New survey sheds light on cough-cold medicine purchases

CLEVELAND According to a review of BIGresearch’s December 2009 "Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey" by WorkPlace Media, the recession economy is pressuring employees to work and perform through any upper respiratory illness during this year’s cough-cold season.

In the survey, both employed and unemployed Americans were asked how often they bought cough-cold and flu medication, and in every instance, employed Americans reported a greater frequency of purchase. In fact, when compared to the general population, employed consumers purchased over-the-counter cough medication 28% more often on a weekly basis (20% for OTC cold and flu medication).

“Employed Americans are naturally concerned about their health,” stated Stephanie Molnar, CEO of WorkPlace Media, a marketing solutions firm that specializes in targeting advertising messages to people at the office. “And the reality is, when you feel bad during the workday, you’re not going to wait until the weekend to purchase a remedy. You’re going to reach in your desk and pull something out or slip out to a local retailer and get what you need. This significant opportunity for brands is why we’ve been helping them get their cough, cold & flu advertising messages into cubicles across the country.”

When it came to actual brands, Americans turned to Vicks the most for cold and flu symptom relief and Robitussin for cough relief. However, more than half of Americans (54%) make that brand purchase decision at shelf, the survey found.

The Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey was conducted by BIGresearch in December 2009 among 9,929 consumers.  For more information and complimentary research and charts, visit and click on “Complimentary Research.”

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