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Cough, Cold, Flu and Allergy Remedies - US - April 2015

“OTC manufacturers of cough, cold, flu, and allergy remedies have built-in demand: there is no shortage of cold, flu, and allergy sufferers. While providing relief is important, further investment should be made in finding more effective remedies and in promoting methods for reducing the transmission of infection. These efforts will resonate with younger adults who want their suppliers to be good corporate citizens.”
– Marissa Gilbert, Health and Wellness Analyst

This report answers the following questions:

  • Does the OTC industry grow only when Americans are sick?
  • How can suppliers maximize appeal to adults aged 25-34?
  • How can product recalls and abuse be avoided?

The OTC cough, cold, flu, and allergy remedy market is mature, marked by built-in demand based on the high incidence of colds, flu, and allergies and related ailments and the desire of sufferers to ameliorate their symptoms and function effectively in their day-to-day activities. The success of individual market participants is not as certain as the fact that people will have colds. Consumers have myriad choices within the OTC category itself and also are highly likely to use alternatives including home remedies and bed rest. Moreover, a successful new product launch or acquisition can change the landscape quickly. The 2014 launch of Nasacort Allergy 24HR Nasal Spray, for example, added $130 million in incremental sales and shifted market share to Sanofi-Aventis while spurring growth in the allergy segment. Market participants cannot rest on their laurels – they must keep innovating and promoting their products. In particular, 25-34-year-olds are less brand-loyal and more open to trying new products.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Not included in the report
          • Data sources
            • Sales data
              • Consumer survey data
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                        • The market
                          • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of cough, cold, flu, and allergy remedies, at current prices, 2009-19
                        • Major players
                          • Figure 2: MULO sales of cough, cold, flu, and allergy remedies, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2014
                        • The consumer
                          • Most adults use traditional OTC remedies
                            • Figure 3: Cough, cold, flu and allergy treatment, January 2015
                          • Some adults get by without buying
                            • Figure 4: OTC remedy detractors, January 2015
                          • Consumers seeking relief demand speed and longevity
                            • Figure 5: OTC remedy selection factors, January 2015
                          • OTC product loyalty wavers
                            • Figure 6: OTC remedy purchasing habits, total respondents and 25-34s, January 2015
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                              • Does the OTC industry grow only when Americans are sick?
                                • The issues
                                  • The implications
                                    • How can suppliers maximize appeal to adults aged 25-34?
                                      • The issues
                                        • The implications
                                          • How can product recalls and abuse be avoided?
                                            • The issues
                                              • The implications
                                              • Trend Application

                                                  • Trend: Help Me Help Myself
                                                    • Trend: Factory Fear
                                                      • Trend: Guiding Choice
                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Sales and forecast of cough, cold, flu, and allergy remedies
                                                            • Figure 7: Total US retail sales and forecast of cough, cold, flu, and allergy remedies, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                            • Figure 8: Total US retail sales and forecast of cough, cold, flu, and allergy remedies, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                                                          • Steady as it goes
                                                            • Figure 9: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of cough, cold, flu, and allergy remedies, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                          • Forecast methodology
                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Common ailments are truly common
                                                                • Figure 10: Incidence and frequency of cough/cold/flu in the past 12 months, January 2015
                                                                • Figure 11: Incidence and frequency of allergies in the past 12 months, January 2015
                                                              • Severity of the flu season
                                                                • Figure 12: Estimate Influenza-like illness, US data and Google Flu Trends data, 2003-2014
                                                                • Figure 13: Google flu trends, 2014-15 seasonal flu, compared to past six years
                                                              • Declining share of households with children
                                                                • Figure 14: Incidence of cough/cold/flu in the past 12 months, January 2015
                                                              • Increased urbanization
                                                                • Figure 15: Incidence of cough/cold/flu in the past 12 months, January 2015
                                                              • Hand washing (or lack thereof)
                                                              • Competitive Context

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Many alternatives to OTC cold/cough/flu/allergy medications
                                                                    • Viable alternatives include resting or not treating symptoms at all
                                                                      • Prescription medications: part of the continuum of treatment options
                                                                        • Figure 16: Alternative treatment, January 2015
                                                                      • Safety concerns
                                                                      • Segment Performance

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Nasacort’s Rx-to-OTC launch shifts market share
                                                                            • Figure 17: Total US retail sales of cough, cold, flu, and allergy remedies, by segment, at current prices, 2012 and 2014
                                                                          • Bad flu seasons increase cold/flu/sinus remedy sales
                                                                            • Figure 18: Total US retail sales and forecast of cold/flu/sinus remedies, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                          • Rx-to-OTC transitions and rising pollen counts drive sales
                                                                            • Figure 19: Total US retail sales and forecast of allergy remedies, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                          • Cough/sore throat remedies ride the coattails of many ailments
                                                                            • Figure 20: Total US retail sales and forecast of cough/throat remedies, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                        • Retail Channels

