CRN HIGHLIGHTS SAVINGS FROM SUPPLEMENTS USE

The CRN Foundation’s Supplement to Savings report identified up to US$17.7bn in annual net savings between 2022-30 from the use of specific dietary supplements by at-risk target populations most susceptible to coronary artery disease (CAD). Throughout February, American Heart Month, CRN will amplify the potential of dietary supplements to reduce the health impacts and healthcare costs of CAD. The chapters on CAD focus on four supplement regimens: 

  • Average annual cost savings from the widespread daily use of preventative amounts of omega-3 fatty acids EPA+DHA could be US$4.47bn 
  • Regular use of magnesium by specific at-risk populations amounts to average healthcare cost savings of US$2.32bn per year 
  • Regular use of vitamin K2 by specific populations could generate estimated annual cost savings of US$9.48bn 
  • The average cost savings from increased utilisation of soluble fibre for heart-health effects is US$1.47bn per year 

Nicholas Hall Writes: We talk a lot about the ability of the CHC industry to reduce the overall cost of public health as well as improving access, but it’s always good to see hard figures with which we can agree or disagree. Even if these estimates are too high – which I’m not saying is the case – a saving of up to US$18bn from coronary artery disease alone, and an even more important saving of lives, are to be greatly desired. To quote Steve Mister, the CRN’s President & CEO: “Today, most of our healthcare resources are spent after people are already afflicted with an ailment. We hope the broader medical community will take notice and evaluate how supplements can enhance nutrition and improve the overall health of their patients.”

I like Steve Mister’s terrier-like defence of dietary supplements, which we witnessed a second time this week when he (rightly) criticised the FDA for its unwillingness to take responsibility for regulating CBD. It is one thing to say that existing regulations cannot provide a pathway for CBD, although one wonders why it took four years to reach this conclusion, but where then is the pathway? Unless the FDA takes hold of this emerging category, it will continue to display all the characteristics of the Wild West, when we are seeking to avoid a “Gunflight at the CBD Corral”. And until firm but fair regulations are put in place, we are unlikely to attract major consumer players to this sector.

Monitor the latest launches across VMS with our dedicated innovation benchmarking tool, CHC New Products Tracker, which features almost 40,000 launches, all graded with a star rating. Subcategories such as CBD, eye health, omega-3 and various herbal supplements are tracked, plus many others. To find out more, or to set up a demo, please contact david.redford@NicholasHall.com.

Stark 2023 growth warning from IMF head

The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund has cautioned that 2023 is going to be a “tough year”, with one-third of the world economy expected to be in recession. The three big economies, USA, EU and China, are slowing simultaneously, translating to negative trends globally. Kristalina Georgieva added in an interview with the CBS News programme Face the Nation that, while USA is most resilient and may avoid recession, the strong labour market is a “mixed blessing” as interest rates could remain tight to lower inflation.

Meanwhile, half of the EU – severely hit by the war in Ukraine – will be in recession this year and China, which in 2022 slowed dramatically because of its zero Covid policy, will slow down further (+4.4% growth in 2023 projected) as the relaxation of restrictions leads to soaring coronavirus cases. Overall, IMF forecasts that Advanced Economies will grow by 1.1% in 2023, while Emerging Market and Developing Economies will rise by 3.7%, led by India (+6.1%) but dragged down by Russia (-2.3%).

When asked what leaves her hopeful, Georgieva said: “I know when we work together, we can overcome the most dramatic challenges. In 2020, the world came together in the face of tremendous threat and was able to overcome this threat. In 2023, we have to do the same.” 

Nicholas Hall Writes: For most of 2022 I wrote in CHC.Newsflash about a market performing surprisingly well, but there was an implicit warning that the party would come to an end one day. Kristalina Georgieva, head of the IMF, has issued a stark warning of tough times ahead economically, but that is light reading compared with Nouriel Roubini’s new book, “Megathreats”, which highlights the 10 trends that imperil our future. Known by some as Dr Doom, Roubini prefers to be known as Dr Realistic, but in my estimation he is Dr Right as he called out many past mistakes with great foresight, including the debt binge that has made the global economy today almost unmanageable.

