NEW YORK — The second half of the 2010-2011 cough-cold-flu season actually may realize greater sales of symptom relievers than last year, judging from the four weeks ended Dec. 26. According to Matrixx president and CEO Bill Hemelt, sales of remedies were on the rise in those four weeks. Hemelt noted that the total cough-cold category was 5% higher than the same period last year and growing.
However, there still exists an inclination of retailers to order ultra- conservatively when it comes to cough-cold remedies, Hemelt noted, so ordering may become heavy in the second half. “Retailers continued to trim their inventory levels in comparison to last year; however, we believe retailers’ inventory of our products has reached a point where they will increase purchases to offset the increased consumer takeaway,” he said.
In addition to colds, incidence of influenza also appeared on the rise heading into February. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that 30 states were reporting widespread influenza activity as of Jan. 29.