Vicks and Tylenol still driving global CHC growth

Only two CHC brands have global sales in excess of US$1bn – P&G’s Vicks and J&J’s Tylenol – and both continued to power growth in Q2 2020. Vicks, like other leading CCA brands such as Halls (Mondelez) and Mucinex (RB), recorded a slowdown in Q2 owing to the “pantry unloading” effect, and reduced levels of coughs & colds caused by lockdowns, social distancing and hygiene measures, while VMS brands like Centrum (GSK) and Nature Made (Pharmavite / Otsuka) saw growth accelerate in the second quarter.

Despite slowing growth in Q2, global No.1 brand Vicks (+8.7%) remained at the heart of the CHC market’s upturn in the MAT Q2 2020 period. Dynamic growth for Vicks was powered by double-digit rises in Latin America and North America. In the brand’s key US market, Vicks was extended in July 2020 with Vicks VapoBath Bath Crystals, a new Vicks Children’s Botanicals line, Vicks Sinex Saline and Vicks Immunity Zzzs.

Once the leading global CHC brand, Tylenol has steadily been regaining share in recent years and closed the gap on No.1 Vicks after 21.4% growth in the MAT Q2 2020 period. In its Q2 results, J&J reported double-digit growth for its OTC products, driven by Tylenol analgesics. US sales account for around three-quarters of Tylenol’s global OTC turnover, and the brand has been boosted by innovations such as the Q2 2020 launch of Tylenol Extra Strength Dissolve Packs.

Systemic analgesic Advil is still the world’s No.3 CHC brand, but growth slowed (-0.4%) in the MAT Q2 2020 period after a strong return to growth in Q1, following weaker Q2 performances in the USA and Canada. New owner GSK is hoping to revive the US performance of Advil with the August 2020 launch of Advil Dual Action, the first FDA-approved OTC combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen (paracetamol) in the US market.

Voltaren saw growth accelerate slightly in Q2 2020, up 4.9%, helping it rise above Halls into the No.4 position in the global CHC brand rankings. In February 2020, the US FDA approved the Rx-to-OTC switch of Voltaren Arthritis Pain (diclofenac 1%), and the product was subsequently launched in May 2020. This US launch, allied with stronger growth in regions outside Europe, helped to offset a Q2 slowdown for Voltaren in various key European markets such as Germany, Italy and the UK.

Medicated confectionery brand Halls fell into decline (-0.2%) in the MAT Q2 2020 period and dropped down the global rankings one place to the No.5 spot. Available in over 30 countries, Halls is the leading global sore throat & medicated confectionery brand and takes the No.1 position in Latin America, where it grew by 2.6%, thanks to solid growth in the brand’s key regional market of Brazil. However, sales in North America and Europe declined for Halls in line with the weaker CCA trend across both regions in Q2.

Have you registered to join Nicholas Hall’s Asia-Pacific webinar? On 12 November, Nicholas and other industry experts will explore key trends in the region, including a look at WOW! brands, growth prospects, distribution, the very important topic of sustainability and much more. To find out more, or to register, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com.

Market Movers Q1: CCA, VMS brands among fastest movers

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In this week’s blog, we take a closer look at our newly published Market Movers data for MAT Q1 2020, which highlights the brands that performed best and worst in terms of value sales growth or decline in that period. Certain marketers like RB, which last week reported a 12% rise in its OTC portfolio in Q2 2020, have found success from having a well-positioned portfolio of power brands in fast-growing, Covid-driven CHC categories, such as cough & cold remedies (Mucinex), immunity supplements (Airborne) and antiseptics & disinfectants (Dettol).

P&G also reported double-digit organic growth of its Personal Health Care portfolio in Q2 (fiscal Q4), powered by Vicks, which continues to gain share. Vicks NyQuil / DayQuil combo packs were among the six fastest-growing brands in MAT Q1 2020, along with one of China’s leading systemic cold & flu remedies, 999 Gan Mao Ling. VMS products also featured strongly among the Top 6 fastest-growing brands, with Olly and Emergen-C performing well in the US market thanks to their stress / immunity positioning, and Double Whale Vitamin D Drops achieving high growth in China. J&J’s Tylenol, the No.1 analgesic brand globally, also continues to produce dynamic Covid-driven growth.

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Asia-Pacific was the region that underperformed most in MAT Q1 2020 – achieving just 3.4% growth vs 6.3% for North America and Europe – so it is no surprise that five of the Top 6 worst-performing brands are from China or Japan. Tonics & cure alls was the subcategory most responsible for Asia-Pacific’s relatively low growth, with category sales down 25% in China, owing to issues with donkey breeding that have resulted in rising raw material costs and subsequent price rises, affecting two brands in particular – Dong-e E-jiao and Fu Fang E Jiao Jiang – while Hong Mao Medicated Wine was affected by negative claims.

OTC tonic drinks is another VMS subcategory hit by declining sales, with a continued downturn in Japan where the old, male consumer base is retiring and brands face competition from energy drinks. Takeda’s Alinamin EX was among the brands that declined fastest in MAT Q1 2020. Another CHC subcategory affected by weaker sales in Q1 was antacids, as a result of the withdrawal of ranitidine-based antacids from the market owing to concerns around NDMA in the formulation. Sanofi’s Zantac was among the key brands impacted, with Zantac 150 in sharp decline in the US market.

Today is the last chance to pre-order our upcoming Analgesics 2020: Assessing the Current & Future Self-Care Market for Pain Relief at the discounted rate and save up to GB£1,800! Contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com to order or find out about special discounts available on purchases of more than one report title!