So how will these megathreats affect Consumer Health? In one sense, we are privileged as healthcare is a must-have category, and self-care will fill part of the vacuum left by the inability of healthcare providers to meet the needs of a growing and demographically-unbalanced population, about which Dr Roubini also writes persuasively. But consumers can only spend the money in their pockets, regardless of whether it is earned or borrowed, which is why I am so concerned about the future of CHC brands and why generics and private labels are now seen as the new growth segment.

I’m also concerned about the viability of retailers and even e-Commerce platforms, as the economic crisis will lower customer footfall and push up costs including the cost of borrowing, forcing thousands of outlets to close. We are already seeing that as a sub-plot of today’s global medicine shortages. Partly this is a story of unpredictable demand caused by the afterwave of the Covid-19 pandemic, but it also seems to me that the supply chain has become very fragile as companies look for ways to cut costs by reducing inventory to breaking point. So our 2023 mission here at the Nicholas Hall Group is to reassess the Strategic Narrative for Consumer Health and offer advice to clients and the industry at large on how to survive mega- and microthreats.

We are pleased to announce that experts from Haleon, Perrigo and PAGB, plus our sponsors Pharmalinea will take the stage alongside Nicholas at our 33rd European CHC Conference! See the all-new agenda here. Taking place in London on 19-21 April 2023, save with the early bird booking discount when you book your place before 19 January! For more information, or for group booking discounts and sponsorship opportunities, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

Global social media ad revenues stall

The winter update of the MAGNA (IPG Media Brands) Global Ad Forecast predicts that media owners’ advertising revenues will reach US$833bn in 2023, up 5% vs 2022. Despite challenging economic conditions, traditional media companies (TV, audio, publishing, out-of-home) saw ad revenues grow by 2.5% this year, while digital media companies grew by 9%. This is the narrowest growth gap ever observed by MAGNA, signalling that editorial media brands remain attractive and relevant as they now combine brand safety with cross-platform reach.

Multiple factors, including plateauing reach & usage and targeting limitations (as a result of Apple’s post-iOS 14 environment), combined to cause social media advertising to stall in 2022: global sales grew by just 4.4% to US$149bn, well down on the growth rates of 20-35% observed in the previous three years. TikTok is the only social media owner to post advertising growth, while incumbent social networks suffered flat or declining ad sales, especially in Europe and North America. MAGNA expects social media advertising to accelerate only slightly in 2023 (+6.8%).

Vincent Létang, EVP, Global Market Research at MAGNA and author of the report, said: “Advertising spending slowed down in the second half of 2022 because of economic uncertainty and issues affecting digital advertising formats, but traditional editorial media managed to grow by +2.5%. The gap in growth rates with digital advertising growth (+8.9%) was the narrowest ever measured by MAGNA, suggesting that the long-term transition to a digital-centric marketing landscape has slowed down following the Covid acceleration.

Nicholas Hall Writes: “What are the ideal channels of distribution and communication post-Covid, when consumers clearly are omnivorous and want the best of all possible worlds and flexibility in choosing brands and spending their hard-won cash in this global recession? It seems that there has never been a greater need for searching questions about the validity of brand strategies and marketing execution, which is needed both within companies and in media like CHC.Newsflash.

For more information on the news service, or to set up a trial of CHC.Newsflash or CHC.NewDirections to kickstart your 2023, contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Female-oriented A+P dominates Nicholas Hall’s APAC Awards

CHC Insight’s Senior Editor, Nicola Allan, summarises the Creative Marketing Award winners from last week’s Nicholas Hall’s APAC e-Conference:

  • Winner: Kalbe Consumer Health’s Mixagrip in Indonesia

The growth-driving campaign for Indonesia’s No.1 OTC systemic cold & flu remedy was centred around the idea that work and family pressures, climate issues and the pandemic make the “sandwich generation” tired and susceptible to illness but they cannot afford to miss a day of work. This led to the #AntiSkipHari (“No Skip Days”) initiative, which began with TV ads for Mixagrip and was expanded – in collaboration with creative company Ideacultura – with a digital video that recognises the pressure of daily responsibilities, plus offline marketing including posters on commuter trains and murals created by local artists. Kalbe’s goals were to help consumers avoid having to take time off work through illness, dispel the belief that cough & cold remedies cause drowsiness and fight back in a competitive category where rival brands focus only on TV and digital marketing

