Kerry survey highlights growing interest in probiotics

Demand for probiotics is growing as digestive health moves up the consumer agenda, according to a survey conducted by Irish taste and nutrition company Kerry. The company surveyed 13,000+ consumers across 16 countries. Almost half (47%) of those questioned were aware of probiotics or cultures, up from 42% in 2019 when the survey was last conducted. Awareness was particularly high in Latin America (63%) and North America (61%). One in four respondents (25%) had used a product containing probiotics in the past six months, up from 21% in 2019; a further 44% said they would consider doing so vs 40% in 2019. Probiotic use in the past six months was especially high in China (49% of respondents), followed by Mexico (42%). Digestive Health was ranked third on the list of reasons to purchase healthy lifestyle products, up from fourth in 2019.

Writing in CHC.Newsflash, Nicholas Hall said this story is a welcome reminder that probiotics remains one of the most attractive categories in consumer healthcare, despite flat sales during Covid. As Kerry VP John Quilter points out: “Demographic changes, such as population ageing and lifestyle choices, have increased the prevalence of digestive disorders, while the pandemic has accelerated the shift towards more proactive approaches to health. As a result, consumers [are] increasingly well educated about the role of probiotics and their ability to support both digestive health and overall wellness.”

Nicholas commented further: “Our industry is receiving this message loud and clear, to judge by the large number of probiotic new products. Indeed, it’s highly instructive to look at the very large number of new CHC products launched in 2020 as measured by our Tracker. There were three standout categories: probiotics, CBD and – no surprises – immune supplements. These categories recorded around 250-300 launches each, substantially ahead of multivitamins, antiseptics & disinfectants and sedatives & sleep aids. The impact of Covid is written all over this data, but despite the disruption in purchasing habits, marketer perception of unmet consumer demand is clear, with probiotics and CBD very much front of mind.

As I’ve written before, I see probiotics as a three-stage process: entry level, using well-known strains with a gut-health positioning; first stage development, embracing new indications such as immunity and women’s health, but still using existing strains and combinations; and the far stage, with exciting new indications including metabolic reconditioning, and completely new strains. At present we are about a third of the way into the second stage, with lots of new probiotics coming to market. But what we lack is clinical evidence with large sample sizes from research centres with unimpeachable credentials, sufficient to persuade, for example, the Doubting Dr Thomases at the European Food Standards Authority to allow claims or even the use of the word “probiotic” on packaging. With a number of heavy hitters from the supply chain – such as Kerry – being attracted to probiotics, I’m confident that we are only a few years away from the Promised Land.

Take the opportunity to save up to GB£2,100 when you pre-order our forthcoming Immunity hot topic report before 31 August! This essential report will review a number of categories including antivirals, immune supplements and vitamins C & D, and explores the latest launch activity, plus much more. To pre-order your copy with the pre-publication discount, or to find out more, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

FDA rejects two NDI notifications for CBD products

The US FDA has rejected two New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) notifications for CBD as a dietary supplement. The ingredients submitted by both applicants – Charlotte’s Web and Irwin Naturals – were described as “full-spectrum hemp extracts”. FDA rejected the filings on the basis that CBD is the active ingredient in an approved drug (GW Pharmaceutical’s Epidiolex) and because the companies failed to provide sufficient scientific evidence to substantiate their submissions. In objection letters to Charlotte’s Web and Irwin Naturals, the agency said full-spectrum hemp extracts containing CBD “may not be marketed as or in a dietary supplement”.

According to CRN President & CEO Steve Mister, CBD regulation and mandatory product listing are the most important supplement-related issues pending for the VMS industry on Capitol Hill, as revealed in a recent panel interview organised by Nutrition Industry Executive as part of “Turning Point: Washington and the State of the Natural Products Industry“.

Mister also stated in a recent CRN press release that: “Despite very clear direction from Congress when it removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act in 2018, FDA seems to have made up its mind not to support CBD in supplements and is now trying to justify it. That’s the only logical conclusion to draw from FDA’s actions – and its continued inaction … CRN has publicly endorsed HR 841, the Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2021 and is actively lobbying Congress to do what FDA has refused to do – create a legal pathway to market CBD as a dietary supplement.”

