Allergy: NPD, switch & naturals power growth

While many of the leading CHC marketers reported declines for their cough & cold portfolios in Q3 2020, the performance of allergy remedies was more mixed, with notable variability by region. For example, Bayer reported rising sales for its Allergy & Cold portfolio in North America in Q3, partly driven by increasing sales for key allergy brand Claritin, which was boosted in early 2020 by the US launch of Claritin Non-Drowsy Chewables in a new cool mint flavour.

Likewise, Perrigo reported a strong performance for its Consumer Self-Care Americas unit in Q3, with increased OTC demand powered by allergy, pain and digestive health products. For Sanofi, while overall Allergy, Cough & Cold sales declined in Q3, portfolio sales were up in the USA, thanks to key allergy brands Allegra and Xyzal. Sanofi also launched its drug-free AllerLife range in the US market in early 2020, adding further fuel to the fast-growing naturals niche among allergy remedies.

Outside the USA, by far the world’s largest market for OTC allergy remedies, two countries that are performing very well are Germany and Brazil. Rx-to-OTC switch has been the driving factor in both markets, with various allergy ingredients – fexofenadine, ebastine and desloratadine – switched to OTC status in Brazil in recent years. As for Germany, after the switch of levocetirizine, which led to several OTC launches in April 2019, desloratadine was subsequently also approved for Rx-to-OTC switch in February 2020.

In October 2020, the EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use adopted a positive opinion recommending a change to the terms of the marketing authorisation for Ratiopharm’s desloratadine, potentially paving the way for an EU-centralised switch to non-Rx status for the allergy ingredient in the near future. Indications will be limited to adults only and the urticaria indication will be restricted to chronic idiopathic urticaria as initially diagnosed by a doctor.

Discover which marketers and brands stand out and how Covid-19 is impacting sales in our newly published Cough, Cold & Allergy report! Allergy remedies are just one of the many categories covered, alongside profiles of 10 major markets, forecasts and much more. For more information, or to order your copy, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

OECD: Covid’s impact on e-Commerce

A new report published last month by the OECD, entitled e-Commerce in the time of COVID-19, explores how the pandemic has caused an expansion of e-Commerce towards “new firms, customers and types of products, likely involving a long-term shift of e-Commerce transactions from luxury goods and services to everyday necessities”. Below we pick out some of the highlights that relate to medicines.

In the opening summary, the OECD says that, “while e-Commerce in the past for many consumer groups was centred on high tech goods, toys or books, it now increasingly involves goods for which availability is critical to a large share of the population, including groceries, medicine and other necessities.” There were two examples given by the OECD from Brazil and Germany showing how e-Commerce has disrupted the medicines market.

In Brazil, “around 54% of Internet users had bought food or food products over the Internet in 2020, substantially up from only 22% in 2018. Significant increases were also observed for cosmetics, toiletries and medicines. As convenience has always been one of the key drivers of e-Commerce participation, it is likely that many of the new users will keep ordering at least some goods online in the future.”

As for Germany, “online sales grew significantly for medicines and groceries, historically laggard sectors in terms of e-Commerce, while overall online sales contracted by around 18% in March 2020 in comparison to the previous year.” The OECD report also highlighted the impact of Covid-19 on e-Commerce’s share of total retail sales in the UK, USA and EU.

Writing in last Friday’s CHC.Newsflash, Nicholas Hall said: “Let’s take the best case point-of-view, that the incidence of Covid-19 will shrink dramatically during the middle of 2021, with a significantly lower death rate. How do we get back to normal? Will personal and professional life pick up where it left off? I doubt that very much. It seems to me that, at the very least, working from home is here to stay, which could mean the revival of suburban shopping, with lower footfall in city centres and out-of-town shopping malls. One impact on consumer health could be a marked revival in community pharmacy and online purchases growing from 9% to 19% of total CHC sales globally in the next 10 years, and from 11% to 27% in Asia. Another fascinating statistic courtesy of Eurostat is that, uniquely, the over-55 cohort is the largest purchasing group for medicines online, which runs counter to the theory that digital equals youth.

