CCA down, but mental wellness products boom

Global CHC market sales in bricks & mortar outlets totalled US$150bn in 2020, with growth decelerating to 3.3%. Categories that were hardest hit by the slowdown were concentrated among CCA (notably cough and sore throat remedies) and Dermatologicals (such as lip care, cold sore and head lice treatments), as a result of social distancing guidelines. However, there were some notable sales successes in 2020, including sedatives & sleep aids and herbal memory & brain health supplements.

As we wrote in the latest issue of CHC.NewDirections: “Sleep quality has deteriorated as the Covid-19 pandemic has progressed, according to the ongoing University College London Covid-19 Social Study. Of the more than 70,000 participants, 12.7% reported “very good” sleep quality in March 2020 vs only 7.7% in March 2021. The number of people who said their sleep quality was “very poor” increased from 5.4% (Autumn 2020) to 10.1% at the start of the New Year.”

CIMA Market Analyst, Sacha Hawker, notes that this increase in sleep disturbance has been accompanied by a rise in sleep-related apps and devices in recent years, creating even more crossover between technology and consumer healthcare. And globally, there have been more than 160 new products with a mental wellness positioning since the pandemic began in December 2019 (Source: Nicholas Hall’s CHC New Products Tracker). With lockdown measures still in place alongside other stress factors, we expect this trend to continue.

Four notable 2020 sleep device launches from our Innovation in CHC report:
Withings Analyzer (Europe), SleepCheck (Australia), Sunrise (UK) and CoolDrift Versa (USA)

Commenting on the DB6 results, Nicholas Hall said: So there it is! Finally, the 2020 growth rate was somewhat lower than expected at 5% (all channels of distribution), more or less in line with the five years before the Covid outbreak. But within the market there has been radical change, and the stable overall growth rate cannot disguise the weakness of the cough & cold market – much worse than expected – and indeed of the whole retail sector. At the moment we are working on the short-term and long-term forecasts for the new edition of DB6, and there are puzzled frowns and long faces among the forecasting team.

So where do we look for rays of sunshine? As my colleague Celine Waller writes, anything connected with immunity and disinfection and e-Commerce is having a fine time, and the expectation is that this boom will carry over for two or three more years. And she points to sedatives & sleep aids among the rock stars with a 13% growth rate. This ties in perfectly with earlier predictions made during a webinar given by Jennifer Cooper and I a month ago. If you haven’t listened to the recording of that webinar, I strongly advise you to do so (link here).

Only two weeks to go until our European e-Conference 2021! Register now to explore e-Commerce and other major trends impacting CHC on 28-29 April with Nicholas Hall and a panel of industry experts.
For a look at the full agenda, please click here
To book your place at our European e-Conference, or to find out more about our other webinars, please contact Elizabeth.Bernos@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.

Sales and innovation rising fast for sedatives & sleep aids

CHCINACTION

Covid-19’s impact on the consumer healthcare market is now well-established, with a notable spike in sales of certain CHC subcategories like analgesics, vitamin C supplements and antiseptics & disinfectants. Indeed, a fascinating recent report in the FT story reveals the lengths that RB has gone to in order to maintain supply of antiseptic brand Dettol during the pandemic. In addition, we’re also seeing some perhaps less expected upsurges in demand for other products as a result of Covid-19, for example eye care treatments and sedatives & sleep aids.

In the latter case, anxiety caused by the pandemic is leading consumers to seek refuge in products that promote relaxation and reduce stress. In response to this trend, US retailer CVS has this month created a new “Calm & Comfort” section in thousands of its pharmacies to accommodate this growing need for stress relief products, from weighted blankets and aromatherapy to supplements that promote enhanced mood and sleep, according to a report in WWD. Even before Covid-19, we were noticing a clear upturn in sales of sedatives & sleep aids, partly driven by rising NPD activity – as demonstrated by the chart below – and the pandemic is accelerating this trend.

Sedatives + sleep, 2017-19

According to CHC New Products Tracker, NPD activity in the sedatives & sleep aids subcategory reached an all-time high in 2019 (with almost 150 entries added to the database), and this upsurge in innovation was reflected in global sales growth, which accelerated to 7.3% in 2019 according to DB6, driven by the US market. Notable developments so far in this subcategory in 2020 include P&G’s New Chapter One Daily Multiherbal Stress Relief and Sleep Well products, as well as R3set, which will be a key feature of CVS’ new Calm & Comfort section. 

