OTC Internal Analgesics - US - June 2012
The $3.766 million over-the-counter (OTC) internal analgesics category has experienced some setbacks in the past few years. Product recalls among major brands have resulted in large sales losses by leading companies, and leading to a 5% dip in overall category sales from 2006-11. However, Mintel’s custom research finds that while consumers express concerns over product safety, they believe products in the category to be effective, and little change in usage behavior has been seen between 2009-11, a period that spans pre- and post-recall activity.
In the wake of recalls among leading brands, consumers appear loyal to their trusted products. Use of headache and pain relievers has remained steady at 81% despite product recalls. Furthermore, 89% of parents in the category have given these products to their children. What’s more, despite recalls, 46% of users of OTC pain and headache medication use Tylenol (the brand hardest hit by recalls), a higher percentage than any other brand. Due to reduced product availability in a time of rebuilding, consumers are opting to change behavior at the brand level, versus walking away from the category altogether.
A rise in the popularity of private label products can be seen as consumers find that even brand names can be fallible, and seek the availability and cost savings of store products. The challenge during this post-recall period lies in brands’ ability to differentiate themselves from the competition and encourage consumer loyalty. Enhanced education campaigns, overt safety messaging, and consumer-specific product positioning may be considered to build exposure and trust among U.S. consumers.
This report seeks to provide insight and opportunities to help makers and marketers of OTC internal analgesics meet the changing needs of consumers by providing in-depth examination of the following:
- How product recalls have impacted the category and what impact this might have on future performance
- The growing popularity of private label
- What innovations manufacturers are promoting to generate interest among consumers
- How major brands are positioning themselves through TV ads and online promotion in this highly competitive category
- The shifting popularity of retail channels, and which channels are best meeting consumer needs
- Consumer perception of product safety and efficacy, and steps the industry might take to grow interest and trust
- The role household income, gender, race/Hispanic origin, and other demographic factors play in sales performance
- Attitudes toward the use of OTC internal analgesics for adults and kids
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