Don’t miss out on the chance to save up to 50% on selected reports with our Q4 promotional event, which will run until the end of the year! Stay tuned for new deals coming in December! To find out what promotions are available, or to make a purchase, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com

Focus on probiotics

Generating global turnover of US$4.4bn in the year to end-June 2020, probiotics & prebiotics remain a vital source of growth (+5.8%) in the worldwide consumer healthcare market, even though this trend has slowed in recent years. As Nicholas Hall said, for a category that has a CAGR of 10%, growth has further “eased back during 2020 as consumers moved their expenditure to supplements more specifically indicated for immunity“.

The global rate of new product development for probiotics was already beginning to slow prior to the pandemic. As our CHC New Products Tracker tool indicates, after several years of impressive growth in the number of probiotics coming to market every year up until 2018, there was a slight fall-off during 2019, and early indications for this year suggest that 2020 probiotics NPD activity will struggle to match the peak of 2018.

That’s why breakthroughs, such as last week’s news of a high-tech skin care microbiome partnership between L’Oréal and Dutch-based Micreos, are so welcome. As NHC Reports Managing Editor, Ian Crook, said, “Granting L’Oréal access to endolysin technology opens a world of opportunities in consumer skincare, since products that work in harmony with the skin microbiome form an underdeveloped niche presently. The partnership may well see new safe, effective, microbiome-friendly skincare products for a host of conditions”, such as eczema, acne and wound infections.

In addition, Nicholas Hall commented: “The probiotics market has been the fastest-growing prevention category in recent years, and I am often asked if it’s too late for new participants to join the market. Of course, it’s not. To quote the great Winston Churchill after the battle of El Alamein in 1942, ‘Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning‘.

In the next few years, probiotics will be launched with a much wider range of indications; and new strains will be fermented with much more powerful efficacy, so powerful in some instances that many new products will become registered OTCs or even Rx. When we get back to normal – whatever normal is – I believe probiotics will forge ahead, with a best-case valuation of US$10bn within 10 years. Or even higher, assuming that new strains are brought to market with more demonstrable efficacy, targeting new indications including mental acuity and cardiovascular disease, and not forgetting skincare.

We are pleased to announce that our next Hot Topics Webinar will focus on Probiotics. Hosted by Nicholas Hall and Jennifer Cooper on 2nd December, join them to explore both the commercial and scientific aspects of the category, as well as insights behind the science. To find out more, or to register, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

Digital strategy: Examples from China

In Sanofi’s recent Q3 earnings call, new head of Consumer Healthcare Julie Van Ongevalle said the company’s CH operation had “untapped potential”, and that her previous experience in the beauty industry would help with the strategy of leveraging consumer insights and maximising the digital and e-Commerce channel. In this week’s blog, we summarise three examples of innovative digital strategies by three companies (Alibaba, GSK and Bayer) operating in China.

Alibaba has kicked off its 11.11 Global Shopping Festival with new features to meet rapidly-changing consumer needs. These include the participation of Alipay’s digital lifestyle platform, broader consumer reach, as well as livestreaming technology creating more engagement for Chinese consumers, and with the largest international presence to date. A new sales window will be added from 1st-3rd November, ahead of the main event on 11th November, to provide merchants – specifically new brands and small businesses – the opportunity to showcase their products and tell their brand stories amid the pandemic. For many brands, 11.11 is the single biggest growth driver. This year, more than 2mn new products will be introduced, double the amount compared to last year.

OTC marketers are also building ties with local digital shopping platforms in China. GSK CH and Dingdang Kuaiyao have agreed a new strategic co-operation, which will utilise their R&D and data capabilities to drive growth and improve consumer access to healthcare products. Initially, the companies will focus on the concept of “Internet + Medicine” and work together to build brands and content, as well as consumer traffic and experiences. In 2021, the collaboration will cover brand awareness, global marketing, consumer trust and consumption scenarios. The news comes a month after GSK CH became an Alibaba “digital captain” after agreeing a joint business plan with its marketing technology platform, Alimama.

