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.

Jeffries London Healthcare Conference

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: On 19th November, it was my great pleasure to moderate the CHC panel at the Jefferies conference. My distinguished panellists were two experienced CHC war horses: Roger Scarlett-Smith, Executive VP UK & USA, Stada, and President UK at Thornton & Ross, part of the Stada group, and formerly a very senior manager at GSK; and Pat Smallcombe, Chairman of Karo Consumer Healthcare and a former Pfizer and J&J top executive. Here follows a summary: 

  • Separation of J&J’s Consumer Health business presents a great opportunity for a company of that size. The CH unit has focused on increasing profitability & market attractiveness and has gone from underperforming from a P&L perspective to growing sales and shares. The agility, cadence & skill sets required for CH, which needs to act more locally, are different to more global, science-led Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices units. The question is if the separation, which will take several years, will detract from the focus on the market 
  • Ongoing impact of Covid varies by category, but the industry is at a crossroads. The huge increase in sales of vitamin D3 & immunity boosters is holding. Half-year data show treatment products are growing very strongly for the first time in many years, particularly in N America, although it is too early to say if this is the beginning of a longer-term trend. Meanwhile, Covid has accelerated trends that were already happening such as sustainability and a preference for trusted brands; the influence of HCPs has increased relative to influencers. In Health & Beauty, the fastest growing sub-category as an idea is vegan endorsement
  • Disproportionate surge in e-Commerce has been driven by the pandemic and is now running at around 12% of the CHC market; DB6 estimates this will double in the next 10 years. Any company that does not have an e-Commerce position will be in trouble in the long-term. Amazon is particularly popular in Germany, UK & USA, although several companies are aiming for a brand.com approach. However, increasing traffic to those sites and setting up an operation like Amazon is extremely expensive. It remains to be seen though if consumers return to physical stores if they do not have to shop online. In a related issue, there has been little evidence of price comparisons in different markets; this is probably more of a trade issue
  • Personalised healthcare has big opportunities, but we are still at the front end. Consumers are sceptical about who owns the healthcare data; they are more trustful of HCPs than tech or pharma companies. At this stage, it is hard to see the return on investments and there are plenty of other areas for growth 
  • M&A moving forwards is an area of interest as recent deals have been positive, with encouraging multiples and stable businesses. The healthcare technology area is also interesting. There is a rich appetite around consolidation. There will be more spin offs, with MNCs offering underutilised assets, such as Nizoral & Compeed, which, with increased A+P, have huge salient equity with consumers. Whether M&A is replacing R&D and NPD is a good question; there must be the right combination of internally-generated innovation vs externally-generated innovation
  • Biggest white space in the CHC market may be a cultural white space where you can execute with reliability, high quality and good customer service, while retaining an entrepreneurial localisation spirit. Getting closer to the consumer and being more relevant using digitalisation is also key, as is being more focused at the right time, with the right product, in the right way

This summary doesn’t do full justice to the wisdom and erudition of the panellists, with a small amount of support by myself. If you would like to hear the whole 45-minute session, please click on the link here.

Nestlé targets doubling of e-Commerce sales by 2025

By 2025, Nestlé expects to nearly double its e-Commerce sales to 25% of group total by significantly increasing its digital marketing spend, reports Reuters. The size of the investment was not disclosed. In Q1-3 2021, Nestlé sales were CHF63.3bn (US$68.3bn), with e-Commerce, which grew 17.2% in that period, reaching 14.1% of total sales. On the back of the success of DtC sales of products such as Nespresso coffee pods (Nespresso.com) and Purina PetCare (Purina.co.uk), the company will use a similar model. Speaking at a virtual investor summit, Executive VP Bernard Meunier said markets such as USA, Europe and China would drive growth. 

Nicholas Hall commented: This is high ambition by Nestlé, bearing in mind that many of its brand leaders are available very widely through retail outlets. Whether its CHC business can also reach this level internationally is a moot point, but in its favour Nestlé competes mainly in the VMS sector, where there are lower regulatory hurdles governing e-Commerce in more conservative countries, so maybe it is a fair ambition. And why not, when we ourselves forecast that e-Commerce will hold a 23% share of the entire global CHC market by 2030?

e-Commerce has had an amazing ride in the past ten years, with very few headwinds and the Gulfstream equivalent caused by the Covid lockdown, but the latest news from China implies that this trend may not continue in such a dynamic way in future. To quote from the unusually downbeat Alibaba: “The extremely high growth that China’s overall e-Commerce market has experienced in recent years is getting harder to maintain following government crackdowns on internet retailing this year.” Perhaps the e-Commerce sector has reached the inflexion point of all growth sectors when additional revenues have to be created rather than assumed.

