Recalls don’t slow down iconic brands

Such iconic pain relief brands as McNeil Consumer’s Tylenol and Motrin, and Novartis’ Excedrin, have made their way back to the shelf this fall following a recall-driven hiatus. And the sales have already started to accumulate.

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“[Retailers] are reacting to them almost as if they are new launches,” noted Stefan Merlo, director of healthcare strategy at Novartis Consumer Healthcare. “And they are investing [with us] in different types of displays, innovative types of [displays], so that we can make the awareness about these brands even greater.”

And it’s paying off. Although the year-ago comparisons are against soft numbers, the ramping up of sales is still significant. Sales of Excedrin Migraine are up 76.1% to $66.1 million for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 11 across U.S. multi-outlets, according to IRI. And they’re not selling on promotion, either — the average price per unit was $6.99, $1.24 higher than it was a year ago. Children’s Motrin is up more than 1,600% on sales of $41.7 million and Children’s Tylenol — one of the first products to come back — is up more than 27.5% with sales of $51.5 million.

“The combination of [McNeil] and Novartis coming back at the same time, you’ll have those companies ... doing more merchandising, advertising and promotion,” Laura Mahecha, industry manager at Kline’s Healthcare practice, told DSN. “The competitive set will match them [so as to] not get lost in [the] noise,” she said.

With the return of such brands as Tylenol and Excedrin, Prestige Brands already has sought to shake up the internal analgesics space with the launch of Goody’s Headache Relief Shot. “We believe the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot is truly a game-changer in pain relief,” stated Joseph Juliano, brand director at Goody’s.

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