Source: CHC New Products Tracker

Nicholas Hall commented: It was Lenin who spoke of taking “one step forward, two steps back”. Those of us with a less revolutionary nature aim for a more positive journey, with only the occasional backward glance! But regardless of the number of steps in either direction, the news that the FDA has rejected two important dietary supplement notifications for CBD seems highly retrograde. I fully endorse the view of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, which has denounced the FDA decision and urged Congress to act.

In CRN’s view, the FDA has mischaracterised these products as being the same as prescription CBD drugs and has “ignored, dismissed and downplayed ample evidence” that hemp products can be marketed safely. This seems like a re-run of the FDA’s inability to deal with the whole dietary supplements sector many years ago, which ultimately led to Congress’s stepping in with the all-important DSHEA legislation under which supplements are now regulated with a very light touch.

Review the latest new CBD products with CHC New Products Tracker. This ultimate competitive intelligence tool features 30,000+ launches and innovations, and products graded with a star rating. To set up your free demo, or to find out more, please contact waisan.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Prebiotics on cusp of exponential growth


According to prebiotics developer, Swiss-based Clasado, the category has “exponential” growth potential, with increasing consumer awareness and an upswing in demand from key players. CEO Per Rehne said: “Because the prebiotics market has gathered pace over a relatively short space of time, it’s easy to forget that the isolated ingredients are still relatively new compared to many of today’s nutrition technologies. Global Market Insights predicts a very solid 8.5% global CAGR until 2024, but it is likely to surpass this … [in a] perfect example of the ‘right technology, connecting with the right market, at the right time’.” He added: “Real market appetite [is] reflected in new product innovation from some of the biggest international brands”.

Clasado is working on a “major project” with P&G, which will see galactooligosaccharide prebiotic ingredient Bimuno  “feature heavily in a novel gummy designed to make a real difference to the consumer.” Rehne concluded: “It’s an exciting time for brand owners and formulators. We’re only just scratching the surface of what prebiotics are capable of in terms of capturing consumer attention and unlocking fundamentally better gut health.”

Coinciding with April’s IBS Awareness Month, i-Health / DSM has launched Culturelle IBS Complete Support in the USA for the dietary management of IBS. The first product from the brand that does not contain probiotics, the medical food – to be used under medical supervision and direction – is powered by HMO (human milk oligosaccharide) bioactive prebiotics, natural digestive nutrients that promote the growth of good gut bacteria. It claims to be able to reduce the severity of symptoms such as stomach pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea by 60% and cut days with symptoms by 50%. In tandem, the “Take Back Your Days” campaign offers consumers the chance to win US$100 to spend doing something they enjoy with their reclaimed time. The first 1,000 entrants will receive a box of Culturelle IBS Complete Support, which is available now at a number of retailers with a suggested retail price starting at US$29.98 for a box of 28 single serve packets. The recommended dose for adults and children aged 12+ years is one packet once daily, mixed in liquids or food.

Comment from Dave Redford, Managing Editor, CHC New Products Tracker: This new Culturelle product is a unique proposition in several ways: Formulation (first Culturelle product with no probiotics, just prebiotics); Regulatory status (first Culturelle product to be registered as a medical food); and Positioning (first Culturelle product for IBS). Still by far the No.1 US probiotics & prebiotics brand with sales of over US$150mn, Culturelle has however seen growth slow in the past two years in line with the category overall, as competition intensifies and the market matures. With a claim to offer “more symptom-free days” to IBS sufferers, backed by clinical research, i-Health clearly sees Culturelle IBS Complete Support as offering a new avenue for growth.

Review the best in class innovations among GIs and probiotics & prebiotics from the past year in our recently published Innovation in CHC 2021 report from CHC New Products Tracker. Showcasing 110 of the latest innovations across CHC categories, with a look at trends in delivery format and ingredients, as well as profiling innovation by the leading players, for more information, or to order your copy, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com

Switch: 2020 Review and 2021 Prospects

According to our CHC New Products Tracker tool, which covers 20 key markets globally, 2020 was a relatively good year for Rx-to-OTC switch activity, not quite at the level of particularly active years like 2018, but above average in terms of switch-related launch developments, and with some notable breakthroughs such as GSK’s switch of Voltaren Arthritis Pain (diclofenac) in the USA and Glenmark’s Momate Rhino Advance Nasal Spray (mometasone + azelastine) switch in Russia.

