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.

Watson China creates new Health Care Zones

AS Watson has launched a Health Care Zone, both online and in 1,200+ physical stores in 270 cities across China, in response to a surge in consumer interest in health and wellness brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. The Health Care Zone offers six categories of health products, including a variety of vitamin supplements, health foods, skin care products and personal care, seasonal care and healthcare offerings. The range currently has almost 1,500 items, but this will grow to 1,800 by the end of 2022. Consumers can browse the zone by theme at physical stores and shop online at MyStore (Cloud Store), where the “Flash” service delivers orders within 30 minutes.

Customers can also obtain personalised health consultation and skin care advice from professional health and beauty consultants via Enterprise WeChat. Watsons China CEO Kulvinder Birring claimed the retailer has 60mn+ members and 200mn+ users on online platforms, covering 90% of metropolitan women aged 18-45 years.  

Watson’s O+O (offline plus online) shopping experience

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints:I hope I’m wrong in my suspicion that AS Watson China is launching its new Health Care Zone omni-channel service at precisely the wrong time. Tencent, one of the largest digital businesses in China, last week announced its first ever fall in quarterly sales and a massive 57% decline in profits compared with Q2 2021; and the Government seems to be at war with e-Commerce – just look at how badly Alibaba has been treated!

Not least, the Government seems unconvinced about online health consultations – one of Health Care Zone’s main selling points – and rightly will make sure that only qualified professionals give advice, but with a very high ethical bar on how this advice is delivered.

Be sure to honour your campaign with our APAC Creative Marketing Award, celebrating the best and most creative marketing achievements across the region over the past year. Voted for by online participants during our APAC e-Conference on 23 November, contact Elizabeth.Bernos@NicholasHall.com for full entry criteria. Entries close on 23 October!

DIGITAL HEALTH LITERACY DILEMMA IN AUSTRALIA

Consumer Healthcare Products Australia’s Self-Care Opportunity Report, which gathered views from 2,000 adults to uncover their knowledge and skills in managing everyday health conditions, has uncovered a significant digital health challenge. Key findings include:

  • 66% of Australians seek information online for common health conditions before consulting a healthcare professional, but 91% do not fully understand the information they find
  • 80% of Millennials go online for healthcare information before seeing a GP or pharmacist, while 47% of Baby Boomers go online as a first port of call
  • 97% feel responsible for managing their own health and 84% want to improve their health skills and knowledge to be more engaged in their health, but 30% consider their health literacy level to be low
  • 81% use health websites, apps or social media to manage common health conditions
Source: CHP Australia’s Self-Care Opportunity Report

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: The latest survey by CHP Australia raises some real concerns about health literacy. As CEO Deon Schoombie comments: “[This] report clearly shows an urgent need to help Australians with digital health literacy – to know where to find, how to interpret and how to use health information from online sources. This is very important as we can clearly see those with higher literacy levels have higher engagement in their health … We have an opportunity now to make a significant difference to our overall national health status by making a greater investment in self-care education, upskilling digital health literacy and creating more verified and easy-to-access digital health sources.”

So, unlike the outlook for the market in 2022, where the evidence is both insubstantial and to an extent contradictory, the message about consumers is clear. If we want consumers to fully participate in self-care, we need to give them access to reliable information with which they can make informed decisions affecting their own health.

Gain valuable tools and techniques to expand your health literacy at the next workshop hosted by the CHC Training Academy, on 26 October in Bucharest! The following day, RASCI will host a free 1-day conference, focusing on Health Literacy — Driving Self-Care Forward, beginning with an exclusive keynote presentation from Nicholas Hall. To register, or for more information on group booking rates, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

Retail CHC growth accelerates to 4.8% in 2021

Below we look at the regional trends from the just published DB6 data on the performance of the global CHC market in 2021, showing how an upturn in Asia-Pacific helped global growth accelerate to 4.8% in the full-year period.