In addition, under a strategic co-operation agreement with digital shopping platform Meituan, Bayer CH aims to become a full-service healthcare solutions provider to help individuals better manage their own health. The businesses will work with 20+ chain pharmacies to integrate online and offline healthcare products and services by exploring digitalisation options, expanding consumer services and developing a new era of pharmaceutical retail. The co-operation aims to reach consumers more efficiently under the “new normal”, which has resulted in growing public awareness of healthcare issues, rising demand for healthcare products and a change in consumption habits, with online purchasing increasing significantly.

We are pleased to announce the next round of savings in our special Q4 promotional event, running until the end of the year! Plus, for November only we are offering a 25% discount on annual subscription rates for our combined CHC.Newsflash and CHC.NewDirections news service! If you would like additional information on any of our publications or subscriptions, or would like to place an order, please contact Melissa.Lee@NicholasHall.com

Market Movers in MAT Q2 2020

To mark the publication of our latest Market Movers update, which picks out 6 brands driving growth in the global CHC market in the MAT Q2 2020 period, as well as 6 brands in fast decline, our blog this week examines the trends that are driving these exceptional changes.

Among the fastest-growing brands, one common thread is immunity positioning, with at least four of the six products highlighted below – Dabur Chyawanprash (India), Yiling Lianhua Qingwen (China), Airborne (USA) and Arbidol (Russia) – boosted by heightened demand for products that boost immunity during the pandemic.

TCM Yiling Lianhua Qingwen, available in China as capsules and granules, was listed in 2020 in the country’s Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Diagnosis and Treatment Scheme, while in April 2020, the National Medical Products Administration of China approved a new indication for “mild and common Covid-19” to be added on the basis of its originally approved indications. Sales for the brand in the MAT Q2 2020 period were up 68%.

Ayurvedic formulation Dabur Chyawanprash (Dabur) saw sales more than double (+169%) in MAT Q2 2020, driven by strong Covid-related demand and the launch of Dabur Immunity Kit in Q2 2020, to become India’s No.1 CHC brand. Likewise, umifenovir-based medicine Arbidol (OTCPharm), which is positioned for flu as well as acute respiratory and viral infections, also saw sales more than double (+103%) in the MAT Q2 2020 period and the brand now ranks in the Top 5 in Russia.

As for products that suffered falling sales in MAT Q2 2020, notable examples were tonics & cure alls in China – such as Dong-e E-Jiao – hit by rising raw material costs and falling demand, as well as ranitidine-based antacids – such as Sanofi’s Zantac 150 – owing to concerns around NDMA and Takeda’s Alinamin EX vitamin B supplement in Japan, affected by demographic changes and a fall in tourist spending.

If you would like to review the latest launches and NPD surrounding all the leading brands in the global CHC market, take a look at CHC New Products Trackerthe ultimate competitive intelligence tool! Featuring 26,000+ launches and innovations, products are graded with a star rating, and you can search according to your specific requirements. Please contact waisan.lee@NicholasHall.com to set up your demo.

Star VMS Performers in MAT Q2 2020

Global sales of vitamins, minerals & supplements in the MAT Q2 2020 period advanced by 5.5%, a further clear upturn vs Q1 2020 and Q4 2019, and a trend that helped to offset the Q2 slowdown for CCA remedies. Faster growth in North America’s vast supplements market (+8.8%) was the primary factor underpinning the accelerating trend globally, helping the region move back ahead of Europe in terms of CHC turnover in Q2.

In this week’s blog, we take a closer look at the VMS brands driving growth at both a regional and country level. In North America, as well as the continued rapid growth of J&J’s Tylenol, two VMS ranges that performed exceptionally well among the regional Top 10 brands were Nature’s Bounty (The Nature’s Bounty Co) and Olly (Unilever). New product development, such as the launch of the Olly Ultra Softgels line in April 2020, as well as the brand’s rollout to Canada in May 2020, have boosted Olly sales.