R3set, a new brand focused on helping people to manage stress, was recently launched in selected Target and 4,400+ CVS stores. The first two dietary supplements – citrus mint-flavoured Calm (l-theanine, valerian root + ahiflower) and lavender mint-flavoured Unwind (ashwagandha, passion flower + chamomile) – are formulated by co-Founder Dr Eric First, along with development partner Lonza. Each microdose capsule is coated with aromatherapy oils to provide a soothing experience and the products come with instructions for a simple breathing exercise. The supplements retail for US$19.99 for a 14-count bottle; 14-day combo packs cost US$34.99 and 5-day starter packs US$14.99. 

Where will NPD take the CHC market in the future? Find out in our recently published report, Innovation in CHC: NPD & Innovation in CHC under the Spotlight! This report, drawing on Nicholas Hall’s CHC New Products Tracker, assesses the global picture of CHC innovation, featuring ingredient trends, delivery format trends, analysing innovation trends by region and by marketer, plus much more! To order your copy, or for more information, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.

Sleep disorders on the rise globally

OTCINACTION

According to a new in-depth analysis of the global sleep aids market by Nicholas Hall’s Reports, sleeplessness and sleep disorders are on the rise, with approximately one third of the world’s population affected. Many consumers are happy to self-medicate, increasingly opting for a variety of herbal & natural, homeopathic and medical device brands, driving OTC growth in key markets like Brazil and Spain (see sample pages).

In terms of sales, sleep aids & sedatives generate an OTC total of over US$2.3bn globally, but have been characterised by low growth in recent years, and are in need of rejuvenation via new product development, adjacencies or connected health solutions. The self-medication sleep aids market (registered OTCs and a variety of supplements) also suffers from regulatory diversity across markets for common sleep aid ingredients.

Screen Shot 2018-11-05 at 10.41.59.png

Genuine innovation is thin on the ground, but generics and “me-toos” launch frequently. Adjacencies focused on sleep offer alternatives, with other categories also entering the fray including nighttime analgesics, cough & cold remedies, menopause and other supplements. Connected Health is a key area of expansion. Sleep aid brands partnered with technology – passive (e.g. analysing sleep patterns / providing feedback) or active (improving sleep) – may break the low-growth cycle.

Comment from Ian Crook, Managing Editor, Nicholas Hall’s Reports: Sleep is a health area that lends itself easily to self-medication via sedating antihistamines and herbal & natural ingredients such as melatonin and valerian, while medical devices and digital health focused on sleep are seeing increased investment. With widespread concern over the “sleep loss epidemic” and significant implications for overall health from lack of sleep, it is imperative that consumers have access to tools to help them sleep. Raised levels of stress, anxiety and smartphone / tablet use ensure rising demand that can be tapped into by the right self-care solutions.

The full report, Sleep: Exploring Opportunities for Growth in Sleep Aids & Sedatives, is available now and more details can be found here. To order your copy, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com

Competition rises in sleep devices category

OTCINACTION

Now available to buy in the US and selected European markets via the Nokia Health store, the new Nokia Sleep device is a sensor pad that can be placed under the mattress to monitor sleep patterns, track heart rate and detect snoring. 

It also syncs up to Nokia’s Health Mate app and provides smart home control via IFTTT (if this then that) integration, which allows for automatic thermostat regulation and light adjustment. The app also allows the user to view their Sleep Score to get an insight into what makes a good night’s sleep and how to improve night after night.

Packaged as a sensor pad with USB charger, Nokia Sleep retails at $99.95 (USA), €99.95 (Europe) and £99.95 (UK), and the brand website indicates that there are plans to roll out the product in key Asia-Pacific markets like China and Japan.

 Nokia Sleep.png

Facing stiff competition in the smartphone market from Apple, Google and Chinese manufacturers, Nokia – the former king of mobile phones – is looking to further diversify its business.

Nokia Sleep was due to launch earlier this year, but news of a strategic review of Nokia’s Digital Health business in February 2018 put the rollout in doubt. Nokia will be monitoring closely how this new product fares against established competitor Beddit, which was acquired by Apple in 2017.

Whether you want to find out more about the latest innovations, benchmark the competition or simply keep abreast of new launches, Nicholas Hall’s extensive OTC New Products Tracker is an essential competitive intelligence tool that you simply must trial. Subscribers can also benefit from a newsletter highlighting the key product innovations affecting the industry. Find out more or set up your free trial today by contacting david.redford@NicholasHall.com

Avon enters VMS category

As this week’s OTC DASHBOARD infographic shows, the percentage of Americans that consume dietary supplements continues to grow, hitting an all-time high of 76% in 2017. This has helped create a vast US vitamins, minerals & supplements category, which in turn continues to attract the interest of companies not traditionally associated with the OTC market. For example, Amazon launched several supplements as part of its Amazon Elements line in spring 2017, including vitamin D, turmeric and calcium products, all of which have a strong emphasis on ingredient traceability.