Thanks to the Rx-to-OTC reclassification of Voltaren Arthritis Pain, as well as eye allergy itch relief range Pataday (Alcon), the US market led the way in terms of switch developments in 2020, along with Poland, Germany and China. As for category switch trends, looking at Tracker data for the past 8 years (2013 to 2020), allergy remedies has been by far the most active OTC subcategory in producing new products following switch activity, with double the amount of NPD activity as the next nearest subcategory, cough remedies.

Looking ahead to 2021, one of the first switch developments this year will again be an allergy remedy. The UK’s Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency granted GSL status to Sanofi’s Allevia tablets for seasonal allergic rhinitis (fexofenadine 120mg; 12+ years; 1 tablet per day) in late December 2020. Once Allevia and other OTC fexofenadine products are launched, they will enjoy mass market distribution from the outset (it is more common in the UK for switched ingredients to be granted pharmacy-only OTC status). This is the second Rx-to-GSL UK allergy remedy switch in as many months, following approval for J&J’s Rhinocort Aqua budesonide 64mcg nasal spray in November 2020 (to be marketed as Benacort Hayfever Relief).

In addition, Poland remains at the forefront of global switch activity, with the country’s medicines agency (URPL) recently approving the Rx-to-OTC switch of Famotydyna Ranigast film-coated tablets (Polpharma; famotidine 20mg). Claimed to relieve indigestion, heartburn and hyperacidity for up to 12 hours, this is the first famotidine option available OTC in Poland. Meanwhile, Australia’s TGA is seeking comments until 27th January 2021 on proposed amendments to the Poisons Standard, which will be discussed at the March 2021 meeting of the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling, including adding the following pharmacist-only medicines to Appendix H to permit consumer advertising: prochlorperazine and metoclopramide for the treatment of nausea associated with migraine; and chloramphenicol for ophthalmic use.

We are delighted to announce that our annual European e-Conference 2021 will take place online on 28 & 29 April! With options for individual and corporate site or global access, take the chance to keep up with what’s happening in consumer healthcare today and contact elizabeth.bernos@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.

Innovation powers Genomma OTC growth in LatAm, USA

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Ranking among the Top 50 globally and the No.5 CHC marketer in Latin America, Genomma continues to produce double-digit OTC growth. In its recently published Q2 2020 results, Genomma announced a 10.9% rise in net revenue in Q2 to Ps3.6bn (US$160mn). Adjusted EBITDA grew by 13.1% to Ps754.9mn (US$34mn; 20.8% margin). Mexican sales reached Ps1.5bn (US$67mn; +5.0%), while revenue from LatAm markets was up 8.8% to Ps1.6bn (US$71mn). Reversing the downward trend of recent quarters, sales from Genomma’s US operation grew by 47.8% to Ps478.4mn (US$21mn), attributed to a renewed focus on innovation, POS (point-of-sale) presence and A+P.

Overall, Genomma generates 54% of its revenue from OTC products, with personal care accounting for the remainder. Genomma now has a presence in 18 markets, and international expansion has fuelled the fast quarterly growth in its OTC portfolio (+32.2% in Q2 2020 vs Q2 2019), which offset a 6.5% decline its personal care sales. Mexico accounted for 38% of Genomma’s OTC turnover in Q2 2020, and quarterly sales in its home market fell 2.7%, however this was more than offset by 49.8% growth in LatAm sales (excluding Mexico), which accounted for 42% of its OTC portfolio in Q2, and 128.5% growth in USA sales, which now claim a 20% OTC share.

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Source: Genomma’s Q2 2020 Earnings Release

CHC Insight Latin America Assistant Editor, Jen Jones, commented: “Innovation was the buzzword in Genomma’s Q2 statement to investors. In Mexico, new categories include infant nutrition, sanitisers and shaving products, while in Brazil Genomma recently introduced the region’s first at-home HIV test kit. CCA was central to NPD in LatAm, including launches under the Next banner in Brazil, Argentina and Colombia, as well as the rollout of Tukol cough remedy to new regional markets.”

According to our CHC New Products Tracker service, after a quiet year in 2017, Genomma significantly ramped up NPD activity in 2018 and 2019, and this investment is now being reflected in strong organic OTC growth. While Brazil and Argentina were the main sources of launch activity in that period, the US market has also been a growing focus, with line extensions to skin care brands Lagicam (antifungal), Asepxia (acne remedy) and Cicatricure (aesthetic treatment), as well as additions to the Next systemic cold & flu range (Daytime Relief and Nighttime Relief).

