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OTC Analgesics and Cold and Flu Remedies - UK - April 2016

“Overall, OTC analgesics and cold and flu remedies have enjoyed strong sales growth in recent years, bolstered by high levels of NPD and sustained investment in advertising, as well as a less effective flu jab in winter 2014/15. However, media headlines over the marketing of some branded analgesics could see a shift towards cheaper own-label alternatives, whilst cold and flu brands need to foster a preparative approach to better insulate sales against the ebb and flow of virus experience.”
– Jack Duckett, Consumer Lifestyle Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Nurofen hit by negative press
  • Insulating sales in the cold and flu market

This report covers only over-the-counter (OTC), non-prescription medication, defined by the Proprietary Association of Great Britain as being ‘Specifically designed to treat the symptoms of common, minor and self-limiting ailments that do not require a medical diagnosis.’

They are divided into two categories:

  • P: Pharmacy-only products, which can only be sold through pharmacies by or in the presence of a qualified pharmacist
  • SL: General Sales List, which can be sold in any type of outlet.

This report examines the UK consumer market for OTC analgesics (also referred to as painkillers and pain remedies throughout this report). The OTC analgesics market is defined as including all analgesics available over the counter without a prescription. This includes topical analgesics (pain relief gels, creams and sprays), alongside oral analgesics, oral lesions and toothache remedies.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this report
        • Excluded
        • Executive Summary

            • OTC market enjoys buoyant sales
              • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of OTC analgesics and cold and flu remedies, 2010-20
            • Oral remedies most popular form of pain relief
              • Figure 2: Ailments experienced and treatment sought in the last 12 months, January 2016
            • Two thirds of users happy with general painkillers
              • Figure 3: Attitudes towards general and pain-specific painkillers, January 2016
            • Oral remedies top cold and flu treatment
              • Figure 4: Treatments sought for cold and flu ailments in the last 12 months, January 2016
            • Just a quarter of adults prep-buy cold and flu remedies
              • Figure 5: Behaviours ahead of cold and flu season, January 2016
            • Emphasising diet in cold and flu season
              • Figure 6: Behaviours when infected with cold/flu, January 2016
            • What we think
            • Issues and Insights

              • Nurofen hit by negative press
                • The facts
                  • The implications
                    • Insulating sales in the cold and flu market
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                          • OTC market enjoys buoyant sales
                            • Topical continues to drive analgesics market
                              • Cold and flu relief remedies drive segment sales
                                • Supermarkets perform well
                                  • UK’s ageing population likely to boost usage of analgesics
                                    • Negative headlines could impact analgesics market
                                    • Market Size and Forecast

                                      • OTC market enjoys buoyant sales
                                        • Figure 7: UK retail value sales of OTC analgesics and cold and flu remedies, at current and constant prices, 2010-20
                                      • Stable sales growth expected
                                        • Figure 8: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of OTC analgesics and cold and flu remedies, 2010-20
                                    • Segment Performance

                                      • Topical continues to drive analgesics market
                                        • Figure 9: UK retail value sales of OTC analgesics, by segment, 2014-15
                                      • Cold and flu relief remedies drive sales
                                        • Figure 10: UK retail value sales of OTC cough, cold and flu remedies, by segment, 2014-15
                                    • Channels to Market

                                      • Supermarkets perform well
                                        • Figure 11: UK retail value sales of OTC analgesics, cough, cold and flu relief and medicated confectionery, by outlet type, 2014-15
                                    • Market Drivers

                                      • UK’s booming population likely to drive OTC usage
                                        • Figure 12: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2010-20
                                      • Massage could hit analgesics market…
                                        • Figure 13: Attitudes towards treating illnesses with complementary and alternative medicine, September 2015
                                      • …whilst strong exercise levels could be a benefit
                                        • Figure 14: Participation in in-home and individual fitness activities, December 2014
                                      • El Niño effect brings warmer winter
                                        • Figure 15: Average UK temperature, 2005-15/16
                                      • Negative headlines could impact analgesics market
                                        • Nurofen specific pain products banned in Australia
                                          • Painkillers during pregnancy linked with infertility
                                          • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                            • Analgesics
                                              • Innovation slows in analgesics category
                                                • Growth in demographic-targeted claims
                                                  • Exploring alternative advertising channels
                                                    • RB scrutinised over advertising claims
                                                      • Cold and flu relief remedies
                                                        • Cold and flu brands continue to innovate
                                                          • A fragmented market
                                                            • Advertising investment grows in cold and flu remedies category
                                                              • TV takes the lead in cold and flu market
                                                                • RB leads adspend in the cold/flu remedies category
                                                                • Market Share

