Nicholas Hall’s 32nd European Conference Review

CHC Insight Europe Deputy Editor Nathalie Corbett has filed the following report of the highlights of Nicholas Hall’s 32nd European CHC Conference & CHC Training Academy Workshop, which took place from 4th to 6th May in Athens:

  • Although innovation is key to driving growth, there is too little of it; we have seen few large switches globally and it is difficult to be a switch pioneer.
  • We must aim to bring value to consumers and only innovate where we meet their needs. Success of the past is not a guarantee of success in the future.
  • Being a launch machine is not necessarily the way to grow and new launches do not always equal success; it is just as important to manage the assets we already have for long-term brand sustainability and growth.
  • Self-care can help alleviate the growing strain on healthcare services, but we must work hard to gain the trust of HCPs and convince them of the important role of preventive wellness solutions.
  • We need to move towards sustainable and robust healthcare systems, working collaboratively to enhance their resilience.
  • We live in a time of rapid change, with many forces disrupting the health & wellness landscape and shaping consumer demand; one of the key challenges in today’s industry is adapting to this new reality, which is crucial to keep pace, remain relevant and enable innovation.
  • Health is not a one-size-fits-all concept and it is important to know and understand the varied landscape and identify the ever-changing motivations & drivers of individual groups in order to meet their needs.
  • We need to address consumer health & wellness needs more holistically; personalisation remains a global megatrend and one that will continue to evolve. We are seeing a shift to more personalised and proactive care that empowers consumers to identify their needs, make informed choices and adopt healthier lifestyles.
  • Protection has moved to the fore of consumer consciousness amid the Covid-19 pandemic, with today’s consumer health-oriented, informed, connected, empowered and proactively searching for better health & wellness outcomes.
  • The pandemic has seen an explosion in e-Commerce and accelerated demand for DtC purchases, providing huge opportunities, but bringing with it responsibilities and risks.
  • Systems need to be in place to anticipate these risks, coupled with processes to mitigate them; safeguards, best practices and governance are key. Be mindful of your obligations before charging ahead with innovation.
  • Technology can help us gather and sort a large amount of disparate data, granting us insights to better understand consumer needs, predict consumer choices and enable innovation.
  • It is important to constantly review and respond to data as it changes fast: Gather, Learn and Act.
  • AI is forecast to be the most disruptive technology over the next 50 years, unlocking value of more than US$13tn across all industries. However, while AI can support the work of people, it cannot substitute it, so it is essential to integrate both into business models. Technology should aid innovation but not be the end goal, and consumers must always sit at the centre of strategy. 

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: My colleague Nathalie has written an excellent summary of the Athens meeting, with particular emphasis on the key word in the conference title, “Innovation”. And I wrote last week of the sense of joy among delegates, speakers and staff at being abroad – or just out of the office or home office – in the wide-wide world. I hope that this sentiment will be in evidence at next year’s meeting, which will take place in one of our favourite cities, London.

If you missed the chance to attend our 32nd European CHC Conference & CHC Training Academy Workshop in Athens last week, you can still purchase a recording of the event! View presentations from Nicholas and experts from companies including GSK, Menarini and Teva, who explore what is next for the CHC market landscape across the region. Please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com to purchase your copy.

Nicholas Hall’s 2022 Marketing Awards

Nicholas Hall’s 32nd European CHC Conference took place last week in Athens, and below are the winners of this year’s awards for marketing and innovation in the consumer healthcare industry.

For the Colin Borg European Marketing Award, the top three awarded were as follows:

1st Place: Procto-Glyvenol from Recordati
2nd Place: Otrivin from GSK
3rd Place: Enandol from Menarini

The Winners of the Worldwide Marketing Award were as follows:

1st Place: Xyzal from Sanofi
2nd Place: Eno from GSK
3rd Place: Doril Enxaqueca from Hypera

We finally gave a Special Achievement Award to HRA Pharma (now owned by Perrigo) for Hana, with an honourable mention to Maxwellia’s Lovima, which has the same ingredient as Hana. For this award we celebrated the 360 degree marketing campaign run by HRA for Hana.

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: “The Athens conference has been a very special meeting; as well as the high level of content and great foresights shared, just to be together as a community will remain fresh in our memories for months and years to come.

