best outcomes for their individual needs. Key findings include:

  • 75% of participants report being very / somewhat familiar with probiotics
  • 48% consume probiotics daily / almost daily, in supplements or foods
  • 50% are familiar / very familiar with the term “gut microbiome” and the majority associate it with gut health, followed by immune health, wellbeing & general health
  • Online research is the most popular way to learn more about probiotics, but flavour and trust are the top drivers for choosing and staying with a particular brand 
Source: Chr Hansen

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: Until 2019, probiotics was the star CHC category, the fastest-growing globally, with sales projecting to US$8bn-10bn by 2028 and a feeling that we were only scratching the surface in terms of NPD. Then the category flatlined, with revenues down by 1.4% in the 12 months to June 2021, despite a lot of support from marketers, who in 2021 launched almost 250 new products in the 20 countries we measure in CHC New Products Tracker

We have commented many times before that the future growth of probiotics depends on better strains, with scientifically-supported claims, extending into new indications such as immunity, metabolic reconditioning, mood & sleep and mental health. It seems from the research quoted above that consumer interest in probiotics remains strong, and that companies like Lallemand and Chr Hansen remain at the cutting edge of developments. I for one am very much looking forward to The Future Resumed!

You can save up to £1,350 when you pre-order the 2022 edition of Innovation in CHC! Drawing from CHC New Products Tracker, the report will track breakthrough products from 2021, NPD by region, country and marketer, best-in-class studies and more. To pre-order your copy, or for further information on this report, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

South Africa results: Adcock CHC sales power forward in H2

South Africa’s No.1 CHC marketer, Adcock Ingram, said that its OTC division “recovered in amazing fashion” in H2 2021, driven by “increased demand for cough, cold & flu products”. The company’s unaudited results showed that overall turnover rose by 16% to R4.3bn (US$282mn) in the six months ended 31st December 2021, driven by volume growth of 9% and a mix benefit of 6% from new products, increased marketing activity on behalf of multinational partners and brand innovation.

  • OTC turnover grew by 26.4% to R993.9mn (US$65mn), arising from the relaxation in Covid-19 restrictions, which resulted in improved demand across the cough & cold portfolio vs the difficult comparative period. Citro-Soda, Allergex and Corenza-C all posted double-digit ex-factory growth
  • Consumer was up 32.7% to R795mn (US$52mn) supported by the inclusion of Epi-max (+15.3%) from 1st January 2021, when it was transferred from the Prescription division. On a like-for-like basis, sales improved 13.6% with key brands posting healthy growth, most notably painkiller Panado, driven by a marketing campaign linked to Covid vaccinations

Not all was rosy in the South African market, however. Following the disposal of its Animal Health and Respiratory Health Africa businesses, Ascendis Health’s remaining operations – Medical Devices, Pharma and Consumer Brands – reported an 18% decline in revenue to R1bn (US$65mn) in the six months to end-December 2021. Consumer Brands – R340mn / US$22mn, up by 1% – encountered headwinds in contract manufacturing plus the closing of and slower-than-expected re-opening of beauty salons. Port strikes and global supply chain challenges also impacted strategic procurement business Chempure. 

Following completion of a Recapitalisation Plan, which shareholders voted for in 2021, the Board will focus on rebuilding the company through a sustainable growth strategy. This includes optimising the Consumer Brands business, one of the largest VMS suppliers in S Africa, which presents a “compelling base for the group’s growth prospects”. The portfolio comprises seven key brands including Solal, Vitaforce, Menacal, Bettaway and Junglevite. Another pillar for growth is expansion via acquisitions. The Board is exploring opportunities to purchase “scalable, earnings-enhancing businesses in the broader consumer products sector”.

If you are looking to fill a gap in your business, Nicholas Hall’s executive recruitment service CHC TalentSelect may be able to help. With over 40 years’ experience in connecting people in the consumer healthcare industry, please get in touch with maricar.montero@NicholasHall.com to start your search.

Consumer focus shifts from physical to mental health

The pandemic has intensified a rise in depression, anxiety and distress and, while immunity remains a key focus, there has been a shift in the past two years from physical to mental health. This is according to GameChanger 2022, a report published by brand-building agency Healthy Marketing Team. Increasingly aware of the role of good mental balance for the body’s response to any health threat and the role played by the microbiome, consumers are moving away from the single hero ingredient for immunity to a more holistic approach that also includes stress relieving and mood boosting components. HMT founder Peter Wennström writes: “You must understand how to connect to today’s consumers not only with physical benefits and rational claims but also with emotional benefits … The value chain starts in the mind of the consumer — more so now than ever before.”