Europe (+3.3%) was the slowest growing region globally, although this does reflect an upturn vs 2020, thanks to robust growth in gastrointestinals (+6.1%) and a return to growth for cough, cold & allergy (+2.4%). Largest market Germany (-0.6%) saw its decline soften, while other Big 5 Western European markets rebounded to growth. Notably, Russia has fallen down the rankings from No.2 to No.4 in Europe, largely driven by devaluation of the Rouble, coupled with a flat year-end result (+1.8%)

Asia-Pacific (+5.6%) had a buoyant performance vs 2020, attributed to advances in largest market China (+6.9%) and a softening decline for No.2 ranked Japan (-1.2%), these markets have a combined share of almost 70% of total regional sales. Sales in China have rebounded somewhat, as harsh Covid restrictions generated a relatively weak 2020 comparator. Despite intermittent restrictions continuing, a relatively free environment has boosted sales across most major categories as consumers seek to remedy all ailments.

Americas (+4.9%) saw a slowdown vs 2020; the US market (+3.9%) has gained momentum throughout the year – finishing well, albeit slower than 2020 – thanks to a robust cough cold & allergy uptick (+6.5%) and notable increases in Lifestyle CHC (+10.8%) and gastrointestinals (+8.9%), more than offsetting the slowdown in VMS and decline in dermatologicals.

In Latin America, leading market Brazil (+11.7%) advanced thanks to double-digit increases in VMS (+16.2%), cough, cold & allergy (+11.6%) and Lifestyle CHC (+11%).

Only one month to go until our 32nd European CHC Conference & CHC Training Academy Workshop! Taking place in Athens on 4-6 May 2022, industry experts from GSK, J&J, Menarini, NielsenIQ and more will explore how as an industry we can move forward with CHC Innovation! Please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com to reserve your place.

APAC E-Conference 2021 Awards

Commenting on our recent APAC e-Conference 2021, Nicholas Hall said: “This was a highly successful conference, with over 100 participants, but I can genuinely say that I hope it’s our last of this kind as I can’t wait to get back to face-to-face meetings next year in Athens, New Jersey and Singapore.”

  • The Nicholas Hall APAC Marketing Award 2021 was decided by delegates and The Winner was GSK’s “Panadol Take Care” campaign, which resulted in “record-breaking” market share and consumption growth. The campaign comprised two key elements: education on post-vaccination pain & fever and the role of Panadol in providing suitable and efficacious care for these symptoms. In addition to TV, promotion included traditional media channels; partnerships with Pandamart, Uber and Grab offering 30-60 minute delivery services for post-vaccination symptom management; social media activity; an online expert care portal; strong in-store visibility; a Take Care Chatbot; and out-of-home ads close to vaccination centres. 
  • 2nd place: Redoxon (Bayer) The “Ces Before Cus” campaign was implemented in Indonesia to help the vitamin fight back against increased competition during the pandemic and help consumers “be new normal ready” by boosting immunity and giving them more confidence when carrying out daily activities in the Covid era. “Ces” is the noise that Redoxon makes when dissolving in water and “cus” is Indonesian slang for “Let’s go!”
  • 3rd place: Eye-Mo (Combiphar) Following a return to the Singaporean market in 2017, it was noted that Millennials did not have a strong connection with the brand. Combiphar turned this around with the growth-driving “I See What I Want” campaign, fronted by teen singer Aden Tan, which aimed to empower the younger generation by helping them rebound from negativities and see “the brighter side of life”.

Review the full proceedings from our APAC e-Conference 2021 conference by purchasing a copy of the event recording. For more details, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

MAT Q2 2021: Global CHC Market Trends

The latest update from Nicholas Hall’s CHC database DB6 indicates that in MAT Q2 2021, the retail (bricks & mortar) CHC market returned to growth following a decline in the previous reporting period – the first seen since DB6 records began. Overall global CHC sales were up 1.7% to US$151bn.

In terms of performance by geography, the Americas returned to positive growth (+1.3%), with a flat performance in North America bolstered by LatAm markets, including double-digit growth in Brazil (+10.6%). USA remains the clear No.1 CHC market globally, and grew modestly (+0.2%).

Asia-Pacific was the best performing region (+4.8%); while it continues to be impacted by loss of revenue from overseas visitors in key markets Japan (-4.0%) and Australia (-5.5%), high single-digit increases in China and India helped to lift the topline.

Source: Nicholas Hall’s global CHC sales database DB6 (all values at MSP).

