‘Regular’ sales increases

Sales in the digestives aisle going forward look positive, especially as an aging population begins paying closer attention to healthy diets, including the right amount of dietary fiber to keep things “regular” and supplementation with probiotics for overall digestive health.

Awareness certainly is on the rise, and awareness drives sales. According to the Natural Marketing Institute’s Health and Wellness Trends Survey, awareness of the term “probiotics” grew from 9% in 2002 to 60% of American adults in 2009. And the benefits of fiber increasingly are being touted by food manufacturers like General Mills and Kellogg’s. “We’ve done a lot of education, especially around whole grains and fiber,” Karlis Nollendorfs, General Mills senior customer insights manager, told executives during a seminar at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Marketplace conference. “We recognize that a lot of people want to eat more healthy.”

But the largest piece of the digestives pie is antacids, and this is another bright spot across the digestives aisle with the number of new players sparking increased advertising across the segment. For the 52 weeks ended Aug. 7 across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), sales of each of the major brands were up, with the exception of the largest brand: Procter & Gamble’s Prilosec OTC. And sales of Prilosec OTC were down only 3.4%, according to SymphonyIRI Group data, despite the introduction in the past two years of generic competition and two new proton-pump inhibitor products. Even GlaxoSmithKline’s venerable Tums franchise is up significantly — 144.6% to $90.6 million.

And according to findings from a recent survey fielded by Braun Research on behalf of Takeda Pharmaceuticals, heartburn remains mostly a self-treatment condition. Of the 1,004 surveyed, 39% only “occasionally” discussed frequent heartburn symptoms with their doctors.


The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Digestives Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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