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Mass merchandisers and supermarkets invading drug store territory
                                                                              • Opportunity for supermarkets to increase sales
                                                                                • Figure 21: Total US retail sales of cough, cold, flu, and allergy remedies, by channel, at current prices, 2012 and 2014
                                                                              • Natural supermarket sales
                                                                                • Figure 22: Natural supermarket sales of cough, cold, flu, and allergy remedies, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks 2012-14
                                                                              • Natural channel led by herbal remedies for cold/flu/immune system
                                                                                • Figure 23: Natural supermarket sales of cough, cold, flu, and allergy remedies, by type, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks 2012 and 2014
                                                                            • Leading Companies

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Bayer leapfrogs to top slot with acquisition of Merck
                                                                                  • Sanofi-Aventis’ sales increase 38% in one year
                                                                                    • Private label accounts for 30% of sales in MULO
                                                                                      • Figure 24: MULO sales of cough, cold, allergy, and flu remedies, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2013 and 2014
                                                                                  • Brand Share – Cold/Flu/Allergy Remedies

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Mucinex, Vicks NyQuil/DayQuil and Claritin are leading brands
                                                                                        • J&J’s brands take off as Pfizer’s nosedive
                                                                                          • Figure 25: MULO sales of cold/flu/allergy remedies, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2013 and 2014
                                                                                      • Brand Share – Cough/Throat Remedies

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Halls and Ricola top cough and sore throat drop brands
                                                                                            • Robitussin and Delsym lead cough syrup brands
                                                                                              • Figure 26: MULO sales of cough/throat remedies, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2013 and 2014
                                                                                          • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                            • Cold, cough, and flu remedies predominate new product launch activity
                                                                                              • Figure 27: Share of decongestive, cough, cold, and flu relief and allergy relief product launches 2009-15
                                                                                            • Decongestive, cough, cold, and flu remedies
                                                                                              • Figure 28: Share of branded and private label decongestive, cough, cold, and flu relief product launches 2009-14
                                                                                            • Homeopathic and time/speed claims lead messages for cough/cold/flu product launches
                                                                                              • Figure 29: OTC decongestive, cough, cold, and flu relief product launches, top claims 2009-14
                                                                                            • Homeopathic new product launch examples
                                                                                              • Time/Speed new product launch examples
                                                                                                • Allergy remedy new product launches
                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Share of branded and private label decongestive, cough, cold, flu and allergy relief product launches 2009-14
                                                                                                  • Figure 31: OTC allergy remedy product launches, top claims 2009-14
                                                                                                • Allergy new product launch examples
                                                                                                • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                  • Overview of the brand landscape
                                                                                                    • Multisymptom relief and an Rx pedigree
                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Flonase Allergy Relief, television ad, 2015
                                                                                                    • Empowering cold and flu sufferers
                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Mucinex, Mr. Mucus Reads Sick Tweets, Number 2, 2015
                                                                                                    • No time for a sick day (with a bit of humor too)
                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Vicks Dayquil/Nyquil, television ad, 2014
                                                                                                    • Don’t Worry, Be Happy
                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Claritin-D Cold, television ad, 2015
                                                                                                  • Incidence and Frequency of Ailments

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Most everyone suffers at some point during the year
                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Incidence and frequency of cough/cold/flu in the past 12 months, January 2015
                                                                                                      • Who gets a cold?
                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Incidence and frequency of a cold the past 12 months, by selected demographics, January 2015
                                                                                                      • Who gets the flu?
                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Incidence and frequency of flu in the past 12 months, by selected demographics, January 2015
                                                                                                      • Most adults report some experience with allergies
                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Incidence and frequency of allergies in the past 12 months, January 2015
                                                                                                      • Who has allergies?
                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Incidence and frequency of allergies in the past 12 month – Any allergies, by demographics, January 2015
                                                                                                    • Treatment