  • 2nd place: ZP Therapeutics campaign for Physiogel in the Philippines

In 2020, a year of reset and self-care owing to the onset of Covid-19, ZP Therapeutics revived Physiogel following a hiatus from the spotlight. A digital campaign shared the message that only Physiogel contains BioMimic Technology to strengthen sensitive skin and make it soft, which led to the concept of “Strength in Softness”, a celebration of the gentle strength that women possess. From this, the Physiogel sisterhood (SiS) emerged including Strong Skin Stories sessions on Facebook Live featuring influencers and skin care experts. In 2022, the campaign was expanded with the SiS Days Out programme, where women who donated empty skin care bottles to be recycled were given tickets to free Physiogel wellness & pampering events. These strategies led to consumer reach far exceeding expectations and an above-average brand engagement rate

  • 3rd place: Sanofi’s Ostelin in Australia

Australia’s dominant vitamin D brand was supported by “Ostelin Project Strong”, a campaign based on the idea that “Strong isn’t what a woman does. It’s who we are”. Sanofi partnered with visual media company Getty Images to showcase hundreds of photos of women that show a broad interpretation of women’s strength with the aim of enticing the younger generation and encouraging them to think about bone health without disenchanting the core 55+ target audience. Ostelin Project Strong, which boosted brand sales and share, also partnered with the 100 Women charity to support its mission of empowering women in various aspects of life

Nicholas Hall Writes: The Awards were of a very high standard and since we added the 5-minute case studies from companies showcasing their campaigns, the number and quality of entries have increased every year. We shortlisted four entries for online voting by delegates, not including the Special Award winner, Bayer China’s Canesten. The three campaigns shown above were worthy winners, but I’m going to give a special shout-out to a non-winner, Sanofi Korea’s Dulcolax for “K-Poop Star”. The case study showed a 360° campaign that attempts to break the taboo of constipation. Sadly we weren’t shown Dulcolax’s Tik Tok digital ads, which are some of the best I’ve ever seen, and absolutely in line with K-Pop culture as a way of reaching a younger target audience. Turning K-Pop into K-Poop is just brilliant.

Put your campaigns in the spotlight when you enter for our CHC Marketing Awards, to be presented during Nicholas Hall’s 33rd European CHC Conference in London on 19-21 April. For more information on entry criteria, or to book your place at this conference and save with the early bird booking discount, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

Humanity hits milestone of global population of 8bn

The “Day of 8bn”, officially marked on 15th November 2022, is a milestone moment for humanity, according to the UN Population Fund, and “a testament to scientific breakthroughs and improvements in nutrition, public health and sanitation”, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. However, it comes with worsening economic inequality and environmental damage. “Unless we bridge the yawning chasm between the global haves and have-nots, we are setting ourselves up for an 8bn-strong world filled with tensions and mistrust, crisis and conflict,” warned Guterres. Whether populations are growing or shrinking, every country must be equipped to provide good quality of life and lift up the most marginalised citizens. “We cannot rely on one-size-fits-all solutions in a world in which the median age is 41 in Europe, compared to 17 in sub-Saharan Africa,” noted UNFPA Chief, Natalia Kanem. “To succeed, all population policies must have reproductive rights at their core, invest in people and planet, and be based on solid data.” 

UN data indicates that the global fertility rate is now at 2.3 (down from 3.3 in 1990) and getting close to the “replacement rate” of 2.1, at which point the global population will stabilise (projected to be at some point between 2080 and 2100) and then decline. In the meantime, Africa is projected by the UN to drive half of the world’s population growth in the next 40 years, while India and Pakistan are projected to drive population growth in Asia.

