Tylenol, new products impact pain
NEW YORK — Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare division has rebounded with the return of several product lines, including products under the powerhouse brand Tylenol, which had seen sales and market share erode in the wake of recalls in 2010.
“The big story from the marketing side is that Tylenol has resumed full distribution and marketing in the last couple of years,” said Laura Mahecha, industry manager healthcare practice at consulting firm Kline & Co. “They spend a ton in terms of marketing, promotions and advertising, so that’s a boost for the category overall.”
Johnson & Johnson also has introduced new forms of Children’s Tylenol, including a chewable form for older children, such new flavors as bubblegum and strawberry, and dye-free options to meet the needs of children who are sensitive to dyes or of parents who prefer dye-free options.
Multi-outlet sales of internal analgesics rose 0.59% for the 52-week period ended Aug. 13, to about $3.9 billion, according to IRI. Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare division, however, outpaced the pack with dollar sales gains of 9.8% in internal analgesic liquids to a category-leading $251.9 million, and sales gains of 11.1% in internal analgesic tablets to $496.78 million.
New product launches and marketing campaigns also are bringing some excitement to the category. Prestige Brands, for example, has rolled out BC Sinus Congestion & Pain — the company’s first foray into analgesic cough-cold treatments — just in time for cold and flu season.
“We have a pretty robust approach to support this initiative,” said Joseph Juliano, VP of marketing for analgesics, eye care and marketing services at Prestige Brands. “We are advertising to loyal powdered-analgesic users who are looking for a solution to their cough-cold symptoms.”
Prestige also introduced Ecotrin Arthritis, an extension of its aspirin line of OTC analgesics.
Topical analgesics sales up 19.1%
Sales of topical analgesics, although small compared with sales of internal analgesic products, have been a bright spot for the category overall.
External analgesic rubs saw dollar sales grow 19.1% in the 52-week period ended Aug. 13, to $696.1 million. While Chattem’s Icy Hot and Aspercreme products are category leaders that showed double-digit sales growth, other external analgesics lines have experienced triple-digit growth, including Biofreeze from Performance Health and Lidocare from NFI Consumer Products.
Some of the product introductions provide innovations that specifically address the needs of aging baby boomers. These products include Vizuri’s PainBloc 24, an odorless roll-on analgesic designed to provide arthritis pain relief for 24 hours.
Sales of topical analgesics may be benefitting in part from consumer concerns about certain medication ingredients, particularly in the wake of warnings about the potential for liver damage from the mis-use of acetaminophen, said Mahecha of Kline & Co.
That attitude also could propel sales of pain-relief devices, such as the TENS devices from Icy Hot and Aleve, Mahecha said.
Need for fiber supplements booms
NEW YORK — As many as 16% of those Americans who take supplements actively take a fiber supplement, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition 2016 Annual Survey on Dietary Supplements. And usage skews younger — 21% of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 years old who supplement take fiber, compared to 9% of adults over the age of 55 years who take a supplement.
That means there may be an opportunity to entice more seniors to take a fiber supplement. A 2014 Frost & Sullivan report on the healthcare-cost savings associated with supplementing determined that if U.S. adults over the age of 55 years old with elevated cholesterol took a specific amount of psyllium dietary fiber supplements, it could lead to cumulative healthcare savings of $19.9 billion — between 2013 to 2020 — by reducing CHD disease-related medical events by 11.5%.
“The need for fiber is only growing,” said Lou Machin, managing director at Lifelab Health. “Consumers of all ages are not getting the recommended amount from diet alone, so supplementation — if it’s made easy to take — is key.”
According to Lifelab consumer research, there are several “must haves” when it comes to fiber supplements. Consumers want a fiber supplement that’s easy to mix, not gritty or chunky, palatable, includes an option for either flavored or not flavored, odorless and quick to take.
“Seniors have multiple health issues and are concerned that the products they take are not adding any chemicals or GMO and gluten to their diets,” Machin said. “They already take medicines for various health issues, so the last thing they want to add is a fiber product that isn’t as natural as possible.”
Lifelab Health’s NuSyllium
Lifelab Health in August introduced NuSyllium. NuSyllium’s 100% certified organic fiber blend is free of artificial additives, GMOs, gluten, dairy, tree nut and peanut, and has zero trans fat. NuSyllium Organic Natural Fiber promotes digestive health and regularity, including occasional constipation; helps lower cholesterol levels and promotes heart health; helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels and supports weight management by helping to feel full between meals.
Probiotics see robust growth
NEW YORK — New findings that support the use of probiotics in treating a variety of disorders are helping to create interest in the category, according to Kline’s “Digestive Health, Immunity, and Probiotics: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities” published in late August.
“We have seen several new probiotic launches recently appealing to specific conditions or groups of consumers, such as immune support, women’s health and children’s immunity,” said Laura Mahecha, Kline’s Healthcare Industry manager.
Product delivery has changed. While most probiotics on the market still are available in tablet or caplet forms, new delivery systems — such as drinks, sodas, chews, cubes, liquids, gummies, fizzy powders and prefilled straws — are becoming more popular.
Probiotics, including combined probiotics with prebiotics, experienced robust growth fueled by a strong consumer interest due to supporting research studies, new product innovation and increased advertising. In addition, such companies as The Clorox Co. and Royal DSM are increasing distribution of their respective brands being sold in the food, drug and mass retail outlets. Royal DSM, with its digestive health brands Culturelle and UP4 A Happier Inside, acquired in 2016, holds a significant 13.5% market share across all channels, Kline said.
“Consumers are looking for high-quality products they can trust, and there is increasing demand for supplements to be supported by scientific studies and positive clinical trial outcomes to evidence their efficacy,” said Alexa Wood, brand manager at Bio-Kult. “Also of interest to consumers is the number and types of bacterial strains used, with evidence indicating that having a more diverse range of bacteria within the gut confers the greatest health benefits.”
Bio-Kult’s Infantis dietary supplement
One probiotic to keep tabs on is Bio-Kult’s Infantis. Bio-Kult crossed the pond late last year and is making significant inroads with its U.K. multistrain probiotic brand. “Multistrain products, with their potential to exert their effects throughout the gut and benefit a greater number of digestive conditions, are particularly popular,” brand manager Alexa Wood said. Infantis contains seven probiotic strains along with omega 3 and vitamin D to boost an infant’s GI health.