Among the other top CHC players, the ratio of e-Commerce sales is generally on a par with Nestlé. In Q3 2021, Unilever and Reckitt announced that e-Commerce now accounts for 12% of group net revenues, while at GSK it represents 7% of sales. However, during a recent earnings call, Consumer Healthcare CEO Brian McNamara noted that in Q1-3 2021, e-Commerce had grown in the mid-20% range, adding: “Our ongoing investment in digital capabilities continues to position us well for growth in this key channel.” With online shopping clearly appealing to consumers and continuing to grow in popularity even as lockdowns ease, it is likely other companies will have similar targets to Nestlé’s in mind.

We are pleased to announce that the next title from Nicholas Hall’s Reports will focus on Herbals & Naturals. You will be able to review the latest trends, developments and sales, look at pure herbal & natural categories, along with products within topical analgesics, cough remedies, sleep aids, plus much more. To pre-order your copy and save up to GB£2,100, or for further information, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

CRN survey shows sharp rise in US VMS usage in 2021

The Council for Responsible Nutrition has revealed initial findings from its 2021 Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, which was fielded by Ipsos in August and involved 3,089 adults aged 18+ years. Vitamin D usage has significantly increased (52% vs 42% in 2020), as has zinc (22% vs 15%) and vitamin C (40% vs 35%); all could be helpful for combatting Covid-19 and boosting overall immunity. Further, 50% of supplement users report a change to their supplement routine since the start of the pandemic; 55% of those indicated that this includes adding new supplements to their existing routine.

ClearCut Analytics Director of Sales Jake Bernstein told attendees of the CRN Annual Conference, where the findings were unveiled, that dietary supplement sales on Amazon have risen by 43% and predicted that 25% of sales will be purchased online by 2024. Ashwagandha and collagen were the Amazon star performers.

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: This important research is another building block in helping us to understand how consumer attitudes have changed during the Covid-19 lockdown. As CRN’s Brian Wommack comments: “With 80% of Americans using supplements, these products are now mainstream and broadly accepted by the public. Just as important, 79% of Americans believe the dietary supplement industry is trustworthy, a jump of 5% from 2020.” This data and these comments will be taken into account in our ongoing evaluation of whether the CHC market is moving back to treatment and reversing the recent trend towards prevention & immunity. 

However this turns out, one clear learning emerges: consumer trends move slowly, accelerated only by mega-happenings such as the recent pandemic. By comparison, fashions in the pharmaceutical industry, including its CHC daughter, are highly volatile. 

Our Innovation in CHC 2021 report assesses 10 major trending ingredients, with a strong focus on VMS. Drawing from CHC New Products Tracker, this report also explores trends in NPD activity by company, reviews the best CHC innovations and much more. For more information or to order your copy, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Stada Health Report 2021

According to the third Stada Health Report, a representative survey of 30,000 participants in 15 European countries, 29% have suffered from increased levels of anxiety during the pandemic, while 25% are troubled by stress and inner restlessness and 15% have reported sleep disturbances. Some 52% of respondents are more affected by the lack of personal contact with family & friends than fear of Covid infection (42%), while almost 1 in 3 worries about the financial and work-related repercussions.

However, 70% of Europeans have been willing to invest more in their own health. For 73%, their doctor is the first point of call for all health-related issues, with pharmacists and scientists also highly trusted (60% each). Despite a 14 percentage-point increase in people purchasing medication online, 43% stay loyal to community pharmacies, 13% of which specifically single out their local branch. Europeans care more about brand names and what is associated with them (38%) rather than sustainable & environmentally-friendly packaging (25%) or whether a product was made in Europe (20%).

In the report, Stada asks the question, “With an increased interest in and an aspiration to healthy living, how did people in Europe procure information on these topics? The short answer is: The internet. 54% of Europeans have increased their online searches for health-related information compared to previous years.” However, this spike in online health searches and literacy has not automatically translated into European consumers looking to bypass their pharmacist when acquiring medication, or information about it. According to Stada’s survey, only 14% of Europeans have ordered more OTC medicines via online pharmacies post-pandemic, and 43% flat out refuse to order them online at all. Despite the ever increasing number of e-Commerce platforms and other channels for obtaining medicines online, community pharmacies are still Europe’s first choice for OTCs.