The awards we presented this year were particularly welcome as they celebrate achievements made under the extreme circumstances of the pandemic. Not least, we presented a Special Achievement Award for only the 7th time in the almost 35 years of holding events. Three of these awards were given to individuals who made outstanding contributions to the industry, and three to marketers of truly significant new brands. It was in this tradition that we presented the 7th Special Achievement Award to HRA for the launch of Hana, the world’s first OTC daily oral contraceptive supported with 360° marketing support. An honourable mention was given to Maxwellia’s Lovima.

The hope and expectation is that these two new brands will trailblaze a new CHC category, which is vital as our market goes forward. If you look at the DB6 forecasts (see this week’s Dashboard infographic) – growth at 2021 levels is unlikely to be sustained. The only way to put us onto a higher trajectory will be to launch more significant new products and entice increasingly large numbers of consumers to participate in the self-care revolution. Hana is a superb example of how this can be achieved.

We have now released DB6 forecasts to 2026 & 2031, following the recent publication of our year-end 2021 data. Arrange a demo to take a look for yourself, exploring the expanded channels dataset, which now includes internet & mail order, direct sales and CBD. DB6 offers 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.fieldingsmith@NicholasHall.com.  

Q1 Results Round-Up: J&J, Nestlé and P&G

J&J sales rose by 5.0% on a reported basis in Q1 2022 to US$23.4bn, with operational growth of 7.7%. Consumer Health sales fell by 1.5%, but grew 0.8% operationally. Excluding the net impact of acquisitions, divestitures and translational currency, adjusted CH operational sales increased by 1.6%. This was primarily driven by OTC products, with Tylenol and Motrin, upper respiratory products and Imodium major contributors. 

P&G net sales rose by 7% in Q3 fiscal 2022 (Jan-Mar 2022) to US$19.4bn. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, acquisitions and divestitures, organic sales grew by 10%, driven by a 3% rise in shipment volumes, 5% from increased pricing, and a 2% increase from positive geographic and product mix, with each category growing. Health Care – US$2.7bn, +13% – was once again P&G’s strongest division. Personal Health Care organic sales were up more than 30%, owing to a stronger cough / cold & flu season vs the prior year, as well as innovation in sleep and digestive wellness.

Nestlé sales rose by 5.4% in Q1 2022 to CHF22.2bn (US$23.4bn). Growth was broadly based across most geographies and categories. E-Commerce sales grew by 5.0%, building on 39.6% growth in Q1 2021. Nestlé Health Science, which earlier this month completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Orgain, a leader in plant-based nutrition, advanced by 55.8% to CHF1.4bn (US$1.5bn). Organic growth was 5.6%, building on two consecutive years of double-digit growth, with real internal growth of 4.3% and pricing +1.3%. 

Source: J&J

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: Here at NHC we are in the final countdown for the Athens Conference, already postponed three times because of Covid. I’m looking forward so much to meeting delegates in the old-fashioned way, even if we are still required to wear masks and preserve some form of social distancing.

And we will have a lot to celebrate at the conference. Even though society is not quite ready for the New Normal – the pandemic is not yet over and almost certainly we will face a global recession in the months ahead – I sense a new optimism in the CHC industry. Some of our players are reporting positive and even spectacular results and the pulse of Licensing & Acquisition never slackens.

With less than two weeks to go until our 32nd European CHC Conference & CHC Training Academy Workshop, why not reserve your place now! Taking place in Athens on 4-6 May 2022, industry experts including speakers from Bayer, J&J, Menarini and Teva will explore how as an industry we can move forward with CHC Innovation. Contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com to book your seat.

GSK eyes CBD market with Cann partnership

Cann Group has entered into an exclusive evaluation & option agreement with GSK Consumer Healthcare in relation to the potential commercialisation of Satipharm CBD capsules for OTC (S3, Pharmacist-only) distribution in Australia. GSK also has potential interest in first rights to negotiate exclusivity periods to assess its interest in taking up commercialisation rights in other markets globally. Cann has granted GSK the exclusive right to evaluate Satipharm (excluding Cann’s Rx CBD products) for 60 days after the delivery of Cann’s final clinical study report.