Comment from CHC.Newsflash Deputy Editor, Kirsten McEwan: The after-effects of pandemic-related lockdowns, worries and upheavals to our lives have become ever apparent and the rise in mental health issues is perhaps unsurprising. A study published in The BMJ (16th February 2022) highlights a further cause for concern about mental wellbeing in the post-Covid era. Researchers from the VA St Louis Healthcare System analysed data from the US Dept of Veterans Affairs database for 153,848 people who tested positive for Covid-19 between March 2020-January 2021; the data was matched to that from 5.6mn+ people without Covid and 5.8mn+ people pre-pandemic. Those with Covid had a 60% increased risk of a mental health diagnosis or prescription in the year following infection vs controls. Covid infection was associated with sleep disorders, depressive disorders, neurocognitive decline and substance use disorders. The researchers point out that the study included mostly older white men and the findings may not apply to other groups, but marketers may want to take note of this more specific target market.

Sedatives & sleep aids was one of the Top 5 most active CHC subcategories for new product development in 2021. Source: CHC New Products Tracker.

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: Mental health has been a growth sector of the global CHC market for at least 5 years. Sleep aids & sedatives have accumulated sales of about US$3bn, with a 7% CAGR since 2016, but growth accelerated even faster during the pandemic to 13%. More dynamic still was herbal memory & brain health, which most recently grew by 18% to US$1bn, with a 5-year CAGR of 10%.

Consumer demand is strong for all the reasons outlined in this week’s lead story and in my colleague Kirsten McEwan’s commentary. Yet I sense that many of the brands sold in the sector are deficient in some way – either a lack of excitement, weak claims or the formulations are old and with little scientific support. Prevagen from Quincy Bioscience is a standout in memory & brain health, but its clinical studies have been roundly contested by the authorities. Quincy always fights back, seems to win these arguments, continues to have very high growth and is looking to take a better than one-third global market share even though it is sold only in the USA.

Sleep aids & sedatives are much more fragmented and, although it is growing well, brand leader ZzzQuil (P&G) takes only a 6% global market share. It seems to me that the leading players in this sector, and new entrants, need to redefine their positioning and claims, and invest in more product development and clinical trials, if they are to take full advantage of abundant unmet consumer demand.

Put your brands into the spotlight at The Nicholas Hall CHC Marketing Awards 2022, which will take place during our 32nd European CHC Conference & Action Workshop. Entry submission is open until 1 April! For more information about entry criteria, or more details about the meeting, which will take place on 4-6 May 2022 in Athens, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

Poland approves world-first OTC switch of tadalafil

We continue with the theme of Rx-to-OTC switch this week with news from Poland, where the Office for Registration of Medicinal Products, Medical Devices & Biocidal Products (URPL) has approved Adamed’s Tadalafil MaxOn ED treatment (tadalafil 10mg; film-coated tablets; 2- and 4-count SKUs) as an OTC medicine, effective 1st February 2022. This will join Adamed’s sildenafil options MaxOn Active (25mg) and MaxOn Forte (50mg), which launched in May 2016 and April 2020, respectively. Tadalafil is claimed to get to work within 30 minutes for up to 36 hours, vs claims for sildenafil that it works within 30-60 minutes for up to five hours.

Poland was again one of the most active Rx-to-OTC switch markets in 2021, with only China ahead of it last year in terms of number of launched products reclassified from prescription to OTC status. Three of the six products launched post-switch in Poland in 2021 were erectile dysfunction treatments, including Hasco-Lek’s Mensil Max, Aflofarm’s Inventum Max and Polpharma’s Maxigra Max (all sildenafil 50mg). In addition, there were two digestive health switches – Teva’s antidiarrhoeal Gastrolit and Polpharma’s antacid Famotydyna Ranigast – and Polpharma’s cold sore treatment Heviran Comfort Max.

Source: Nicholas Hall’s CHC New Products Tracker

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: Last week our lead story was the likely switch of HRT in the UK, which we singled out as a pioneer. The latest news this week is from Poland, another switch centre of excellence and where the ED treatment tadalafil will be available in a non-prescription version for the first time anywhere in the world. Tadalafil was launched as a prescription medicine under the trademark Cialis, and Sanofi later acquired the CHC rights from Lilly, but the switch application in the USA has been held up for many years by the FDA.

My colleague Maryna Marriott of the CHC Insight Europe team tells me: “Poland continues to lead the way in switch innovation. The tadalafil approval follows a number of sildenafil 25mg and 50mg switches, with the Polish ED category totalling US$27.7mn in MAT Q3 2021, according to DB6, an increase of 28.5% vs the year-ago period. Men’s health clearly remains high on the consumer health agenda, and it seems likely a number of other tadalafil switches will follow in Poland.”

Switch is an expensive process in the USA, which is why it is subdued there at present. On the other hand, there has been renewed switch activity in Europe and parts of Asia. The problem for the CHC industry has always been that the benefits given to US companies gaining switch status – the cost to the patient-as-consumer drops substantially and there is often three years marketing exclusivity, whereas the ingredient can no longer be prescribed for the same indication – are not available to marketers in the rest of the world. That leads to the curious situation of some switches being regulatory wins but commercial failures. Let’s hope that Adamed is blessed with decent sales for its latest innovation.