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: The Stada report quoted above is further evidence that increased levels of stress and anxiety, and disrupted sleep, are by-products of Covid. Insomnia was already considered a pandemic in the Western world by the World Health Organization; and sleep, stress and mood have joined immunity and disinfection as categories with rocketing sales in the past two years … The theme continues in the latest Gallup survey, which notes the high incidence of “worry, stress, anger and sadness among employees worldwide”. It seems that substantial numbers of office workers are refusing to go back to work in the traditional way and are insisting on continuing to work from home … This localisation of labour will almost certainly change our concept of shopping and could benefit independent neighbourhood pharmacies, giving a whole new meaning to the concept of Pharmacy Point-of-Care. It’s too soon to draw definite conclusions, but consumer healthcare companies would do well to re-examine their sales force objectives. One of the most successful modules of the CHC Training Academy is “Winning in Pharmacy”, and I can see this being even more popular as we come out of the Covid lockdown.

To find out more about Winning in Pharmacy, or the offerings from The CHC Training Academy, please contact maricar.montero@NicholasHall.com. The CHC Training Academy can also work with you to develop your own in-house customised training programmes according to your specific strategic needs.

European e-Conference report 2021

In this week’s blog, we highlight the key takeaways from our recent European e-Conference and take a closer look at one of the slides from Nicholas Hall’s Global Trends presentation, looking at the fastest-growing brands in consumer healthcare over the past five years.

Nicholas Hall Writes: 100 delegates from around the world joined us in late April for our first-ever e-Conference, and many more are expected to listen to the recording. The conference reviewed global and European trends in the consumer healthcare market, the impact of Covid, changing consumer attitudes and the omnichannel shopper journey, the digital revolution and our forecasts for the future. These and many other topics were covered under the banner of “A Glimpse into the New Normal”.

There is no denying that “immunity” is the biggest buzzword in consumer healthcare at the moment, and has produced some amazing results. We’ve just completed an analysis of the new DB6 data, looking at the fastest-growing brands over the past five years. Just to be clear, this is drawn from the 200 biggest brands and excludes those specifically from China, which are very largely formulated with traditional Chinese medicine. Sambucol, a brand I love dearly and have used for 20 years, shows up as the second fastest growing brand. Only Biofreeze (to be acquired by Reckitt in a deal expected to complete in Q2 2021) has grown faster during this period.

Source: Nicholas Hall’s DB6 database. All values US$mn at MSP.

CHC Insight Europe Editor Sarah Carter and Researcher / Writer Nathalie Corbett filed this report summarising various highlights from our European e-Conference:

  • There is an increased consumer focus on prevention, not just in terms of avoiding Covid-19, but also awareness that people with better overall health have better lifestyle outcomes. Many consumers are no longer looking for treatment, but instead seek to safeguard their future health.
  • During the pandemic, the health consumer has evolved from patient to “consum’actor”, who uses their purchasing power to protect the values and causes they believe in.
  • The consumer is in control of our industry and we need to deliver on their expectations. The best medicine is a consumer who is informed, empowered and inspired.
  • The way consumers shop has been severely disrupted and perhaps irrevocably altered by the pandemic. The CHC industry must respond with agility in order to successfully compete in this omnichannel landscape.
  • Consumers cross these different channels in a way that’s seamless, with lines blurring between communication, point of purchase, advertising, etc.
  • It’s all about the data – get this data culture deeply embedded at all levels of your organisation. It’s also about the right data, and not being inundated with data that isn’t useful. Identify the relevant KPIs and target those.
  • Tech and Big Data can help us gather insights and use these to deliver relevant business developments and product innovations. Consumers themselves are increasingly generating a wealth of data, including via self-monitoring devices.
  • Online can offer opportunities that offline cannot, even when it comes to personal advice. Digital interactions are sometimes preferable vs crowded stores / time constraints.
  • But pharmacies still account for 76% of purchases, and have a superb chance to fight back and regain market share provided they collect new insights into their customers’ shopping journeys.
  • We should no longer refer to e-commerce, but rather e-life. Platforms like Amazon are increasingly media hubs rather than just online stores.
  • Brand building is more important than ever as consumers adapt to the New Normal. We must be present and relevant and focus on creating an emotional bond with the consumer, a traditionally weak area.
  • There can be no return to old strategies and the old way of doing business. It is time for new strategies and New Paradigms.

We hope you enjoyed our European e-Conference 2021! If you couldn’t attend, you can still purchase a recording of the meeting by contacting elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.comImmunity & other Growth Drivers will be the focus of our next round of regional hot topic webinars. Starting with a focus on Asia-Pacific on 19 May, on the Americas on 23 June and concluding with Europe on 21 July. Please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com to find out more.