In consideration of this, GSK will pay Cann £100,000 (US$130,437) as a non-refundable payment. Key terms of any definitive sales & marketing agreement will be contingent on factors including the results of the 4-week Phase 3 clinical trial and path to regulatory approval, as well as GSK’s marketing evaluation. Recruitment for the trial, which will examine the efficacy of Satipharm for the short-term treatment of sleep disturbances and quality of life outcomes, is in progress and the results are expected in H2 2022.

As highlighted in our recently published Innovation in CHC report, global launch activity for CBD products has dropped off substantially over the past two years since the pandemic. Regulatory uncertainty also still hovers over the status of CBD in the key US market, another factor in NPD dropping sharply there. In the near future, we expect there to be a greater emphasis on quality over quantity. Further clinical backing for CBD and other cannabinoids – in the way GSK is pursuing with this Cann partnership – will be crucial to this next phase in the maturity of the category.

Source: Nicholas Hall’s CHC New Products Tracker

Nicholas Hall Writes: “This is a very important story. As Peter Crock, the Cann CEO, says: “Cann’s ability to produce a CBD capsule that presents as a regular pharmaceutical and has proven benefits in terms of stability and bioavailability has attracted interest from a number of potential distribution partners. We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with GSK Consumer Healthcare, which would bring industry-leading expertise and market access to our CBD product platform if we enter into a definitive exclusive agreement.”

Alright, it’s not a done deal yet, but there is an expectation that it will be concluded for Australia, and possibly other markets. It is highly significant in many ways:

  1. It’s the first major move since Australia approved CBD for certain OTC indications in February 2021 
  2. With all due deference to Nestlé, it’s the first instance of a major CHC company taking a direct interest in the CBD market
  3. There is some real science involved
  4. The sleep indication will be a sure-fire winner in a category that grew 13.2% in 2021 and still has massive unmet consumer demand

And finally, is it a sign of the greater freedom that the independent Haleon will have to enter “difficult” categories, which might not be possible for an affiliate of Big Pharma? All in all, this is a bold move, and one I hope will succeed.

We are pleased to announce that the latest edition of Innovation in CHC from CHC New Products Tracker is now published! This report showcases 100 major innovations from 2021, profiles best-in-class brands and highlights key ingredient and delivery format trends. To order your copy now, or for more information, please contact melissa.lee@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.

CHPA Self-Care Leadership Summit

From Nicholas Hall’s Regional VP, North America, Liz Cummings

USA: “If there was ever any doubt, the world has learned what we knew all along – that consumer healthcare is absolutely essential to public health and that good healthcare starts with good self-care,” observed Consumer Healthcare Products Association President & CEO Scott Melville during his keynote at the CHPA annual Self-Care Leadership Summit last week.

Two areas of self-care – dietary supplements and diagnostics – were especially important to consumers during the pandemic, he noted, and CHPA’s membership expansion into those categories positions the association well to support the full scope of the industry in the future. One example is the data-driven Dietary Supplement Index (USA), which identifies supplements sales by region and provides a tool for the industry to educate healthcare providers and insurers to make the case for nutrition as essential to healthcare.  

During the meeting, the CHPA awarded its Ivan D Combe Lifetime Achievement Award to longtime industry leader – and former Chair – Gary Downing. Praised by many former employees at the event for his leadership, Downing has spent his career growing CHC companies, with a resume that includes sales and management at the Richards-Vicks Company. He later co-founded MedTech Labs, which eventually sold for a 400% rate of return, joined the Lansinoh Laboratories Board of Directors and became CEO of Insight Pharmaceuticals, then Clarion Brands, which was recently sold to Bridges Consumer Healthcare.

The audience also appreciated with standing ovations the 40-year CHPA career of Phyllis Taylor, Sr Director of Membership and Sponsorship, when her retirement was announced by Melville. We at the Nicholas Hall Group of Companies send her our very best wishes for a happy next chapter with her family.

The CHPA meeting will be reviewed in detail in the forthcoming March / April issue of CHC Insight North America. To review the latest trends and developments across the region, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com to find out more, or to receive a sample copy of a recent issue.

Two Rx-to-OTC allergy switches approved by FDA

In a clear sign of a more favourable attitude to Rx-to-OTC switch, the US FDA last week approved two new allergy products for non-prescription use.