Source: UN

Nicholas Hall Writes: So, as of last Tuesday there are 8bn of us on this tiny planet, a mixture of the comparatively wealthy and those who struggle; the enlightened and those who suffer from dictators with a big stick and a stone age mentality; and those who want to be more healthy. Eleven years ago, there were 7bn of us, and some experts are taking comfort from the fact that it will take 15 years before we become 9bn. And apparently our population will peak at 10.4bn sometime in the 2080s, always assuming that Dr Strangelove in Moscow doesn’t push the red button.

Actually, the topic of better health is one of the few with which we are almost all agreed, but it is a decades-old story of more people chasing increasingly-scarcer resources. Despite the amazing breakthroughs in new ways of treating serious diseases, self-care still has the potential to deliver more benefits to more people than any other component of the global healthcare system. Self-care is more than just OTC, of course, and improved lifestyle has a massive role to play if we can encourage more exercise, better diet and a cleaner environment. But our pills in bottles, tablets in strips, creams in tubes have so much more to offer in terms of raising standards of public health – if we can only get the message across.

Explore the factors impacting CHC across Asia during our Asia-Pacific e-Conference, taking place online this week! The event will also include the presentation of our Regional CHC Creative Marketing Award. There is still time to confirm your participation – for more information, or to register, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com without delay.

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz dies

Billionaire global businessman, Formula One figure and philanthropist Dietrich Mateschitz has died at the age of 74 years. The co-founder and 49% owner of Red Bull was working in marketing at Blendax (now owned by P&G) when he discovered Krating Daeng – the drink that would become Red Bull – while travelling in Thailand. Following a few modifications, the iconic beverage was launched in Austria in 1987 and went on to become a global market leader among energy drinks. In a statement, Red Bull noted: “In these moments, the over-riding feeling is one of sadness. But soon the sadness will make way for gratitude – gratitude for what he changed, moved, encouraged and made possible for so many individual people. We will remain connected to him respectfully and lovingly.” 

Nicholas Hall Writes: Red Bull is an outstanding marketing success, and not just because it has sold over 100bn cans worldwide since it was launched in 1987. But the story begins a lot earlier: pharmacist Chaleo Yoovidhya was the son of poor Chinese immigrants to Thailand. He set up TC Pharma which became a success with revenues of about US$300mn and a very nice business marketing stimulants in (I would have to say, boring) brown bottles labelled as Krating Daeng (Red Bull). The consumer audience consisted mainly of truck drivers who needed to stay awake at the wheel while navigating Thailand’s famous traffic jams. Chaleo always claimed that Krating Daeng was a stroke of “divine inspiration” when he launched the brand in 1976. Dietrich Mateschitz was the second “angel” to become involved in the progress of the brand. He bought a bottle to overcome jet lag during a visit to Thailand, saw the immense potential lying dormant within the brand, invested US$500,000 alongside the same amount from Chaleo, and simply reinvented Red Bull, making it an energy drink for sportspeople and other on-the-go individuals, and a sexy lifestyle product for young nightclubbers.

Chaleo died in 2012 aged anywhere between 80-90! He gave various birthdates, maybe to get more birthday presents, and was reputed to be worth US$5bn when he died. Unlike Chaleo, we can be sure of Dietrich Mateschitz’s age, but not his wealth. In 2008 Forbes estimated that Chaleo and Mateschitz were worth US$4bn, but presumably the company is worth a lot more now. I mention these eye-watering amounts just to prove that real innovation can pay back handsomely. And if you say that Red Bull is just 5 cups of flavoured coffee in a can, I think you miss the point that innovation is not just about formulation, but is the whole marketing clothing of a brand. That is especially true in consumer health, where product innovation is frankly quite limited.

And that raises another question: is Red Bull a CHC product? Well, energy is an OTC indication, and every sale of Red Bull is US1.65 (the global average price per can) not spent on, say, Berocca Boost. It remains an aim of our industry to offer consumers and retailers a non-addictive energy product with vast scale, but we are nowhere near … yet!