Sanofi CHC on track to be standalone unit by end-2022

At Sanofi’s Capital Markets Day 2021, the company’s Head of Consumer Healthcare, Julie Van Ongevalle, shared her vision for the business: “With the ongoing implementation of our fully integrated standalone model, we look forward to being more agile and reducing the complexity of our portfolio to drive growth with our consumer-centric, data-driven marketing approach.” The aim is to divest around 150 brands (from the current 250) in the next two years to focus on “priority categories”, such as allergy, body pain, general pain and mental wellness – particularly sleep aids – via a “granular approach”.

Rx-to-OTC switch has already been a key factor in driving growth in one of Sanofi’s priority categories, allergy remedies, thanks to the successful global OTC rollout of Allegra (first available in the USA in 2011) and launch of Xyzal Allergy 24HR (USA, 2017). Josephine Fubara, Chief Science Officer at Sanofi CHC, noted that Sanofi continues to make progress in bringing two potential OTC switches to the market in the coming years, erectile dysfunction treatment Cialis and flu antiviral Tamiflu, presenting a blockbuster opportunity with a combined sales potential of €1bn in the US market alone.

Source: Sanofi Capital Markets Day 2021 presentation

Sanofi also stated that it is on track with its plans to be a standalone CHC business by end-2022. The company said that the overall planning for the transition was complete, and that the majority of its standalone CHC legal entities would be operational by end-2021. Among the benefits that Sanofi believes this transition will bring include the agility to reignite its innovation engine and reduce time-to-market by around 20%.

Looking ahead, Sanofi is targeting above average market growth, driven by its focus on priority categories and Rx-to-OTC switch, with a view to becoming the best-in-market CHC performer by 2024-25. Supporting this objective will be a focus on consumer insights, an emphasis on e-Commerce and digital channels and the operational independence provided by Sanofi’s standalone model.

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 31 March. The report showcases the Top 100 innovations in 2020 and features major ingredient trends, delivery format trends, and much more. For further details, or to pre-order your copy, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

IRI: Top Product Claims, Retail Trends

New research by IRI points to some of the consumer retail trends that have emerged in the US market in the past year as a result of Covid. Looking at the entire CPG (consumer packaged goods) market in the USA, IRI’s recently published Leader Board report for 2020 highlighted some key trends, including consumers of all income levels driving more growth of premium and super-premium products, with health and wellness and self-care products experiencing higher demand. Among the fastest-growing categories in 2020, IRI listed home health care / kits (+172%), personal thermometers (+127%) and sleeping remedies (+28%).

The report also lists some of the marketers and categories that benefited from the strong shift to e-Commerce, including Vi-Jon (marketer of hand sanitiser Germ-X) and external analgesic rubs, as well as highlighting the leading product claims among both edible and non-edible consumer goods. As the chart below from the report indicates, “more vitamin C” was one of the fastest-growing claims in terms of sales (+24%) in the edible sector, while hemp seed oil (+110%), aromatherapy (+37%) and sleep health (+34%) were all in the Top 10 non-edible product claims in 2020.

Copyright: 2021 Information Resources Inc. (IRI).

Further IRI research found that small and extra-small CPG manufacturers’ and retailers’ own brands gained US market share vs larger players during 2020. Of the CPG industry’s US$933bn sales in measured channels in 2020, large manufacturers lost 1.3 share points (US$12.1bn in sales) to smaller players, owing to channel and category shifts and supply constraints. The CPG industry grew 10.3%, with smaller manufacturers (annual measured channel sales <US$1bn) capturing nearly one-third of that and private label products accounting for roughly 18%. This resulted in smaller manufacturers and PL gaining 1.1 and 0.2 share points, respectively, from larger manufacturers (measured channel sales exceeding US$5.5bn annually), which have lost market share in each of the past five years, but still represent 46.7% of total US sales in measured channels.

Comment from President of Strategic Analytics for IRI, Dr Krishnakumar Davey: The consumer shift towards smaller manufacturers and PL products is something that IRI has been documenting for several years, and we saw the trend accelerate during the pandemic. Many large manufacturers were not able to meet the surge in demand in Q2 when they lost most share to smaller players, who seized on this opportunity. Several brands attracted a number of new buyers as in-home consumption surged. Large manufacturers fared relatively better in Q3, but still lost significant share. Q4 saw some improvement and reversion to historical trends. Many extra-small manufacturers are mostly new entrants to the market into supply-constrained categories (e.g. soap, hand sanitisers, home healthcare kits). Small manufacturers playing in high-demand categories such as hygiene, personal care and health & wellness saw high growth.

Nicholas Hall will be joined online by experts from GSK, J&J and Convert Group during our European e-Conference 2021. Taking place on 28 & 29 April, there are options for individual passes or corporate licences. Take the chance to keep up with what’s happening in consumer healthcare today by contacting elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com to reserve your space.

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