Lastacaft alcaftadine ophthalmic 0.25% solution (Allergan / AbbVie) is now available without a prescription online and in retail stores for individuals aged 2+ years with ocular allergies. As demonstrated in clinical studies, one drop works in as little as three minutes to provide relief from itchy eyes for up to 16 hours. Following the recent FDA Rx-to-OTC switch approval, the original patented prescription-strength formulation of Lastacaft is available in a 5ml multidose bottle containing a 60-day supply, as well as a twin pack with two 5ml multidose bottles.

Perrigo also received final approval last week from the FDA for the OTC use of Nasonex 24HR Allergy (mometasone furoate monohydrate 50mcg). This marks the first branded Rx-to-OTC switch for the company, which expects to begin offering the nasal spray later this year. Nasonex is a registered trademark of Organon and is used by Perrigo and its affiliates under licence.

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: This development will no doubt lead to an increase in switch activity after House and Senate committee members cited concerns that “very few products in recent years have switched from prescription drugs to nonprescription drugs” and pointed out that the FDA is expected to “meet the goals of the Fall 2021 Unified Agenda and publish and subsequently finalise the proposed rule titled Nonprescription Drug Product with an Additional Condition for Nonprescription Use.”

The appropriations committees are also: “Concerned about dietary supplement products that are adulterated or misbranded, in particular with imported products. The agreement provides an increase of US$2mn in the FDA’s budget [US$6.1bn in total] to be used for inspections, as well as enforcement of the Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act of 1994”. My sense is that in the biggest market for both switch and dietary supplements, we could see a correction in the prevailing trend from treatment to prevention.

Take a look at the latest CHC innovations in our forthcoming 2022 edition of Innovation in CHC from CHC New Products Tracker. This report offers a look at Rx-to-OTC switch activity, as well as innovation by region, marketer and 20 individual countries. To pre-order your copy and save up to £1,350 with the pre-publication discount, or for further information on this report, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Tailored digital ads, e-Commerce to drive OTC adspend growth

GLOBAL: Advertising expenditure by OTC brands in the 13 key markets that account for 74% of total global adspend will expand by 7.6% in 2022 and 5.0% in 2023, according to Zenith’s Business Intelligence – OTC Healthcare report. This will be driven by tailored digital brand advertising, as well as performance advertising driving traffic to OTC e-Commerce platforms. Lockdowns and pandemic-related restrictions led to a leap in OTC e-Commerce in 2020 and with more consumers aware of and comfortable with shopping for OTC products online, this will become an increasingly important sales channel.

Traditional sales outlets are facing competition and brands have opportunities to launch new partnerships or DtC ventures, which will fuel continued growth in brand and performance advertising. Zenith forecasts that OTC brands will increase their digital adspend at an average rate of 11% a year between 2021-23, radio by 5%, TV 3% and magazines will shrink by 3%. Digital will account for 49% of OTC advertising in 2023 vs 46% in 2021.

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: I truly sympathise with Zenith. Up to a year’s work goes into a major report like this – we know from painful experience – and then the invasion of Ukraine changed everything. Following on shortly after the disruptive impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the recession that will certainly result from the hike in oil prices – and a recession is the best that we can hope for – will upend the global economy and invalidate many of the assumptions that have underpinned CHC industry forecasts.

Six months into the pandemic, in June 2020, my colleagues Nina Monk, Laura Howard Werling and the CIMA team prepared a very interesting report on the impact on CHC consumption of previous catastrophes: the 2008 economic recession and historic viral outbreaks such as SARS in 2003 and Swine Flu in 2009. In the words of the report: “Past events suggest the CHC industry is somewhat ‘recession-proof’: as the global GDP dipped following the 2008 global financial crisis, CHC sales increased in both value and volume terms.”

The 2022 recession is likely to be somewhat different from that of 2008. It will last longer and consumers all over the world will be hard-pressed to balance family budgets. Staple items will become discretionary, including some consumer healthcare items, and CHC marketers will become cautious about launching new products, initiatives and campaigns. In the next month we will start to prepare forecasts for the new edition of our CHC sales database, DB6. This year will be even more difficult than usual.

We are delighted to announce that our annual Asia-Pacific Conference will return to Singapore this November! This event will include the presentation of our Regional CHC Marketing Awards. Stay tuned for details on speakers and topics! Please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com to reserve your seat, to find out about sponsorship or for information on awards criteria.