Thousands of innovations are launched every year in the global consumer healthcare market, but relatively few offer notable new benefits for consumers in terms of delivery format or formulation. Which new products are breaking through and offering a unique proposition? Where will new product development take the CHC market in future? Contact Melissa Lee (melissa.lee@nicholashall.com) today to pick up your copy of the Innovation in CHC report.

Immunity sales & NPD activity on the rise

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One of the newer CHC subcategories that appeared in the Top 10 biggest contributors to global consumer healthcare growth in the MAT Q1 2010 period was immune supplements, with the subcategory producing a 28.5% global upturn in the year to end-March 2020. Along with vitamin C products, probiotics and multivitamins, immune supplements were among several major VMS contributors to growth in the first quarter.

For 2019, our CHC New Products Tracker service recorded 95 new product developments in the herbal & natural immune stimulants subcategory, making it the 14th most active subcategory overall in the consumer healthcare market. So far in 2020, immune supplements are already in the Top 10 most active subcategories – a sign of the rapid increase in new product development in response to the Covid-19 pandemic – and we fully expect this growth in NPD activity to accelerate over the remainder of the year.

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There has been a wide array of immunity NPD activity across all regions, notably Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. In certain markets, such as India and China, there is also likely to be a rise in sales of country-specific natural remedies (Ayurvedic medicine and TCM) positioned for immunity support, though marketers will have to be wary of government clampdowns on products that are claimed to prevent or cure Covid-19.

Notable immunity supplement launches in the USA so far in 2020 include GSK’s Emergen-C Turmeric & Ginger and Emergen-C Elderberry, available in fizzy drink mixes, and RB’s Airborne Immune + Natural Energy Ready To Drink Shot. In Europe, Neuraxpharm unveiled Preventan Clasic in Spain and Italy, while Sambcol Immuno Forte and Sambucol Kids + Vitamin C were rolled out in Germany. As for Asia-Pacific, Grandma’s Kadha effervescent tablets were launched in India and Sanofi’s Cenovis line was relaunched in Australia.

Thousands of innovations are launched every year in the global consumer healthcare market, but relatively few offer notable new benefits for consumers in terms of delivery format or formulation. Which new products are breaking through and offering a unique proposition? Where will new product development take the CHC market in future? Contact Melissa Lee (melissa.lee@nicholashall.com) today to pick up your copy of the Innovation in CHC report.

NPD activity in CHC in Q1 2020

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At the same time as our DB6 division publishes data on the sales performance of the global CHC market in the first quarter of 2020, it’s also a good time to reflect on headline new product development trends in the period from January to March 2020, using our CHC New Products Tracker tool which covers 20 key markets. The major development that stands out this year is the dramatic fall in the volume of new product development (NPD) in March 2020, compared to the same month in the three previous years.

March is traditionally the month we see a sharp rise in NPD activity after the quieter month of February, but this year Covid-19 halted that trend. So far for March 2020, we only have 271 entries – including launches, Rx-to-OTC switches, line extensions, rollouts and relaunches – recorded in our Tracker archive, compared to much higher totals in March 2019 (464 entries), March 2018 (434) and March 2017 (397).

This sharp fall in global NPD activity in March 2020 is likely the result of CHC marketers shelving plans to launch new products in response to the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The question is whether these plans have been postponed or abandoned altogether? We know that several CHC companies have streamlined their portfolios during the pandemic to ensure continued production of core SKUs, so it’s possible portfolio innovation has fallen down the priority list. Alternatively, we may see a surge in NPD activity in the remainder of 2020. Only time will tell.

What will also be interesting to see play out is how NPD activity in 2020 differs in terms of its focus on fast-growing subcategories, fuelled by the Covid-driven spike in demand. For example, we saw an increasing number of antiseptics & disinfectants launched in March 2020, compared to the same month in previous years. This trend will likely be replicated in other subcategories, such as herbal & natural immune stimulants, when we come to analyse NPD activity in Q2 2020 and later quarters.

Thousands of innovations are launched every year in the global consumer healthcare market, but relatively few offer notable new benefits for consumers in terms of delivery format or formulation. Which new products are breaking through and offering a unique proposition? Contact melissa.lee@nicholashall.com to secure your copy of Innovation in CHC, a report showcasing many of the “wow brands” launched in 2019 and highlighting ingredient and delivery format trends that continue to characterise the market in 2020.