In Asia-Pacific, the standout trend has been the exceptionally high growth of chyawanprash supplements, up 121% globally – outpacing other fast-growing prevention categories such as immune supplements (+38.6%) and vitamin C (+23.5%) – driven by accelerating demand in India. Dabur Chyawanprash (Dabur) is now India’s No.1 OTC brand, after sales more than doubled in the 12 months to June 2020 thanks to surging demand in H1 as a result of the pandemic, and the brand has now also sneaked into Asia-Pacific’s Top 10 CHC brands regionally.

In Europe, growth was more muted across the board, with Top 10 brands like RB’s Nurofen and Bayer’s Bepanthen driving growth at a regional level. However, focusing on brand performances at a country level in Europe reveals the impact of VMS brands and natural-based sleep aids on growth, with Orthomol (+10.6%) rising fast in Germany, GSK’s single vitamin brand BE-Total (+16.2%) up strongly in Italy, P&G’s multivitamin Bion 3 (+16.0%) advancing rapidly in France and sleep aids Aquilea (+13.5%) and Dormidina (+11.3%) powering Q2 growth in Spain.

As for Latin America, Sanofi’s analgesics brands Dorflex and Novalgina were two of the best Top 10 performers at a regional level, while Bayer’s Redoxon (+65.7%) was the star performer, thanks to soaring demand amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019-20, Bayer rolled out Redoxon Triple Action (vitamins C + D plus zinc; positioned for enhanced immune support) in numerous local markets.

With just under a month to go, there is still time to register to join Nicholas Hall’s Asia-Pacific webinar. On 12 November, Nicholas and other industry experts will explore key trends in the region, including a look at WOW! brands, growth prospects, distribution, the very important topic of sustainability and much more. To find out more, or to register, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

Vicks and Tylenol still driving global CHC growth

Only two CHC brands have global sales in excess of US$1bn – P&G’s Vicks and J&J’s Tylenol – and both continued to power growth in Q2 2020. Vicks, like other leading CCA brands such as Halls (Mondelez) and Mucinex (RB), recorded a slowdown in Q2 owing to the “pantry unloading” effect, and reduced levels of coughs & colds caused by lockdowns, social distancing and hygiene measures, while VMS brands like Centrum (GSK) and Nature Made (Pharmavite / Otsuka) saw growth accelerate in the second quarter.

Despite slowing growth in Q2, global No.1 brand Vicks (+8.7%) remained at the heart of the CHC market’s upturn in the MAT Q2 2020 period. Dynamic growth for Vicks was powered by double-digit rises in Latin America and North America. In the brand’s key US market, Vicks was extended in July 2020 with Vicks VapoBath Bath Crystals, a new Vicks Children’s Botanicals line, Vicks Sinex Saline and Vicks Immunity Zzzs.

Once the leading global CHC brand, Tylenol has steadily been regaining share in recent years and closed the gap on No.1 Vicks after 21.4% growth in the MAT Q2 2020 period. In its Q2 results, J&J reported double-digit growth for its OTC products, driven by Tylenol analgesics. US sales account for around three-quarters of Tylenol’s global OTC turnover, and the brand has been boosted by innovations such as the Q2 2020 launch of Tylenol Extra Strength Dissolve Packs.

Systemic analgesic Advil is still the world’s No.3 CHC brand, but growth slowed (-0.4%) in the MAT Q2 2020 period after a strong return to growth in Q1, following weaker Q2 performances in the USA and Canada. New owner GSK is hoping to revive the US performance of Advil with the August 2020 launch of Advil Dual Action, the first FDA-approved OTC combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen (paracetamol) in the US market.

Voltaren saw growth accelerate slightly in Q2 2020, up 4.9%, helping it rise above Halls into the No.4 position in the global CHC brand rankings. In February 2020, the US FDA approved the Rx-to-OTC switch of Voltaren Arthritis Pain (diclofenac 1%), and the product was subsequently launched in May 2020. This US launch, allied with stronger growth in regions outside Europe, helped to offset a Q2 slowdown for Voltaren in various key European markets such as Germany, Italy and the UK.

Medicated confectionery brand Halls fell into decline (-0.2%) in the MAT Q2 2020 period and dropped down the global rankings one place to the No.5 spot. Available in over 30 countries, Halls is the leading global sore throat & medicated confectionery brand and takes the No.1 position in Latin America, where it grew by 2.6%, thanks to solid growth in the brand’s key regional market of Brazil. However, sales in North America and Europe declined for Halls in line with the weaker CCA trend across both regions in Q2.