Top 2 brands powering global CHC growth

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Our blog this week looks at the performance of the Top 10 global consumer healthcare brands, in the context of the 5.6% upturn for the global CHC market in the year to end-March 2020. Inevitably, analgesics and cough, cold & allergy brands have enjoyed the highest rates of growth thanks to Covid-driven demand, with the Top 2 global brands, Vicks (+15.4%) and Tylenol (+18.3%), performing particularly well.

P&G’s CCA range Vicks now generates global sales of nearly US$1.5bn, and its double-digit growth in the MAT Q1 2020 period was powered by dynamic performances in Latin America and North America. In fact, high growth in the US market was behind the double-digit global upturns for both Vicks and J&J’s Tylenol, the latter generating sales of close to US$1bn in its home market.

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GSK markets four of the other Top 10 brands, including its powerful triumvirate of painkillers – Advil, Voltaren and Panadol. Growth for Advil and Panadol improved markedly in Q1, thanks to accelerated purchases as a result of Covid-19, while Voltaren experienced flat sales in the quarter. That said, the recent US Rx-to-OTC switch of Voltaren Arthritis Pain is expected to provide a significant boost to brand sales in Q2.

Halls also saw growth accelerate in Q1, although not to the same extent as other CCA brands like Mucinex, which rediscovered growth during the first quarter of 2020 to leap ahead of J&J’s Nicorette to reclaim the global No.9 spot. VMS brands Centrum and Nature Made missed out on the overall surge in demand for CHC products in Q1 – in general, growth in the VMS market has been focused primarily on immune supplements and vitamin C products.

Pre-order our upcoming Analgesics 2020: Assessing the Current & Future Self-Care Market for Pain Relief report before 31 July to save up to GB£1,800! Please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com to order or to find out about special discounts available on purchases of more than one report title!

Highlights from the Q4 update

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The latest quarterly report on the global CHC market is now available on the CHC DASHBOARD website, including data & trends on the market’s performance at a global, regional and country level (for all 63 markets) in the year to end-December 2019. Here we highlight some of the key topline trends from this update, selecting one major global development from each of our company, category and brand watch sections.

Company Watch: Stada enters the global Top 20

While the list of global Top 5 CHC marketers remains relatively stable, one company that shot up the global rankings in late 2019 thanks to M&A activity, and now claims the No.11 position worldwide, is Stada. The German marketer agreed two major deals in November 2019 that elevated it into the global Top 20. First, as part of Takeda’s goal to divest around US$10bn in non-core assets, Stada bought around 20 selected OTC and Rx products marketed in Russia, Georgia & CIS countries, for US$660mn. Secondly, Stada entered into an agreement to acquire Walmark from Mid Europa Partners for an undisclosed sum. With global No.9 Takeda reportedly now planning to sell its wholly owned OTC subsidiary, Takeda Consumer Healthcare, Stada may feature soon among the Top 10.

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Category Watch: Analgesics already accelerating before Q1

Driven by accelerating growth in North America and Europe in Q4, analgesics recorded an upturn of 4.7% in 2019, ensuring the category’s best performance in three years. This trend looks set to accelerate even further in Q1 2020, with various top marketers reporting very strong analgesics growth for their key brands in the latest quarterly results, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019, topical analgesics still grew faster than systemics, though the latter showed the strongest improvement in growth, powered in particular by upturns in USA, Brazil and Germany.

Brand Watch: Vicks and Tylenol race ahead

Only two CHC brands generate more than US$1bn in sales globally – P&G’s global No.1 Vicks and J&J’s global No.2 Tylenol – and both also grew more than twice as fast as the global CHC market overall in 2019. The latest company quarterly results indicate that both brands have shown further acceleration in Q1 2020, driven in particular by gains in North America.

Thank you to everybody who attended Nicholas’ CHC Trends Webinar! If you were unable to join live, you can now purchase a recording of the full discussion, and submit up to 3 questions via email. To find out more or to purchase your copy of the recording, please contact elizabeth.bernos@NicholasHall.com

Covid-19: France advises against ibuprofen to treat symptoms

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France’s Health Minister Olivier Véran delivered a message via his Twitter account over the weekend, advising against taking anti-inflammatory medicines (ibuprofen, cortisone, etc) to treat Covid-19 symptoms, as they could be an aggravating factor for the infection. His advice for those with a fever was to take paracetamol instead. Patients already on anti-inflammatory drugs for other illnesses, or anyone with any questions, are advised to seek advice from their doctor.

Public health interventions like this, with directives specifically citing which OTC medicines to take or not take, are rare and so the story was picked up by major news outlets in the UK (Guardian), USA (New York Times) and elsewhere. According to a report in The Local, Véran’s tweet prompted several members of the public to ask for the source of his reasoning on not taking ibuprofen to treat Covid-19 symptoms. The main concern appears to be that anti-inflammatories have an “immunosuppressive effect“, plus the background in France is that medicines agency ANSM has already removed medicines containing paracetamol, ibuprofen and / or aspirin from the self-selection list in January 2020 to reinforce the advisory role of the pharmacist and guarantee safe use.

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Meanwhile, the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on sales and availability of painkillers in other markets is already becoming evident, with UK retailer Boots imposing a limit of two items per customer on cough & cold and pain medicines and US marketer J&J reporting a spike in demand for its Tylenol range and other self-care products. In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, and India’s decision last week to restrict the export of some ingredients (including paracetamol), there have been fears of shortages and disruptions to supply chains, but J&J said it did not anticipate a shortage of Tylenol and that it was taking all possible measures to maximise availability of its consumer healthcare range.

The good news is that we have extended the campaign entry criteria and deadline for our 2020 Marketing Awards! Coinciding with the new event dates, the Awards will now be presented on 30 September during our 31st European Conference in Athens on 29 September–1 October 2020. If you’re proud of your latest campaign or brand, ensure that you enter before the new deadline of 14 August! For more information on entry criteria, contact jennifer.odonnell@NicholasHall.com without delay.