Join Nicholas and a group of industry experts to explore key trends impacting CHC at our Asia-Pacific e-Conference, taking place online on 23 November. The event will also include the presentation of our Regional CHC Creative Marketing Award. For more information, or to register, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

GSCF publishes v2.0 of Self-Care Readiness Index

The Global Self-Care Federation has launched the second edition of the Self-Care Readiness Index, examining how self-care policies are being implemented across the world. Both editions, together covering 20 countries, demonstrate very clearly that there is a widespread lack of a coherent view of self-care and its benefits. The SCRI is a research and policymaking tool, which explores the key enablers of self-care in support of designing a better model for healthcare systems. It evaluates countries based on four self-care enablers – stakeholder support and adoption, consumer & patient empowerment, comprehensive self-care health policies, and the appropriate regulatory environment – supported by measurable indicators of self-care readiness. The new SCRI is available here.

This latest version of the SCRI report highlights the regulatory environment as one of the key enablers of self-care, advising countries to “focus on regulations and processes governing approval of new health products, from prescriptions to over-the-counter medications.” For example, the approval time for Rx-to-OTC switch applications can vary from as little as one month in Mexico to 11-13 months in Germany and 24-30 months in Canada.

Nicholas Hall Writes: The concept of self-care needs additional drive, which is why we support the excellent work of the Global Self-Care Federation. As GSCF Director General, Judy Stenmark, said when announcing the second edition of the Self-Care Readiness Index: “Self-care has to be a political priority for every single government across the world.”

In many respects we are pushing against an open door! The latest survey of US consumers shows that they want to live longer, but are unaware that their current lifestyles mean that the last lap of life will most likely be miserable. Our industry can help and prosper by meeting the needs of a growing and highly-demanding older population.

Trevor Gore, Founder of Maestro Consulting is part of the online presenting panel joining Nicholas for our upcoming Asia-Pacific e-Conference on 23 November, exploring Opportunities with Collaboration in the Self-Care space. For more information, or to register, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

CRN Survey: Branded ingredients favoured by VMS consumers

The Council for Responsible Nutrition has revealed initial findings from its 2022 Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements. The survey was conducted online in August 2022 among 3,133 US adults aged 18+ years, including 2,342 who report consuming dietary supplements seasonally, occasionally or regularly.

Liz Cummings, our Regional VP North America, reports from CRN’s Now New Next conference: 

US dietary supplement use has reverted to the pre-pandemic level of 75%, with multivitamins remaining the favourite among users. A wealth of regulation, science, economic and consumer insights was unveiled over the 3-day conference, which will be shared in future NHC publications. However, with CHC Newsflash highlighting the dynamic activity related to ingredients suppliers such as DSM, Kerry and ChromaDex, we thought it was timely to share the following results from the CRN survey: 

  • 71% of supplement users agree that they “find more confidence using supplements made with branded ingredients”
  • 62% perceived that supplements with branded ingredients cost more because they are more effective and better quality, and men were more likely to say that branded ingredients work better
  • 61% are willing to pay higher prices for branded ingredients. Adults aged under 55 years are willing to pay more for branded ingredients
Source: CRN / Ipsos

Nicholas Hall Writes: It seems we are awash with consumer research that confirms the importance of self-care, especially with regards to immunity, even though demand is returning to pre-pandemic levels. In many respects, consumers seem ahead of marketers (let alone regulators) in how they respond to the mega-trends of the day: the pandemics, economic pressures and the energy crisis.

As I wrote last week: “I see a paradox in matching this consumer U&A data with the relative failure of specific immunity products such as antiviral nasal sprays … So why is it that consumers who fear Covid-19, and who subscribe to the concept of immunity, are content to rely on, say, a multivitamin the category grew by 13.5% globally in Year 1 of the pandemic — and not divert to specialist products? I am still searching for an answer.” Another paradox is that, while the top CHC players are reporting excellent sales and the global sales data for the 12 months to June 2022 which we reported in late September is at a record high, retailers and e-Commerce platforms are reporting reduced traffic. And there are signs that many consumers are trading down to smaller packs or cheaper generics and private labels, which you would expect in a recession.

One of the joys of working in consumer health is its resilience. It truly is a “must have” category, but it is in the detail where we will make or lose our reputations. It seems that we must switch focus from macro-trends to the micro and to understand better what makes everything tick rather than the size of the clock. So, expect more springs, wheels and cogs to be presented in the autumn and winter months ahead.