Have you registered to join Nicholas Hall’s Asia-Pacific webinar? On 12 November, Nicholas and other industry experts will explore key trends in the region, including a look at WOW! brands, growth prospects, distribution, the very important topic of sustainability and much more. To find out more, or to register, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

How consumer shopping habits are changing

A recent report by Global Data in collaboration with Amazon describes changing consumer shopping habits during the Covid-19 pandemic. The report highlights a stark increase in online sales, but stresses that the online channel did not dominate during the peak of the pandemic — the majority of sales during lockdown were made at physical stores that remained open. In addition, the highest growth rates over the past few months are attributed to multichannel retailers, rather than pure-play online retailers.

The pandemic has catalysed closer integration of physical retail and online spaces, with many traditional retailers emphasising or introducing additional services such as curbside pick-up. These services have been well-received; almost 68% of US consumers say they will use curbside collection more, even after the pandemic has subsided. Also, in countries that have reopened post-Covid, there has been a “mini-rush” back to bricks & mortar retailers, highlighting how much consumers – especially in the US, UK and France – have missed the social interaction that physical stores offer.

As a result, the penetration rate for online is coming down as consumers resume physical shopping. According to the survey, penetration will remain elevated compared to 2019 but the peaks seen during lockdown were exceptional, not a new normal. If anything, the report suggests that the role of the physical store is actually being strengthened in some ways. In the USA, Global Data projects around 35.7% of non-food sales transacted online will be supported by a physical store this year – more than in 2019.

Comment from Laura Howard Werling, Market Analyst CIMA, Nicholas Hall Group of Companies: The Global Data report challenges the narrative that the pandemic, and subsequent growth of the online channel, spells the end for physical retail. Instead, retail stores have performed well over the past few months and are successfully utilising a multichannel approach to adapt to the disruption. Consumers have been satisfied with this approach and it should be no surprise: the modern consumer views online and retail stores as one market and navigates both spaces seamlessly to achieve maximum efficiency when shopping.

We are pleased to announce a special Q4 promotional event, which will run until the end of the year! For October only, we are offering a 25% discount on annual subscription rates for Insight and CHC New Products Tracker, alongside up to 50% on selected reports titles. Watch this space — more promotions will be coming in November and December! To find out more, or to make a purchase, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com

What sort of winter for CHC is coming?

With the northern hemisphere estimated to generate around 90% of sales in the global CHC market, the impact of the coming cough & cold season is crucial to the market’s performance in Q4 2020. Recent indications from the southern hemisphere gave us some clues of what’s to come – according to a recent report by the CDC, from April to July (peak flu season in the southern hemisphere), there were only 51 positive flu tests out of more than 83,000 people tested in Australia, Chile and South Africa, for a positivity rate of 0.06%. In contrast, during April to July in the years 2017-19, nearly 14%, or 24,000 out of 178,000 people, tested positive for flu in those three countries.

Despite the expected low positivity rate of flu in the northern hemisphere in Q4 2020, as a result of improved hand hygiene and social distancing, the return to school in many countries is likely to lead to an uptick in cough & cold infections. According to Lucy Rigby, Senior Brand Manager of UK cough remedy Tixylix (in a quote to Wholesale Manager): “Going forward, we believe that parents will be much more conscious of their children’s health risks as schools and nurseries reopen, and are likely to stock up on OTC medicines prior to the peak winter months.” In addition, Paul Trethewy, Controller for Wholesale and Convenience at GSK, said: “With the NHS continuing to face overwhelming pressure and with GPs de-prescribing cold medication, we’re expecting the impulse channel to be an important provider of OTC cold & flu treatments.”