Europe continues to decline (-2.0%), still heavily impacted by retraction in CCA and analgesics in Western Europe in particular. Key markets Germany (-8.5%) and UK (-10.8%) fell significantly, although this was partly offset by a positive trend in C&E Europe (+3.6%), with Russia maintaining mid-single digit increase (+4.1%) and Poland returning to growth after a decline in the previous reporting period.

Nicholas Hall Writes: “In 2020 we saw the market grow across the board during the first half, ease back in the second half, perform very badly in Q1 this year and return to growth in Q2. Is this a trend? Is it as simple as drawing the line forward to the point where we regain the pre-pandemic 3.7% retail sector growth rate? We all have our own point of view, but it would be a brave soul prepared to make a firm prediction. So in the best tradition of being a thrusting brand manager, I’m going to hedge my bets until I see the Q3 figures from DB6.

We are pleased to announce that Nicholas Hall’s DB6 mid-year update for 2021 is now available! Subscribers can access 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.holdcroft@NicholasHall.com.

MAT Q1 2021: Global CHC sales fall 0.6%

According to Nicholas Hall’s global sales database DB6, the retail (bricks & mortar) CHC market generated global sales of US$148bn, down by -0.6% versus a year ago. Further heavy decline for cough, cold & allergy (-14.5%), especially in North America and Western Europe, was largely responsible for the global fall in CHC sales. The Americas declined by -0.4%, driven by a -1.9% fall in North America, but slightly offset by a positive performance by LatAm markets (+8.5%), notably double-digit growth in Brazil (+10.6%).

Asia remained relatively weak (+2.6%); despite strong growth in China (+7.1%), the region continues to be impacted by loss of revenue from overseas visitors in key markets Japan (-9.1%) and Australia (-8.0%). Europe saw a significant downturn (-5.5%), heavily impacted by declines in CCA and analgesics in Western Europe. Key markets Germany (-13.3%) and UK (-13.9%) fell by double-digits during the MAT Q1 2021 period. In C&E Europe, meanwhile, Russia continued to post a positive performance (+4.1%), albeit at a slower rate than year-end.

As for global performance by major category, vitamins, minerals & supplements (+5.3%) remained the fastest-growing category – albeit at a slower rate than year-end 2020 – with immune-associated categories continuing to benefit from greater consumer focus on wellness maintenance and protection. Dermatologicals increased by +4.5%, its buoyancy largely attributed to the performance of antiseptics & disinfectants (+53.1%) during the pandemic. Lifestyle CHC grew by +2.4%, driven by double-digit increases in sedatives & sleep aids (+14.5%) as well as smaller categories such as obesity treatments, emergency hormonal contraception and erectile dysfunction.

Gastrointestinals returned a low level increase (+1.2%), while analgesics saw a decline of -1.8% globally, with systemics down -4.3%, largely owing to the effects of pantry loading at the start of the pandemic. Cough, cold & allergy saw the strongest decline, with sales falling by -14.5% in the 12 months to end March. Pantry loading, as well as the effects of lockdown restrictions, social distancing, mask wearing and hygiene measures resulted in significantly reduced incidence of respiratory pathologies.

At a time when consumers are highly aware of the importance of maintaining their immune system, we are pleased to announce that Immunity will be the focus of our next hot topic report! We will review a number of categories including antivirals, immune supplements and vitamins C & D and explore the latest launch activity, plus much more. To pre-order your copy and save with the pre-publication discount, or to find out more, please contact Melissa.Lee@NicholasHall.com.

NPD roundup: Women’s Health in 2020

To mark International Women’s Day, our blog this week rounds up some of the most notable women’s health NPD activity in the global CHC market in 2020, with examples from all four major regions (Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America and Latin America), as provided by our CHC New Products Tracker service.

Probiotics & prebiotics was a particularly lively source of women’s health innovation, including Farmoquimica’s late 2020 launch of Simbiofem in Brazil, positioned to balance female intestinal flora and claimed to be the first probiotic in the market for women’s health. In Spain, FertyPharma unveiled Fertybiotic Mujer Plus in early 2020, uniquely positioned to improve the fertility of women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), while in South Korea Huons launched Elruby Menolacto Probiotics in Q4 2020, offering the benefit of an original formula to help support menopausal women. In the USA, a particularly innovative women’s health probiotic launch was HUM Private Party, with a unique formulation that combines a proprietary women’s probiotic blend with cranberry extract, which is positioned to support healthy vaginal and urinary tract health.