                                                                  • Nurofen continues to lead sales of OTC analgesics
                                                                    • Figure 16: Retail value sales of OTC analgesics, by brand, years ending November, 2014 and 2015
                                                                  • Voltarol’s withdrawal from oral analgesics market reverses growth
                                                                    • Lemsip sales outpace category growth for cold and flu remedies
                                                                      • Figure 17: Retail value sales of cold, flu and decongestant remedies*, by brand, years ending November, 2014 and 2015
                                                                  • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                    • Analgesics
                                                                      • Innovation slows in analgesics category
                                                                        • Figure 18: New product launches in the OTC analgesics market, by launch type, 2012-15
                                                                        • Figure 19: Nurofen repackaging (Reckitt Benckiser), 2015
                                                                      • Non-ingested remedies continues to grow share of total launch activity
                                                                        • Figure 20: New product launches in the OTC analgesics market, by format type, 2012-15
                                                                        • Figure 21: Examples of new topical pain-relief launches, 2015
                                                                      • Branded vs own-label
                                                                        • Figure 22: New product launches in the OTC analgesics market, own-label vs branded, 2012-15
                                                                      • Growth in demographic-targeted claims
                                                                        • Figure 23: Fastest growing product positioning claims in the OTC analgesics market, 2014-15
                                                                      • Colds, flu, coughs and sore throat remedies
                                                                        • Cold and flu brands continue to innovate
                                                                          • Figure 24: New product launches in the decongestive, cough, cold and flu relief and medicated confectionery market, by launch type, 2012-15
                                                                        • Launch activity boosted by medicated confectionery
                                                                          • Figure 25: New product launches in the decongestive, cough, cold and flu relief and medicated confectionery market, by sub-category, 2012-15
                                                                          • Figure 26: Examples of medicated confectionery launches, 2015
                                                                        • Liquid and non-ingested formats increase
                                                                          • Figure 27: New product launches in the decongestive, cough, cold and flu relief market, by format type, 2012-15
                                                                          • Figure 28: Non-ingested and liquid decongestive, cough, cold and flu relief product launches for babies/children, 2015
                                                                        • A fragmented market
                                                                          • Figure 29: New product launches in the decongestive, cough, cold and flu relief and medicated confectionery market, by top 9 ultimate companies and other, 2015
                                                                          • Figure 30: Range extensions from Reckitt Benckiser in the decongestive, cough, cold and flu relief market, 2015
                                                                        • The natural approach gains traction
                                                                          • Figure 31: Fastest growing product positioning claims in the decongestive, cough, cold and flu relief market*, 2014-15
                                                                          • Figure 32: Examples of decongestive, cough, cold and flu relief products with a more ‘natural’ positioning, 2015
                                                                          • Figure 33: Examples of decongestive, cough, cold and flu relief products for babies/children with a more ‘natural’ positioning, 2015
                                                                      • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                        • Analgesics
                                                                          • Advertising expenditure remains consistent
                                                                            • Figure 34: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on OTC analgesics, 2012-15
                                                                          • Television’s dominance begins to slip
                                                                            • Figure 35: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on OTC analgesics, % share by media type, 2012-15
                                                                          • Novartis leads advertising expenditure
                                                                            • Figure 36: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on OTC analgesics, by top 10 advertisers, 2012-15
                                                                          • RB scrutinised over advertising claims
                                                                            • Figure 37: Nurofen Express campaign, 2015
                                                                          • Colds, flu, coughs and sore throat remedies
                                                                            • Advertising investment continues to grow in cold and flu remedies category
                                                                              • Figure 38: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on cold, flu, decongestant remedies and medicated confectionery, 2012-15
                                                                            • TV takes the lead in cold and flu market
                                                                              • Figure 39: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on cold, flu, decongestant remedies and medicated confectionery, by media type, 2012-15
                                                                            • RB leads adspend in the cold/flu remedies category
                                                                              • Figure 40: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on cold, flu, decongestant remedies and medicated confectionery, by top 10 advertisers, 2012-15
                                                                            • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                            • Brand Research

