Antacids expect some upset

Sales of antacid tablets are up almost 3%. And while nobody is suggesting that upward trajectory is going to change anytime soon, there will be a decent amount of volatility in the coming year.

Proton-pump inhibitors Prevacid 24HR and Zegerid OTC now have been on the shelf for a little more than a year, and those products appear to have generated accretive sales to the category, as opposed to stealing share from their competitors. In fact, only two antacid brands realized a decline in sales over the past year — Procter & Gamble’s Prilosec OTC and McNeil Consumer’s Pepcid brand family.

The less-than-4% decline in Prilosec OTC sales is nominal, considering the brand faced down both PPI introductions and continued store-brand erosion, and it still is the No. 1 antacid by a more than $150 million margin. Sales declines across the Pepcid brand are attributed to the number of product recalls McNeil Consumer had to make in the past two years.

The volatility in the category will be generated by McNeil’s Pepcid and GlaxoSmithKline’s Tagamet. McNeil is close to relaunching many of those recalled products — some in late 2011 and the rest in 2012 — and the speculation is the marketing behind that reintroduction will be considerable. And GlaxoSmithKline’s Tagamet HB 200 is one of the brands on the sales block, suggesting any acquiring company will at least breathe some new marketing life into that brand through social media.


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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