With all Top 6 CHC marketers and several important mid-tier companies having now reported their Q2 results, it’s a good time to analyse some of the key consumer health trends that have emerged in the second quarter of this turbulent year. Most notable is the downturn in Europe’s CHC market in Q2 2020, after an especially strong Q1, while North America’s CHC market has proven to be more robust so far. Also of note is the strong rise in e-Commerce sales for several CHC marketers.
Europe: Medicine cupboards already stocked
Marketers with well-developed CHC portfolios in Europe reported how “destocking” of medicine stores built up in Q1 had impacted regional OTC sales in Q2. GSK reported low single-digit decline for its pain portfolio in Q2, largely the result of this pantry unloading trend and the weak performance of Voltaren in Europe. Likewise, Sanofi reported a 13% decline in CHC sales in Europe in Q2, citing “consumer destocking” and low pharmacy traffic as key contributors to the regional fall.
Bayer, reporting on the wider EMEA geography, said regional sales fell 8.2% in Q2 after strong consumer stockpiling in Q1, with Allergy & Cold and Digestive Health the two categories most affected. Likewise, Mylan reported a 6% fall in its sales in Europe in Q2, as did several smaller CHC marketers, including Boiron, which recorded a 21% quarterly decline in sales in France owing to fewer doctors’ appointments and pharmacy visits.
North America: J&J and P&G benefit from geographic mix
Bayer and GSK both reported dynamic VMS growth in the region in Q2, while Sanofi cited the “strong spring allergy season”, which boosted its Xyzal brand, as a factor in better Q2 sales in North America compared to Europe. Marketers with CHC portfolios more focused on the US market performed well, notably J&J, which reported a 10.7% rise in OTC sales in Q2 thanks to strong growth of Tylenol and Zarbee’s Naturals.
Like J&J, P&G benefits from a clear geographic focus on North America, and reported strong growth in the region in Q2 as a factor behind the double-digit rise in sales of its Personal Health Care portfolio, with Vicks and several other brands gaining share. Other CHC marketers with a particular focus on the region, including Perrigo and Church & Dwight, also reported stronger quarterly results in Q2 compared to competitors.
e-Commerce: RB and Nestlé report high growth
Another factor in rising organic CHC sales for Perrigo in North America in Q2 was continued robust growth in e-Commerce, more than offsetting category declines owing to lower brick & mortar foot traffic. Two other marketers that cited the impact of e-Commerce in their Q2 results were RB and Nestlé. For RB, e-Commerce sales rose by 50%+ and now represent 15% of total Health net revenue, while for Nestlé e-Commerce sales grew by 48.9%, reaching 12.4% of total sales.
Are the leading CHC marketers investing in e-Commerce? Do they have online platforms for their brands? Find out in our report Digital Marketing & e-Commerce: Tapping the Potential of Online Sales and Digital Promotion in Consumer Healthcare. To order your copy, or to find out more, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.