Another new entrant in 2018 is Avon, a company that is undergoing a rapid transformation to become the “leading social selling company in North America”, according to CEO Scott White. Part of the company’s strategy is a return to the health & wellness market, including the launch of a new Espira line of 11 dietary supplements.

Launched in January 2018, and available at a retail price of US$12-35 through Avon Representatives or http://www.avon.com, Espira for Avon is categorised into three principles of wellness:

  • Restore contains 2 sedatives & sleep aids and 2 multivitamins, with ingredients that help to reduce occasional stress and enhance restful sleep, including Sensoril, L-theanine, vitamin B, magnesium, fish oil + antioxidants from fruits & vegetables
  • Boost is subdivided into Metabolism Boost and Natural Energy products, with ingredients such as protein, probiotic, fibre, green tea, cacao + whole coffee fruit to help maintain a healthy metabolism, clear out the system and control hunger
  • Glow contains 3 health & beauty supplements formulated with antioxidants, biotin, vitamin C + collagen peptides to help hair, skin and nails look their best by protecting from daily damage and restoring cells while you sleep

As with the Amazon Elements range, Avon’s new products will be sold via the e-commerce channel, while the company will also be looking to steal share from multilevel and direct marketers such as Herbalife and Amway.

The Big Sleep

It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning, after the committee of sleep has worked on itJohn Steinbeck

With incidences of work-related stress picking up at an alarming rate around the globe, people constantly logging on and off the internet and electronic devices, and long-haul flights becoming longer and ever more frequent, so the quality of sleep from New York to London and Beijing has plummeted.  While the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention put the number of US citizens suffering from sleep disorders anywhere between 50-70mn, around a third of Europeans are said to suffer from sleep problems, rising to well over a half of all those over 65. Luckily the vast majority of these can be treated easily and safely with self-medication – the Chinese OTC sleep aids category is filled with TCMs, the US led by medicated ingredient diphenhydramine, while European markets are particularly fond of natural remedies with valerian, hops and melatonin.

It could even be that a good old glass of milk might be enough for some people. Scientists at the Sahmyook University in South Korea have shown that milk produced by cows at night – as opposed to during the day – can have a sedative effect, with their study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. The study suggested that ‘nocturnal milk’ contains plenty of sleep-promoting ingredients, including the amino acid tryptophan and melatonin.

cow image

Your friendly sleep promoter

‘Night Milk’ is already on sale in pharmacies and drugstores in Germany in the form of Nachtmilchkristalle, a brand and company set up by farmer Tony Gnann. The cows are milked at night for the extra melatonin release – up to 100 times more than regular milk according to the company – with the animals also receiving a special regime of UV and long-wave red lights during the winter when they can’t be kept outside. Sales of the freeze-dried milk crystals, which can be stirred into other liquids, have not yet been enough to really test the leading sleep aid brands in Germany, but the recent South Korean study could provide a significant boost, and global interest is spreading. “In the past year we have seen increasing demand from England and soon it will be available in China”, said Kai Oppal, co-owner of Nachtmilchkristalle.

So maybe one last glass of the white stuff isn’t such a bad idea? Goodnight!

OTCs in Action Episode 30: Kava kava, glucosamine shift status in Germany, France

OTCinActionheaderThis week’s OTCs in Action starts out in Philadelphia, where last week some Germans who came to visit me purchased the dietary supplement melatonin for personal use, because it’s only available on prescription at home. The German OTC sleep aids market is largely composed of natural products, such as valerian and homeopathic remedies, so it was somewhat surprising that melatonin is not available OTC.

In contrast, the Cologne Administrative Court overturned a ban on the calming herb, kava kava, last year. Owing to concerns about liver toxicity, the ingredient was withdrawn from most European markets in 2002, and the FDA issued a warning letter discouraging use of the product in the US. Subsequent research has indicated that the original studies were flawed, and the German court ruled that the risks did not outweigh the ingredient’s benefits.

Click on this link to access OTC INSIGHT Europe’s latest report on the German OTC sleep aids market.

Elsewhere in Europe, France has approved the Rx-to-OTC switch of Biocodex’s Dolenio (glucosamine 1,178mg, 30-tab pack), a slow-acting anti-arthritis medicine. This follows the dereimbursement of several anti-arthritis brands, which had been reimbursed at 15% when prescribed by a doctor. Affected brands included Piasclédine (Expanscience, avocado-soybean unsaponifiables), Chondrosulf (Genévrier / IBSA, chondroitin sulphate), Art 50 (Negma, diacerein) and Voltaflex (Novartis, glucosamine).

Piasclédine and Chondrosulf (in particular) used to command huge sales as semi-ethical brands in France, but now face a challenging, but potentially lucrative, new future in the self-medication sphere.