Chr Hansen: Immunity a key driver of probiotic purchasing

Results from a Chr Hansen survey undertaken in 2021 among 16,000 people in 16 countries around the world reflect a strong interest in probiotics, signalling an opportunity for global players. Consumers are aware that robust gut health makes them feel better and supports immunity, which drives decision-making and has sparked motivation to learn more about which probiotics may offer the best outcomes for their individual needs. Key findings include:

  • 75% of participants report being very / somewhat familiar with probiotics
  • 48% consume probiotics daily / almost daily, in supplements or foods
  • 50% are familiar / very familiar with the term “gut microbiome” and the majority associate it with gut health, followed by immune health, wellbeing & general health
  • Online research is the most popular way to learn more about probiotics, but flavour and trust are the top drivers for choosing and staying with a particular brand 
Source: Chr Hansen

Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: Until 2019, probiotics was the star CHC category, the fastest-growing globally, with sales projecting to US$8bn-10bn by 2028 and a feeling that we were only scratching the surface in terms of NPD. Then the category flatlined, with revenues down by 1.4% in the 12 months to June 2021, despite a lot of support from marketers, who in 2021 launched almost 250 new products in the 20 countries we measure in CHC New Products Tracker

We have commented many times before that the future growth of probiotics depends on better strains, with scientifically-supported claims, extending into new indications such as immunity, metabolic reconditioning, mood & sleep and mental health. It seems from the research quoted above that consumer interest in probiotics remains strong, and that companies like Lallemand and Chr Hansen remain at the cutting edge of developments. I for one am very much looking forward to The Future Resumed!

You can save up to £1,350 when you pre-order the 2022 edition of Innovation in CHC! Drawing from CHC New Products Tracker, the report will track breakthrough products from 2021, NPD by region, country and marketer, best-in-class studies and more. To pre-order your copy, or for further information on this report, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

South Africa results: Adcock CHC sales power forward in H2

South Africa’s No.1 CHC marketer, Adcock Ingram, said that its OTC division “recovered in amazing fashion” in H2 2021, driven by “increased demand for cough, cold & flu products”. The company’s unaudited results showed that overall turnover rose by 16% to R4.3bn (US$282mn) in the six months ended 31st December 2021, driven by volume growth of 9% and a mix benefit of 6% from new products, increased marketing activity on behalf of multinational partners and brand innovation.

  • OTC turnover grew by 26.4% to R993.9mn (US$65mn), arising from the relaxation in Covid-19 restrictions, which resulted in improved demand across the cough & cold portfolio vs the difficult comparative period. Citro-Soda, Allergex and Corenza-C all posted double-digit ex-factory growth
  • Consumer was up 32.7% to R795mn (US$52mn) supported by the inclusion of Epi-max (+15.3%) from 1st January 2021, when it was transferred from the Prescription division. On a like-for-like basis, sales improved 13.6% with key brands posting healthy growth, most notably painkiller Panado, driven by a marketing campaign linked to Covid vaccinations

Not all was rosy in the South African market, however. Following the disposal of its Animal Health and Respiratory Health Africa businesses, Ascendis Health’s remaining operations – Medical Devices, Pharma and Consumer Brands – reported an 18% decline in revenue to R1bn (US$65mn) in the six months to end-December 2021. Consumer Brands – R340mn / US$22mn, up by 1% – encountered headwinds in contract manufacturing plus the closing of and slower-than-expected re-opening of beauty salons. Port strikes and global supply chain challenges also impacted strategic procurement business Chempure. 

Following completion of a Recapitalisation Plan, which shareholders voted for in 2021, the Board will focus on rebuilding the company through a sustainable growth strategy. This includes optimising the Consumer Brands business, one of the largest VMS suppliers in S Africa, which presents a “compelling base for the group’s growth prospects”. The portfolio comprises seven key brands including Solal, Vitaforce, Menacal, Bettaway and Junglevite. Another pillar for growth is expansion via acquisitions. The Board is exploring opportunities to purchase “scalable, earnings-enhancing businesses in the broader consumer products sector”.

If you are looking to fill a gap in your business, Nicholas Hall’s executive recruitment service CHC TalentSelect may be able to help. With over 40 years’ experience in connecting people in the consumer healthcare industry, please get in touch with maricar.montero@NicholasHall.com to start your search.