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.

CRN 2022 survey: Vitamin D in high demand

To mark World Vitamin D Day (2nd November), CRN published initial findings from its 2022 Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, which was conducted (in collaboration with Ipsos) in August 2022 among 3,133 US adults aged 18+ years. This includes 2,342 who report consuming dietary supplements seasonally, occasionally or regularly. The survey highlighted the Top 5 single ingredient supplements (see chart below), while also indicating that more than half of consumers (52%) who take supplements report taking a specialty supplement, the most reported of which are omega-3s, probiotics, melatonin and fibre.

CRN states that many more people could experience enhanced quality of life, as well as healthcare cost savings, if they were to follow the dietary supplement regimens discussed in the CRN Foundation Supplements to Savings report. For example, if all US adults aged 50+ years took calcium 1,000mg and vitamin D 15mcg per day, the US healthcare system could save US$17.3bn and avoid 361,507 medical events on average per year from 2022–30. “A steadily growing body of clinical research shows investing in preventive care through supplementation helps Americans avoid chronic conditions. This strategy is what we call a no-brainer,” said CRN SVP Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Andrea Wong.

Nicholas Hall Writes: As CHC.Newsflash reported recently, overall supplement usage stands at 75% of the entire US population, an astonishingly high level. Multivitamins remains the top dietary supplement (taken by 70%) and reported consumption of immunity-boosting supplements – including vitamin D, vitamin C and zinc – remains steady vs last year. Immune health is a top reason for taking supplements (40%), second only to overall health & wellness (44%). Yet there is still room for more growth, which would benefit both individual consumers and our industry, and the healthcare system at large. According to CRN, the annual savings from wider usage of calcium and vitamin D could reach US$17bn.

This data joins a torrent of basically good news about consumer health that makes me think that we are at the beginning of a golden age for our industry, which is how I described our prospects when I gave the final presentation at the Ceuta London conference. We used to say that CHC was dependent on three main drivers of growth. It is true that the cough & cold market is once again boosting demand, but we now no longer rely on the Emerging Markets to the same extent, and Rx-to-OTC is virtually non-existent. No, it is the broader acceptance of self-care by the US and European population that is delivering the most impressive results this year.

In just over two weeks, 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 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.

Bumps in the road for China’s e-Commerce market

China’s e-Commerce market has grown strongly in recent years, but the sector is now navigating more difficult times, with the following developments all reported recently:

  • Shares in online platforms such as Alibaba Health and JD Health fell last week following a report in 21st Century Business Herald that the government could ban 3rd-party platforms from selling medicines on the internet. Regulators will reportedly clarify the definition of 3rd-party platforms, which was mentioned in a regulatory proposal last month
  • The National Radio & TV Administration and Ministry of Tourism & Culture released new rules on live-streaming events, including the requirement for influencers who discuss topics such as medicine to have relevant qualifications. Live-streaming events have become a prominent promotional tool for CHC marketers, especially during lockdowns when other forms of A+P such as outdoor events and in-store activities have been limited
  • JD.com reported growth of 10.3% during this month’s 618 shopping festival (vs the same event in 2021) and sales of RMB379bn (US$57bn); this is JD’s slowest growth rate for 618, which was launched in 2004, and down from the 27.7% upturn reported in 2021. This follows Alibaba reporting its slowest Singles Day growth in November 2021 since the event began in 2009
Source: www.hicom-asia.com

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: Last week we wrote that e-Commerce is essential for the new Haleon, as indeed it is for almost all CHC players. But in our calculations, we have assumed the continued high growth of China’s e-Commerce sector. And yet, the top players like Alibaba (owner of Taobao.com) and JD have been sending out SOS signals, warning of a rapid slowdown of growth, partly I suspect because they are coming increasingly under the thumb of the Government, from whose lofty perch the success or decline of e-Commerce is of very little import.

Now my colleague Nicola Allan, the CHC Insight Asia-Pacific Senior Editor, has reminded me that despite these negative stories, China’s e-Commerce channel is outperforming physical retail, as continued lockdowns drive consumers to shop online. So in one sense perhaps we don’t need to be overly concerned; on the other hand, perhaps we are wise to introduce a note of skepticism into our view of e-Commerce prospects.

According to our latest DB6 forecasts, which were constructed with great rigour only a few weeks ago, the global CHC e-Commerce market in 2031 will be worth US$97.7bn at MSP. But 249% growth between 2021-2031 is heavily dependent on China, which is slated to grow by 333%, and whose share of global is expected to increase from 34% in 2021 to 42% in 2031. Without China, e-Commerce is still a tearaway success with a forecast 205%  growth rate, but will not be in the same league.

The agenda for our Asia-Pacific e-Conference on 23rd November will be released next week! Register with elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com to take a look at the first line-up of participants who will explore expanding possibilities in CHC across the region. Our Regional CHC Creative Marketing Award will also be presented during this event.

e-Commerce Ascential for GSK Consumer

UK-based Ascential Digital Commerce and GSK Consumer Healthcare (soon to become Haleon) will next week launch Ascential Digital Commerce Connect at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The data-rich digital commerce platform provides clarity about GSK CH e-Commerce brand performance and improves reaction time to market dynamics in the rapidly growing e-Commerce market. The Connect platform analyses, visualises and displays marketing data about each brand and competitor to monitor key activities and answer marketers’ key questions when it comes to:

  • Understanding the current brand / sales performance in the e-Commerce marketplace – standalone vs key competitors and owned channels vs major online retailers like Amazon and Alibaba
  • Dissecting what brand health looks like regionally throughout EMEA, USA / N America, Asia-Pacific & Latin America
  • Navigating potential challenges and outages around supply chain, R&D, disruptive markets and other key metrics
  • More accurately calculating marketing spending as a percentage of gross revenue

GSK CH expects that e-Commerce growth will reach the mid-teens percentage of the business by 2025, making it a priority channel to drive overall sales.

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: Duncan Painter, the CEO of Ascential, is right when he says: “The next five years represent a tipping point in the retail industry. Retailers and brands with the deepest, most recent insights into the digital performance of their products and services will gain an informed, competitive edge.” There is an insatiable demand for e-Commerce data in the consumer healthcare market, and I’ve just signed off on a very substantial budget – at least by our standards – to buy in and provide improved e-Comms data to our client base, which I am very pleased to say for the first time ever now includes all six of the top CHC players.

e-Commerce accounted for 14% of all CHC sales in 2021 and this share is forecast to exactly double in the next decade, with a higher achievement in Asia, especially China. Some analysts are even more bullish – one we’ve looked at and rejected put e-Comms so high that the only outcome would be the complete collapse of the store retailer sector, and surely that is not going to happen! Indeed, we hear numerous reports of a revival of consumer interest in the physical shopping experience. Nevertheless, e-Commerce is part of the Future Resumed, as we now call the New Paradigm for CHC, but in a subtle omni-mix of physical and digital shopping that offers the maximum flexibility and choice to consumers wishing to self-medicate.

Stay tuned for the first edition of the agenda for our Asia-Pacific e-Conference, to be hosted by Nicholas and the team on 23 November! As well as exploring expanding possibilities in CHC within 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.

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.