As for digital health solutions, which are profiled in one of the chapter’s of our upcoming Innovation in CHC report, a notable women’s health development in the UK was Velieve (Healthy.io), an at-home service for women to determine if they have a UTI (urinary tract infection). Velieve was test marketed in London first and is available as a kit (containing a urine collection cup, dipstick and colour board), which is delivered within 3 hours of ordering online, and the user is then required to download the Velieve app to guide them through the test, turning their smartphone into a medical device to read the dipstick.

Finally, looking at VMS, there were also several notable women’s health developments in China in 2020, including GSK’s extension of calcium supplement Caltrate with Caltrate Women, Unilever’s rollout of Olly The Perfect Women’s Multi and Eu Yan Sang’s launch of Gold Label Bak Foong Small Pills (a plant-based formula positioned as a treatment to alleviate menstrual pain).

Seize your last chance to save on our forthcoming report from Nicholas Hall’s CHC New Products Tracker, Innovation in CHC 2021. Putting innovation and NPD activity from 2020 under the microscope, click here to pre-order your copy without delay. For more information, or to place your order, please contact Melissa.Lee@NicholasHall.com

Sexual health OTC revolution

Building on the news covered in last week’s blog that Sanofi is planning to implement the US Rx-to-OTC switch of erectile dysfunction treatment Cialis by end-2024, this week we look at another major development in the OTC sexual health & fertility category – the announcement by the UK’s MHRA that it has launched a public consultation on the reclassification of two progestogen-only contraceptive pills containing desogestrel, marking the first time the agency has considered such a change.

MHRA is asking the public and stakeholders for their views on whether two continuous-use oral contraceptives – HRA Pharma’s Hana and Maxwellia’s Lovima, both as 75mcg film-coated tablets in 28-count packs – should become pharmacy medicines and available OTC, without a medical prescription (although, in parallel, desogestrel 75mcg will also remain available on prescription, with women potentially able to switch between prescription or pharmacy supply at different times). The agency notes that if the products are reclassified, pharmacists will have access to training materials and a checklist to help them to identify women who can receive the two medicines safely. Two separate consultations are open until 5th March (Hana link; Lovima link).

Following the switch of Adamed’s Maxon Forte (sildenafil 50mg) in Poland in early 2020, the rollout of OTC Viagra (Viatris) to Norway and Ireland in 2020, plus the EU centralised Rx-to-OTC switch of Fortacin (Recordati for Plethora Solutions) for premature ejaculation – formulated with lidocaine 150mg + prilocaine 50mg – in September 2020, the past year has seen a rapid expansion in the availability of OTC sexual health & fertility medicines. With OTC ED on the near horizon in the US market, the UK approval of the daily contraceptive pill as an OTC medicine could lead to a wave of similar approvals worldwide, and inject substantial growth into the global CHC market over the coming years.

CHC.NewDirections Consulting Editor, Nina Stimson adds: This really is an exciting proposal – not only a first for the UK, but also the first significant bid to offer oral contraceptives without prescription outside the Asia Pacific region – China and South East Asian markets lead the way, although sales in most markets are relatively small. If the proposal is approved, will UK pharmacists actively support the switch and help build OTC supply (and will the pharmacy protocol be sufficiently user-friendly not to push women back to the doctor)? And will any price differential between Rx or OTC supply be a factor? Not all ambitious switches in the UK have succeeded in the past, but we have high hopes for this one. Time will tell …

You can save up to GB£1,350 when you pre-order our forthcoming report from CHC New Products Tracker, Innovation in CHC: 2020’s NPD & Launch activity under the spotlight before 31st March! As well as looking in more depth at the latest OTC sexual health & fertility developments, the report also showcases the top 100 innovations in 2020 and features major ingredient trends, delivery format trends and much more. For more information, or to pre-order your copy, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.