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Use highest for targeted remedies
                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Cough, cold, flu and allergy treatment, January 2015
                                                                                                        • Vast majority of cold sufferers use an OTC remedy
                                                                                                          • Figure 42: OTC cold treatment, by demographics, January 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 43: OTC cold treatment (part two), by demographics, January 2015
                                                                                                        • Eight in 10 flu sufferers choose OTC remedy
                                                                                                          • Figure 44: OTC flu treatment, by demographics, January 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 45: OTC flu treatment (part two), by demographics, January 2015
                                                                                                        • Allergy sufferers more likely to take allergy meds or nasal sprays
                                                                                                          • Figure 46: OTC outdoor allergy treatment, by demographics, January 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 47: OTC outdoor allergy treatment (part two), by demographics, January 2015
                                                                                                        • Formula of remedy used
                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Formula of cold, allergy, and sinus remedies used, by age, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                      • Alternative Treatment

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Most adults rely on some alternative remedies
                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Alternative cold treatment, by demographics, January 2015
                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Alternative cold treatment (part two), by demographics, January 2015
                                                                                                          • Outdoor allergy sufferers aged 25-34 most likely to use alternative methods
                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Alternative outdoor allergy treatment, by demographics, January 2015
                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Alternative outdoor allergy treatment (part two), by demographics, January 2015
                                                                                                        • Detractors

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Winning over consumers who are getting by without
                                                                                                              • Figure 53: OTC remedy detractors, January 2015
                                                                                                            • Educating to address concerns of adults aged 25-44
                                                                                                              • Figure 54: OTC remedy detractors, by demographics, January 2015
                                                                                                              • Figure 55: OTC remedy detractors (part two), by demographics, January 2015
                                                                                                          • Selection Factors

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Most important claims: speed, duration, and strength
                                                                                                                • Most important referral sources: doctors and pharmacists
                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: OTC remedy selection factors, January 2015
                                                                                                              • Product Selection

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Product selection is not set in stone
                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Product selection, January 2015
                                                                                                                  • Adults 18-34 most likely to try new remedies
                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: OTC remedy purchasing habits, by demographics, January 2015
                                                                                                                  • Adults 25-34 most likely to research products and use mobile media/technology
                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: OTC remedy information gathering, by demographics, January 2015
                                                                                                                • Appendix – Other Useful Market Tables

                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Households, by presence of own children, 2003-13
                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Natural supermarket sales of cough, cold, flu, and allergy remedies, by form, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks 2012 and 2014
                                                                                                                • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                  • Cold allergy sinus remedy brand usage
                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Brands of cold, allergy, and sinus remedies used – Brand summary – (part one), by demographics, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Brands of cold, allergy, and sinus remedies used – Brand summary – (part two), by demographics, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Brands of cold, allergy and sinus remedies used – (part one), by demographics, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Brands of cold, allergy, and sinus remedies used – (part two), by demographics, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Brands of cold, allergy, and sinus remedies used – (part three), by demographics, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                  • Cough syrup brand usage
                                                                                                                    • Figure 67: Brands of cough syrup used, by age, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                  • Sore throat product brand usage
                                                                                                                    • Figure 68: Brands of sore throat products used, by demographics, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                  • Frequency of product use
                                                                                                                    • Figure 69: Frequency of cold, allergy, and sinus remedy use – Allergy, by demographics, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 70: Frequency of cold, allergy, and sinus remedy use – Cold, by demographics, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 71: Frequency of cold, allergy, and sinus remedy use – Flu, by demographics, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 72: Frequency of cold, allergy, and sinus remedy use – Sinus, by demographics, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 73: Frequency of cold, allergy, and sinus remedy use – Other ailment, by demographics, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                  • Type of cold, allergy, sinus remedies used
                                                                                                                    • Figure 74: Type of cold, allergy, and sinus remedies used, by demographics, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                  • Types of cough syrup used
                                                                                                                    • Figure 75: Types of cough syrup used, by age, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                  • Sore throat product usage details
                                                                                                                    • Figure 76: Types of sore throat products used, by age, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 77: Kinds of sore throat products used, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 78: Frequency of sore throat product use, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                    • American Pharmacists Association (APhA)
                                                                                                                      • Consumer Healthcare Product Association (CHPA)
                                                                                                                        • Chain Drug Marketing Association (CDMA)
                                                                                                                          • Drug, Chemical & Associated Technologies

                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                          • Bayer AG
                                                                                                                          • GlaxoSmithKline (USA)
                                                                                                                          • Johnson & Johnson
                                                                                                                          • Merck & Co. Inc.
                                                                                                                          • Mondelez International
                                                                                                                          • Pfizer Inc
                                                                                                                          • Procter & Gamble USA
                                                                                                                          • Reckitt Benckiser plc
                                                                                                                          • Sanofi-Aventis (USA)
                                                                                                                          • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                                          Cough, Cold, Flu and Allergy Remedies - US - April 2015

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