Find solutions for success in this competitive CHC landscape with Nicholas and the team in Athens on 4-6 May 2022 for our 32nd European CHC Conference & Action Workshop! Meet with peers and hear from industry experts, including sessions from Bayer, Teva, J&J and many others face-to-face! For more information, or to reserve your seat, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

Estradiol to switch to OTC in UK?

The UK’s Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has launched a consultation on proposals to reclassify Danish-based Novo Nordisk’s Gina (estradiol 10mcg) vaginal tablets. This would mean that for the first time, women in the UK could access a local hormone replacement therapy at a pharmacy without a prescription. The tablets treat vaginal atrophy, which can cause dryness, soreness, itching, burning and painful intercourse. It affects around half of post-menopausal women, but many do not discuss the problem with their doctor.

The consultation seeks views from general practitioners, pharmacists and the public on making Gina available OTC to women aged 50+ years who have not had a period for at least one year. The MHRA stressed that as this is the first time such a change has been considered, it is important that as many opinions as possible are heard.

Proposed labelling for Gina. Source: MHRA

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: When I read this story, my first reaction was concern about the safety profile of a consumer version of this formulation. I’m reassured by the Commission on Human Medicine’s statement that “it is safe for this product to be made available as a Pharmacy (P) medicine”, but I can fully understand why the MHRA is consulting widely. In fact, there seems to be a decent measure of consumer and professional support for the switch as far as I can tell.

Coming hard on the heels of last year’s switch of the daily oral contraceptive in the UK, Novo Nordisk’s Gina – if approved – will be launched into an important intersection of sexual and women’s health. Women are responsible for 60% of CHC consumption globally, but with relatively few specific products designed for them, and account for about 85% of purchasing. It also reminds us that the UK is now the premier switch market in the world, at a time when our industry’s interest in switch is at an all-time low.

For a more detailed consideration of the consultation process and the pro’s and con’s of this switch, please read CHC.NewDirections. The markets for contraception, intimate care, pregnancy and fertility products, among others, are also explored in our newly-published Sexual Health & Fertility report. For further details, or to place your order, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

NielsenIQ’s “Global Consumer Outlook”: Agility crucial in 2022

The pandemic may be entering its third year, but there are signs that governments are gearing up to living with Covid-19. NielsenIQ’s 2022 Global Consumer Outlook delves into consumer sentiment and spending, revealing how people will shop in the year ahead. With employment disruptions, supply chain breakdowns and varying recovery scenarios, the trends setting the tone for consumer behaviour in 2022 include:

  • Consumers will move towards an endemic mindset 
  • Virus variants will fuel different recovery trajectories
  • Inflation concerns will take a toll on consumers; prepare for continued global consumer spending constraints
  • New-found consumer priorities born out of the pandemic will not be compromised. Consumer prioritisation of health, wellbeing & financial security will take centre stage 
Source: NielsenIQ
  • Consumer spending intentions reflect a continued homebody lifestyle with cautious approaches intensified by inflationary pressures. Leisure & entertainment will continue to take a backseat against an ongoing Covid backdrop
  • Necessity will be a driving force. Consumers will bring added scrutiny on expenses that fall beyond priorities & necessities

For the full Outlook, click here.

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: The NielsenIQ 2022 edition of “Global Consumer Outlook” is timely as we start to think again about a possible end of the pandemic. The NielsenIQ team concludes: “In the year ahead, agility will be critical. Retailers and brands that consider different trajectories and recovery scenarios will be better placed to address consumers’ changing priorities, states of cautiousness and increasingly constrained wallets. They must ensure their offerings can morph and resonate with how the landscape will continue to evolve in the years to come.”

One of the trends that we have observed in the USA, but not in other regions to the same extent, is a prioritisation of healthcare spend by consumers on products with tangible benefits. So for the first time in some years, we’ve seen more of the growth categories focusing on treatment than prevention. Is this a blip or the start of a longer-term trend? It’s too soon to tell!

An added complication is the weakness of the global economy and the predicted rise of inflation, which are putting more pressure on consumers, who in general will have to prioritise their shopping even more than in the past. So which consumer health products will they purchase in what may be a slimmed-down overall shopping basket? And a further knock-on effect may be a reduced interest in supporting sustainable products. The survey reported in our third lead story (below) is encouraging, but the practicality might be that consumers with less disposable income then before may not be able to prioritise these products, even though this remains their ideal.

These and many other issues are in the front of our minds at the moment as we begin to scope the 4th edition of our New Paradigms report (subtitled “A Return to the New Normal”) later in 2022.