                                                                                • Brand map
                                                                                  • Figure 41: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, January 2016
                                                                                  • Figure 42: Key metrics for selected brands, January 2016
                                                                                • Brand attitudes: Trust highest for Lemsip brand
                                                                                  • Figure 43: Attitudes, by brand, January 2016
                                                                                • Brand personality: Panadol most likely to be viewed as ‘boring’
                                                                                  • Figure 44: Brand personality – Macro image, January 2016
                                                                                • Voltarol viewed as cutting-edge
                                                                                  • Figure 45: Brand personality – Micro image, January 2016
                                                                                • Brand analysis
                                                                                  • Deep Heat registers with older customer base
                                                                                    • Figure 46: User profile of Deep Heat, January 2016
                                                                                  • Lemsip enjoys almost universal awareness
                                                                                    • Figure 47: User profile of Lemsip, January 2016
                                                                                  • Voltarol deemed innovative
                                                                                    • Figure 48: User profile of Voltarol, January 2016
                                                                                  • Halls Soothers offers good value
                                                                                    • Figure 49: User profile of Halls Soothers, January 2016
                                                                                  • Nurofen brand trust knocked by negative media headlines
                                                                                    • Figure 50: User profile of Nurofen, January 2016
                                                                                  • Panadol deemed least innovative
                                                                                    • Figure 51: User profile of Panadol, January 2016
                                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                  • Analgesics
                                                                                    • Headaches the most common type of pain
                                                                                      • Experience of musculoskeletal pain high across all age groups
                                                                                        • Women prove most likely to experience pain
                                                                                          • Oral remedies prove most popular form of pain relief
                                                                                            • Encouraging men to keep painkillers handy
                                                                                              • Cold and flu relief remedies
                                                                                                • Experience of cold and flu related ailments
                                                                                                  • Oral remedies top cold and flu treatment
                                                                                                    • Just a quarter of adults prep buy cold and flu remedies
                                                                                                      • Emphasising diet in cold and flu season
                                                                                                      • Experience of Pain and Treatments Sought

                                                                                                        • Nearly three quarters of adults experience headaches
                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Pains experienced in the last 12 months, January 2016
                                                                                                        • Experience of musculoskeletal pain high across all age groups
                                                                                                          • Figure 53: Musculoskeletal pains experienced in the last 12 months, by age, January 2016
                                                                                                          • Figure 54: Voltarol office workers exercise suggestions, January 2016
                                                                                                        • Oral remedies prove most popular form of pain relief
                                                                                                          • Figure 55: Ailments experienced and treatment sought in the last 12 months, January 2016
                                                                                                      • Usage of Different Remedy Types

                                                                                                        • Paracetamol leads OTC painkillers
                                                                                                          • Figure 56: OTC formats used to treat ailments in the last 12 months, January 2016
                                                                                                        • Older adults turn to topical gels and creams
                                                                                                          • Figure 57: Usage of topical analgesic formats, by age, January 2016
                                                                                                      • Attitudes towards Painkillers

                                                                                                        • Encouraging men to keep painkillers handy
                                                                                                          • Figure 58: Attitudes towards painkillers, January 2016
                                                                                                        • Own-label is popular
                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Attitudes towards branded and own-label painkillers, January 2016
                                                                                                        • Two thirds of users happy with general painkillers
                                                                                                          • Figure 60: Attitudes towards general and pain-specific painkillers, January 2016
                                                                                                        • Over a quarter of users confused by which painkillers to take
                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Attitudes towards painkillers, cont., January 2016
                                                                                                      • Experience of Cold and Flu and Treatments Sought

                                                                                                        • Experience of cold- and flu-related ailments
                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Cold/flu ailments experienced in the last 12 months, January 2016
                                                                                                        • Oral remedies top cold and flu treatment
                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Treatments sought for cold and flu ailments in the last 12 months, January 2016
                                                                                                        • Young adults turn to topical treatments
                                                                                                          • Figure 64: Usage of topical remedies to treat cold and flu ailments in the last 12 months, by age, January 2016
                                                                                                        • Opportunity to drive usage of cough medicine
                                                                                                          • Figure 65: % difference between the proportion of adults that had experienced cold/flu ailments, and proportion who had experienced and sought treatment, by ailment, January 2016
                                                                                                      • Cold and Flu Season Behaviours

                                                                                                        • Just a quarter of adults prep buy cold and flu remedies
                                                                                                          • Figure 66: Behaviours ahead of cold and flu season, January 2016
                                                                                                        • Young adults least likely to buy ahead
                                                                                                          • Figure 67: Proportion of adults buying cold/flu remedies ahead of cold/flu season, by age, January 2016
                                                                                                        • Traditional behaviours lead cold/flu cures
                                                                                                          • Figure 68: Behaviours when infected with cold/flu, January 2016
                                                                                                        • Emphasising diet in cold and flu season
                                                                                                          • Figure 69: Proportion of adults who indicated that they “eat more healthily” before cold/flu season, and/or when infected with cold flu, by age, January 2016
                                                                                                        • Men prove negligent towards cold and flu symptoms
                                                                                                          • Figure 70: Behaviours when infected with cold/flu, by gender, January 2016
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                                          • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                            • Forecast methodology

                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                            • Reckitt Benckiser (UK)

                                                                                                            OTC Analgesics and Cold and Flu Remedies - UK - April 2016

                                                                                                            £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)