Cold, Flu, Cough and Throat Remedies - UK - July 2010
This report covers the UK consumer market for cold and flu remedies, cough remedies and decongestants (for ease of writing, sometimes referred to as winter remedied)
- Consumer spend on OTC winter remdies has been sluggish in the last two years, not even benefiting from the threat of swine flu in 2009. Market value grew by 10% over 2005-10, to reach £532m. After a steep rise in demand in 2007, the market continued to grow in 2008 but then fell back slightly over the next two years.
- So is recession to blame for this sluggish performance? There is some evidence that consumers are opting for own-label alternatives, as they can get similar products at a cheaper price, and this could have its roots in consumer caution.
- Own-label shows potential for more growth. 42% of those who use cold and flu remedies are happy with stores’ own brands while brands matter to a quarter of users. So although the market is dominated by brands at present, with 85% share, this is a warning sign that more share will veer towards own-labels.
- On the positive side, cold and flu remedies are an essential store cupboard item for many adults - 57% always have a supply at home. And they are widely used - half of all adults would treat flu with a slight temperature without consulting the doctor. However, a further 28% do nothing and simply wait for their symptoms to run their course. This illustrates an untapped market, where reluctant consumers could be encouraged to address the symptoms at an earlier stage.
- Innovation is led by the market leaders who are building their ranges and brand presence by developing added-value products, supported by high profile advertising campaigns and commanding premium prices. They are differentiating by making their formulations more powerful, and either all-in-one combinations or more symptom specific products.
- The outlook for cold and flu products is for renewed growth. The 25-34 age band is set to grow by 11.4% over 2010-15 to 9.1 million adults. These are higher than average sufferers of colds and flu so this will help to boost demand. For similar reasons, growth in the number of ABs in the population will also boost demand. There will be 18.8% more ABs in 2015 than in 2010.
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