HEALTH

Kline: Consumers gravitating toward ‘natural’ OTCs

BY Michael Johnsen

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Consumers are gravitating toward "natural" over-the-counter remedies, according to a new Kline report, "Natural OTCs 2011: Impact of Non-Drug Products on the U.S. OTC Market," released Wednesday.

While the U.S. traditional nonprescription drugs industry registered an average compound annual growth rate of 2.5% between 2005 and 2010, the market for natural OTC remedies has grown at a CAGR of 5.9% per year from 2009 to 2011, according to the research study.

With close to 40% of consumers currently using more natural OTCs than in the previous year, the natural trend — already well established in the personal care industry — has set roots in the OTC market as consumers gravitate towards natural products across the board. This correlates with the finding that 47% of U.S. consumers believed natural OTCs to be as effective as traditional OTCs.

With the growing popularity of natural remedies and the large number of retailers that embrace the market segment, the market is set to maintain healthy growth rates over the next five years and is forecast to reach nearly $750 million by 2016. By contrast, the traditional OTC market is forecast to grow as little as 3% per year. However, there is room for both types of OTCs on the market as 53% of consumers surveyed note that they use both natural and traditional OTCs to treat themselves or family members when sick.

Within this fertile environment, large branded and savvy OTC marketers might consider augmenting their traditional OTC portfolios with natural OTC brands where appropriate. "Procter & Gamble’s Align, GlaxoSmithKline’s Breathe Right and Bayer Groups’ Phillips’ Colon Health are telling examples of how seriously the natural OTC trend is being taken and tapped," Kline said. "Opportunities appear ripe for large and small OTC companies alike to market natural OTC brands which could offer mutually beneficial business propositions."

However, business opportunities vary across product categories, noted Laura Mahecha, industry manager at Kline’s healthcare practice. "For instance, while cough-and-cold preparations are expected to grow at a rate of only 5% to reach $320.9 billion in 2016, it is anticipated that sleeping aids will grow by about 18% per year to reach $54 million in 2016 from $23.5 million reported in 2011," she said. “Growth in natural OTCs will be dependent on whether consumers continue to find them effective and safe.” Kline’s survey on the usage and perception of natural OTC revealed that presently more than 45% of the respondents find natural OTCs effective and more than 40% consider natural OTCs to be safer or have fewer side effects than traditional OTCs.


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Active X energy bars arrive at retail

BY Allison Cerra

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Active Health Foods announced the launch of its energy bars at retail.

Active X energy bars are 100% natural and organic and made with a proprietary formula that was developed by the company in conjunction with a nutritionist, Active Health Foods said. The 1.8-oz. bars are available in Almond Chocolate Delight, Peanut Butter Chocolate Joy, Cashew Berry Dream, Coconut Cocoa Passion and Double Chocolate Chip varieties.

"After considerable time and effort over the last year, Active Health Foods is off to a stronger than anticipated start in the marketplace as our marketing teams commence to execute our growth strategy," Active Health Foods marketing director and CEO Greg Manos said. "Our business fundamentals are solid and our products are what we believe the public has been actively seeking and will embrace enthusiastically."


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Hamacher Resource Group launches home healthcare digital library

BY Michael Johnsen

WAUKESHA, Wis. — Hamacher Resource Group on Tuesday announced the development of a digital home healthcare product library containing product attributes that easily can be searched and sorted to streamline identification and ordering.

“At our Wholesaler Summit in the fall of 2010, our new product development team presented our initial concept for this home healthcare data set," HRG president Dawn Vogelsang said. "We were very pleased with the feedback we received and incorporated it into our launch plan. Now we’re nearing the end of the initial phase and welcoming clients to sign up for delivery."
 
“With this expansion to our well-established health, beauty and wellness data assets library, we took into consideration the specific needs of both our business-to-business as well as our business-to-consumer clients,” HRG director of operations Julie Bonnell said. “We are capturing the HHC product data to include the attributes that will lend themselves to easy searching by both of these customer groups. A retailer needs package and consumer-friendly feature information while a wholesaler selling to a retailer, institution, or association would need those features as well as other particulars such as case quantities and whether the product is offered in retail packaging.”

Wholesalers and retailers, including drug stores and home medical suppliers, will be able to access images and specific product data about a range of HHC products, from wound care products, bath safety rails, and blood pressure monitors to scooters and ostomy care items. Multiple views of the product will include the retail package, materials and color options when applicable, and the item out-of-package and assembled when appropriate. Pertinent product attributes also will be available, including UPC, product dimensions, material and HCPCS (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System).
 
The initial phase of the library will contain approximately 6,000 items and grow from there. HRG also has developed a series of educational guides called Retail Building Blocks: Home Health Care, which was written by category experts to help retailers meet the growing demand in their own community, to complement the digital library launch.


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