Immune health is the focus of our recent Immunity hot topic report. With profiles of key brands across categories including antivirals, vitamins, foods & beverages and probiotics for immunity, our report explores the latest trends & developments, predicting likely future scenarios. To order your copy, or for further details, contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Covid’s lasting impact on immune health perception

A report from Dutch-based health ingredients company Nutrileads highlights the fundamental change in consumer views on immune health in the wake of Covid-19. The report draws on data gathered by FMCG Gurus from surveys conducted with 45,000 consumers in 15 countries from 2019-22. Not only is immune health significantly more important to consumers, it is also perceived to have a far-reaching impact on long-term health and wellbeing.

For two-thirds of participants, immune health is their top health priority over the next 12 months – more than any other issue including digestive and heart health. In addition, 78% view poor immune health as being easily susceptible to long-term health problems, while 40% are taking a proactive approach to their immunity, even if they believe they are in good health. Consumers also expect more from immune health products; the top three claims they want to see on the product label are scientifically validated and clinically-proven (82%), multifunctional benefits (79%) and helps lead a healthy lifestyle (79%).

Comment from Nutrileads CEO, Joana Carneiro: This research shows us that the experience of living with the pandemic is likely to have a lasting effect. Consumers are more knowledgeable about immune health and place more importance on improving it on the longer term.

Nicholas Hall Writes: “The latest research gives us a better understanding of consumer perception of immunity after 2.5 years of Covid, and the sustained interest in using dietary supplements. But I still see a paradox in matching this consumer U&A data with the relative failure of specific immunity products such as antiviral nasal sprays … So why is it that consumers who fear Covid-19, and who subscribe to the concept of immunity, are content to rely on, say, a multivitamin – the category grew by 13.5% globally in Year 1 of the pandemic – and not divert to specialist products? I am still searching for an answer.”

In just over a month, you can log on to hear from Nicholas and industry experts during our Asia-Pacific e-Conference on 23 November! Topics on the agenda include the go-to-market model, self-care collaborations and sustainability through accessibility. For more information, or to register, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

UN: World population to reach 8bn in 2022 and 10bn by 2050

The UN’s World Population Prospects 2022 report predicts that on 15th November 2022 the global population will reach 8bn. The report also shows that India is on course to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023. The latest UN projections suggest that the global population could grow to around 8.5bn in 2030 and 9.7bn in 2050, before peaking at around 10.4bn people during the 2080s.

More than half of the projected increase up to 2050 will be concentrated in eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Republic of Tanzania. While 2022 is a milestone year, the global population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950, having fallen to less than 1% in 2020. As well as fertility, which has dropped markedly in recent decades for many countries, the pandemic has had an effect on population change: global life expectancy at birth fell to 71 years in 2021 (vs 72.9 in 2019).

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: The UN tells us that the global population will reach 8bn this year. As always, the demographic mix is important and by 2050 the number of over 65’s globally will be more than twice the number of children under the age of five and around the same as those aged under 12. Further reductions in mortality will increase average global longevity to around 77.2 years in 2050. But we don’t have to wait until 2050 to feel the effects of the ageing population, as all countries in the developed world are already experiencing high demand on healthcare services and medical products from a large cohort that expects a high quality of life for an extended period of time. This has been a discussion point throughout my 5 decades in this industry, and Big Pharma seems to defy gravity by always introducing better products at higher prices and sustaining or even growing margins.

But this cannot last, and the recent drive by the FDA to encourage more Rx-to-OTC switches is one of the most important emerging trends in our industry. As my colleague MaryAlice Lawless has written recently, the old switch model just won’t work any more, and the FDA has put the ball firmly in our court to come up with new regulatory and marketing models. That’s why the US switch application for the daily oral contraceptive is so important. Perrigo’s HRA subsidiary is in the forefront of this new category, having launched the first OTC version globally in the UK in 2021.

We are pleased to announce that the all-new agenda for our Asia-Pacific e-Conference has been released! Nicholas will be joined on 23 November by industry experts to explore expanding possibilities for CHC across the region. This event will also include the presentation of our Regional CHC Creative Marketing Award. For more information, or to register, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.