Source: Nicholas Hall’s upcoming Cough, Cold & Allergy Report

Whether any upcoming surge in demand for OTCs leads to the same constraints on supply seen in Q2 2020 remains an open question. Europe’s OTC industry body, AESGP, last week welcomed European Parliament plenary approval of the Report on shortages of medicines — how to address an emerging problem. AESGP agrees that shortages are of particular concern when they affect medicines for which no or limited alternatives are available, however in the case of OTC medicines, because substitution is possible and alternatives exist in most situations, it believes any shortage of a product will translate into little to no impact on the outcomes of self-care. Though the AESGP considers diversification of the supply chain to be a long-term strategic option, including greater independence brought by onshoring manufacturing and production of certain non-Rx medicines and APIs, it said this strategy was hardly actionable in the short-term.

One ingredient that remains under the spotlight is paracetamol (acetaminophen). India lifted restrictions on the export of APIs of paracetamol in late May 2020, but has continued to monitor usage of the ingredient in the domestic market. According to an article in Business Standard, OTC paracetamol sales have taken a hit in India over recent months owing to government legislation designed to monitor use of the ingredient, as well as CCA remedies, but these restrictions are now starting to ease and a spokesperson at GSK expects “sales to pick up in the coming months”. GSK’s Calpol and Crocin brands have been two of the products impacted by this extra vigilance over paracetamol use, but the short-term outlook for the ingredient and India’s OTC market is now improving.

With less than two weeks to go, register now for our new hot topics webinar! You will hear about key trends, including the impact of Covid-19, Distribution, e-Detailing and Sustainability. To find out more, or to register to join on 30 September, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

Focus on Japan: Q2 results point to further CHC decline

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According to government data released today, GDP in Japan fell 7.8% quarter on quarter in Q2 2020 (April to June), with Covid-19 having an impact both on domestic consumer spending and exports. Japan’s economy is heavily dependent on exports, especially to China, and demand there has remained subdued during Q2. This downturn does not bode well for the world’s No.3 CHC market, which had already failed to match the boost in OTC spending seen in Europe and North America in Q1, with Japan recording flat sales in MAT Q1 2020 owing to the loss of in-bound tourists from China and Taiwan.

Japan’s OTC market has not outperformed the wider economy, as has been the case in other regions during Covid-19, with several key local marketers reporting Q2 declines in line or in excess of Japan’s 7.8% GDP fall. Daiichi Sankyo saw OTC revenues decrease by 7.3% in fiscal Q1 2020 (Apr-Jun 2020), owing to the impact of Covid-19, while Taisho reported an even more dramatic fall in its Q2 domestic Self-Medication sales, with its OTC portfolio in Japan down 16.4% in fiscal Q1 2020 (Apr-Jun 2020). Tonic drink Lipovitan and CCA range Pabron both led the decline, impacted by Covid-19.

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Takeda outlined size of OTC divestitures still to come

While Takeda no longer reports on the performance of its Self-Medication business in its quarterly results, it did reveal in its Q2 results presentation the value of the various regional portfolios of non-core and OTC products that it plans to divest in the near future. In late 2019, Takeda sold a portfolio of non-core OTC and Rx products to Swiss-based Acino, covering what the describes as its North Europe, Middle East & Africa (NEMEA) region, as well as a larger portfolio to Stada, covering Russia / CIS. Takeda now intends to complete even larger divestments in Latin America and Europe.

In late July, it was announced that Taisho is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire Takeda’s Consumer Healthcare unit in Japan, according to people familiar with the matter. Blackstone, Bain Capital and CVC Capital Partners were also understood to be among the final bidders. If Taisho does secure the deal for Takeda’s CHC portolio in Japan – which DB6 valued at US$571mn in the MAT Q1 2020 period – it will extend its domestic dominance as Japan’s No.1 CHC marketer but still remain the global No.7 behind P&G. Either way, Taisho will be looking to move beyond the business uncertainty caused by Covid-19 and M&A, with a view to reviving growth in Japan’s CHC market in H2 2020.

If you are interested in making an acquisition, or need licensing or business development support, Nicholas Hall’s Consultancy team is available to give confidential advice. We work with a number of strategic and financial partners to evaluate potential opportunities for buyers and sellers in the M&A, licensing and fundraising space. To find out more contact kayleigh.griffinhooper@NicholasHall.com