Immunity boosters and hand sanitizer are on most back-to-school shopping lists as consumers prepare their families for the inevitable sniffles, sneezes and coughs associated with the cold and flu season. As many as 53.5% of shoppers are placing hand sanitizer into that BTS basket, according to a survey conducted by Field Agent on behalf of Drug Store News, and 50.3% are stocking up on immunity boosting supplements.
There is no question that one of the top nonprescription categories contributing to both sales and foot traffic right now is allergy. Sales of nasal sprays — the category that captures all of the latest nasal corticosteroid Rx-to-OTC switches — are up 10.2%.
Sales of all OTC medicines and natural supplements broke records in 2016, reaching $45.8 billion for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 25, 2016, according to IRI. That’s an additional $1.8 billion in sales volume compared with a year ago.
Even as national flu incidence is trending down, according to the CDC, the Walgreens Flu Index heat map indicates flu incidence is still trending high throughout North Carolina and across the East Coast.
DSN senior editor Michael Johnsen examines the hottest trends in OTC — including breakthrough brands and such growth categories as therables, sleep, allergy, cough-cold and more — in this multi-page report.
Based on early data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week reported that flu vaccines this season are reducing a vaccinated person’s risk of getting sick and having to go to the doctor because of flu by about half (48%).