Extended season drives sales

With the ragweed season getting longer and longer, according to government reports, allergy has become a significant driver behind trips to the eye care aisle, and represents a much broader potential patient base. In response to rising temperatures, ragweed pollen season length increased between 1995 and 2011 by as much as 11 days (to 27 days) in parts of the United States and Canada.

(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)

According to a Vistakon online survey, more than 2-in-5 consumers suffer from mild to moderate eye allergy symptoms on a daily basis.

The eye care aisle may not be the only place for eye allergy solution sales. There is an opportunity to generate incrementality by placing eye allergy products in-line with allergy remedies, suggested Yann Pigeaire, director of marketing at Similasan. “Some of the bigger merchants are dual merchandising some of the eye drop products in the allergy section,” he said.

Similasan recently introduced a $10 million campaign supporting its eye allergy business, Pigeaire said, featuring a strong television component. There are two commercials, a 10-second and 15-second spot, that will be running across daytime cable, Pigeaire said. “Something like this is a good way to [generate] high awareness in a relatively short period of time,” he said.

In addition to the TV campaign, Similasan has begun phasing in new packaging across its line to help generate awareness. “The eye products will be rolling out in the summer with packaging that’s more contemporary ... and easier to find on shelf,” he said.

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