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Analgesics - US - June 2015

"The OTC analgesic market is stable, posting steady gains since 2013, with similar growth trends expected through 2020. The majority of consumers turn to some form of OTC analgesic to treat pain, with internal analgesics remaining the dominate choice for pain relief, though external analgesics are experiencing rapid growth. Looking forward, consumers' need for pain treatments is not expected to change, however interest is growing for natural ingredients and alternative formats that are easy-to-consume and take on-the-go."

- Marissa Gilbert, Health & Wellness Analyst 

This report covers the following areas: 

  • OTC internal analgesic competition tightens for top brands
  • Traditional external brands see sales decline at expense of diversified growth
  • Feminine pain relief sales decline along with use

 This report focuses on the market for internal and external analgesics specifically marketed for pain relief that are available over the counter/without a prescription.

OTC analgesics is a mature market that continues to post steady sales year-over-year in the absence of major product recalls. While familiar brands of internal pain relievers will continue to be the standard go-to, future drivers of growth include easy-to-consume formats and natural ingredients. Increases in sales of external analgesics, which are in part driven by interest in natural pain relieving remedies, could expand further by targeting older adults and developing easy to use packaging and products.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • OTC internal analgesic competition tightens for top brands
            • Figure 1: MULO Sales of leading OTC internal analgesics companies, by share, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
          • Traditional external brands see sales decline at expense of diversified growth
            • Figure 2: MULO Sales of select OTC external analgesics, by leading brands, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
          • Feminine pain relief sales decline along with use
            • Figure 3: Sales of OTC internal analgesic feminine pain relievers, 2010-14
          • The opportunities
            • Growing interest in natural ingredients could deliver sales boost
              • Figure 4: Interest in natural analgesic innovations, February 2015
            • Easy to consume, on-the-go formats appeal to a younger generation
              • Figure 5: Interest in convenient analgesic innovations, February 2015
            • Expand use of external analgesics by targeting older adults
              • Figure 6: Pain remedies used in past 12 months, by generation, February 2015
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • OTC analgesic market has stabilized and steady growth to remain
                • Majority of consumers use OTC analgesics, though alternatives to treat pain exist
                  • Varying factors are likely to impact category growth
                  • Market Size and Forecast

                    • OTC analgesic sales stabilize, projected growth is steady
                      • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of OTC Analgesics, at current prices, 2010-20
                      • Figure 8: Total US retail sales and forecast of OTC analgesics, at current prices, 2010-20
                  • Market Breakdown

                    • Internal is the category leader though external experiencing greater growth
                      • Figure 9: Sales growth trends of OTC analgesic segments, percent change, 2011-15 (est)
                    • Natural supermarket sales comprised mainly of external remedies
                      • Figure 10: Share of natural supermarket analgesic sales, by form, rolling 52 weeks ending 2/22/15
                      • Figure 11: US retail sales of analgesics, by channel, 2010-14
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Alternative pain treatment methods are diverse, some complement OTC use
                      • Figure 12: Pain remedies used in past 12 months, February 2015
                  • Market Factors

                    • Population age dynamics are shifting, could impact pain relief choices
                      • Figure 13: US population aged 18 or older, by age, 2010-20
                    • Stress trending down, but still not within healthy levels
                      • Figure 14: Average American stress levels, 2007-14
                    • Frequent strenuous workouts point towards pain treatment need
                      • Figure 15: Regular exercise participation and frequency, November 2013-December 2014
                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                    • OTC analgesics competition tightens for top brands as sales increase
                      • Nighttime relief, children’s liquid, and external analgesics boost sales
                        • Traditional external and feminine pain relief sales decline; shot format stall
                          • Analgesics are diversifying; consumers want natural, on-the-go, and tech to relieve pain
                          • Manufacturer Sales of OTC Analgesics

                            • Competition at the top continues to tighten, category sales increase
                              • Manufacturer sales of OTC analgesics
                                • Figure 16: MULO sales of OTC analgesics, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                            • What’s Working?

                              • Nighttime pain relief expands with recent releases by major brands
                                • Figure 17: MULO sales of select leading PM internal analgesics, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                              • Liquid sales continue to grow due to leading children’s formulas
                                • Figure 18: Sales of OTC internal analgesic liquids, 2010-15
                                • Figure 19: MULO sales of select children’s liquid analgesics, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                              • Diversified external analgesics market continues to grow
                                • Figure 20: MULO sales of OTC external analgesics, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                              • Tylenol launches a string of successful campaigns
                                • Figure 21: Tylenol campaign, For what matters most
                                • Figure 22: Tylenol and GSN campaign, Pop up pop culture pop quiz
                                • Figure 23: Tylenol PM campaign, #IWasSoTired
                            • What’s Struggling?

                              • Feminine pain reliever segment experiencing sales decreases
                                • Figure 24: Sales of OTC internal analgesic feminine pain relievers, 2010-14
                                • Figure 25: MULO sales of select feminine pain relievers, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                              • Traditional external analgesic brands trend downward
                                • Figure 26: MULO sales of select OTC external analgesics brands, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                              • Shot format MULO sales stall despite new product introductions
                              • What’s Next?

                                • Natural products and ingredients becoming more essential to pain relief
                                  • Pain relief on-the-go is gaining traction
                                    • TENS evolving into affordable, discreet designs and competition for OTC
                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                      • OTC internal analgesics are the leading pain treatment choice
                                        • Name brand analgesics are preferred over store brand
                                          • Consumers are most interested and willing to pay more for natural
                                          • Product Usage

                                            • Aligning with sales, internal remedies used most to treat pain
                                              • Figure 27: Pain remedies used in past 12 months, February 2015
                                            • External remedies used less often, opportunities to expand usage
                                              • Figure 28: Pain remedies used in past 12 months, by segment, February 2015
                                          • Treatment by Type of Pain

                                            • Different pains require a particular segment of pain relief
                                              • Figure 29: Correspondence analysis – Pain remedy segments used to treat specific pain, February 2015
                                          • Treatment Choice by Specific Remedy

                                            • Headaches and upper body pains require OTC treatment
                                              • Figure 30: Top three reasons for using headache and pain relievers, November 2013-December 2014
                                            • The majority of pains can be treated with ibuprofen
                                              • Figure 31: Pain remedy used to treat specific pain, February 2015
                                          • Purchasing Behavior

                                            • Consumers prefer a brand name OTC internal analgesic
                                              • Figure 32: Behavior when purchasing branded versus private label internal OTC pain relievers, February 2015
                                            • Omitting price, name brands and store brands perform similarly
                                              • Figure 33: Brand impact on perceptions of OTC internal pain relievers, February 2015
                                          • Areas for Innovation

                                            • Consumers are interested in natural and some willing to pay more
                                              • Figure 34: Interest and willingness to pay for natural analgesic innovations, February 2015
                                              • Figure 35: Types of headache and pain relievers used, Fall 2009-14
                                            • Easy to consume formats are appealing to young adults
                                              • Figure 36: Interest and willingness to pay for convenient analgesic innovations, February 2015
                                            • Smart packaging and apps are nice to have, but not worth paying for
                                              • Figure 37: Interest and willingness to pay for technology analgesic innovations, February 2015
                                          • Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                            • Data sources
                                              • Sales data
                                                • Fan chart forecast
                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                        • Terms
                                                        • Appendix – Market

                                                            • Figure 38: Total US retail sales and forecast of analgesics, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2010-20
                                                            • Figure 39: Total US retail sales of analgesics, by segment, at current prices, 2013 and 2015
                                                            • Figure 40: Natural supermarket sales of analgesics, by form, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                                                            • Figure 41: Total US retail sales of analgesics, by channel, at current prices, 2010-15
                                                            • Figure 42: Total US retail sales of analgesics, by channel, at current prices, 2013 and 2015
                                                        • Appendix – Key Players

                                                            • Figure 43: MULO sales of OTC internal analgesics, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                            • Figure 44: MULO sales of OTC external analgesics, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                        • Appendix – Consumer

                                                          • Correspondence analysis methodology
                                                            • Figure 45: Frequency of headache and pain reliever use, November 2013-December 2014
                                                            • Figure 46: Products used to relieve PMS symptoms, November 2013-December 2014

                                                        Companies Covered

                                                        • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                        Analgesics - US - June 2015

                                                        £3,277.28 (Excl.Tax)