2021
9
UK OTC Analgesics, Cold and Flu Remedies Market Report 2021
2021-06-09T04:06:31+01:00
OX1050277
2195
139270
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Report
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“The category was driven into decline in 2020 as COVID-19 social distancing triggered a fall in cases of cough, cold and flu, which ultimately impacted demand for remedies. Looking forwards,…

UK OTC Analgesics, Cold and Flu Remedies Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the UK OTC Analgesics and Cold & Flu Remedies market including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

The OTC analgesics and cough, cold and flu category underwent a value decline of 6.7% to £1.27 billion in 2020. Preventative health behaviours and social distancing measures drove a sharp decline in the incidence cold/flu, ultimately impacting demand for these remedies.

The COVID-19 pandemic, however, drove demand for oral OTC analgesics as these remain recommended for easing symptoms of the virus as well as vaccination side-effects. Meanwhile, this shift to oral remedies triggered a decline in usage frequency of topical analgesics.

The biggest threat to the market in 2021 will be the continued preventative behaviours towards ailment management. As the pandemic has driven an association with preventative hygiene behaviours and prioritising health, consumers may continue to favour these behaviours. Brands can look to build the category’s preventative positioning, with cross-category innovation in VMS for instance or collaboration with hygiene brands.

There are opportunities for brands across both categories to align with the growing interest around health and wellbeing. Brands can focus NPD on added sleep aid/relaxation benefits including aromatherapy ingredients and massage applicators. Advertising can also shine light on the wellness benefits of pain/ailment relief, or address the link between stress/anxiety and immunity.

Read on to discover more or explore all of our UK Health and Wellbeing market research.

Quickly Understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on OTC analgesics and cough, cold and flu remedies.
  • The value of individual segments and brand performance in 2020.
  • Launch activity and opportunities for innovation in OTC analgesics and cough, cold and flu remedies in 2021.
  • Experience of pains/ailments and treatments sought for relief.
  • Usage of analgesics formats and interest in added pain relief benefits.

Covered in this report

Areas included: This Report covers only 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; GSL: 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 OTC painkillers and OTC 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.

This Report also covers the UK consumer market for OTC cold and flu remedies, cough remedies and decongestants, comprising: Cold remedies: for the treatment of colds, including capsules, tablets, syrups and liquid, powders, hot drinks, caplets and meltlets ; Decongestants: for the relief of stuffy, blocked up nasal passages, available as embrocation or rub nasal inhalants and oral decongestants; Flu remedies: for the treatment of flu, including capsules, tablets, syrups and liquids, powders, hot drinks, caplets and meltlets; Cough remedies: for the relief of coughing, available as syrups and liquids; Medicated confectionery: for the relief of sore throats, nasal congestion and coughing.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Emilia Greenslade, a leading analyst in the Health sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The category was driven into decline in 2020 as COVID-19 social distancing triggered a fall in cases of cough, cold and flu, which ultimately impacted demand for remedies. Looking forwards, brands can adapt to the strong focus on illness prevention, by incorporating vitamin & mineral supplements (VMS) into cough, cold and flu remedies, or creating bundles of hygiene essentials to strengthen the association.
The OTC analgesics category saw some uplift to value in 2020, with demand rising for oral OTC analgesics which were recommended for easing symptoms of the virus as well as vaccination side effects. However, as a consequence, topical analgesics struggled with lower usage frequency. Innovation in emotional wellness benefits, such as aromatherapy ingredients and CBD, can drive the relevancy of these products forwards in 2021.

Emilia Greenslade
OTC and Personal Care Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • COVID-19: Market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • Impact of COVID-19 on OTC analgesics and cough, cold and flu remedies
      • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on OTC analgesics and cough, cold and flu remedies, 7 May 2020
    • The market
    • COVID-19 social distancing sends overall category into decline
      • Figure 2: Forecast for the value of the UK OTC analgesics and cough, cold and flu remedies market (prepared 7 May 2021), at current prices, 2015-25
    • Chemists/drugstores can use sustainability initiatives to drive footfall
    • Companies and brands
    • Drive OTC analgesics spend with efficacy claims
      • Figure 3: Retail value sales of OTC analgesics, by brand, year ending February 2021
    • Sensorial topical brands in cold/flu gain interest
      • Figure 4: Retail value sales of OTC cold and flu remedies, by brand, year ending February 2021
    • Natural is a theme in the cough liquids segment
      • Figure 5: Retail value sales of OTC cough liquids, by brand, year ending February 2021
    • Heritage brands resonate with consumers in medicated confectionery
      • Figure 6: Retail value sales of OTC medicated confectionery, by brand, year ending February 2021
    • The consumer
    • Spend on cough, cold and flu dips in year-end March 2021
      • Figure 7: Change in spend on OTC analgesics and cough, cold and flu remedies in the last 12 months, March 2021
    • Innovate in digital services to respond to growing self-treatment trend
      • Figure 8: Changes in behaviour towards OTC analgesics and cough, cold and flu remedies over the last 12 months, March 2021
    • Lockdown triggers back pain
      • Figure 9: Types of pain suffered in the last 12 months, March 2021
    • Exercise becomes the convenient choice for managing body pain
      • Figure 10: Treatments sought for types of pain, March 2021
    • Traditional analgesics formats gain trust amidst COVID-19
      • Figure 11: OTC oral analgesic formats used, March 2021
    • Innovate in on-the-go topical formats for 2021
      • Figure 12: OTC topical analgesic formats used, March 2021
    • Widen demographic appeal with a holistic approach to health
      • Figure 13: Interest in additional benefits to pain relief in OTC analgesics, March 2021
    • Align with the focus on prevention to boost relevancy of cold/flu remedies
      • Figure 14: Types of cold/flu and cough/sore throat (not as symptoms of cold/flu) suffered in the last 12 months, March 2021
    • Boost the health profile of OTC remedies
      • Figure 15: Treatments sought for cold/flu and cough/sore throat (not as symptoms of cold/flu), march 2021
  3. Issues and Insights

    • COVID-19 has driven prevention rather than cure
    • Innovate in topical analgesics to recapture consumer interest…
    • …and increase perceptions of accessibility
  4. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Value of oral analgesics grew during the pandemic
    • Online shopping gains traction, but shoppers will switch back
    • Preference for self-treatment will drive long-term category growth
  5. Market Size and Forecast

    • COVID-19 seriously impacts cough, cold and flu segment
      • Figure 16: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on OTC analgesics and cough, cold and flu remedies, 7 May 2020
    • Category struggles amidst the COVID-19 pandemic
      • Figure 17: Forecast for the value of the UK OTC analgesics and cough, cold and flu remedies market (prepared 7 May 2021), at current and constant prices, 2020-25
    • Ageing population and self-treatment trends will drive long-term growth
      • Figure 18: Forecast for the value of the UK OTC analgesics and cough, cold and flu remedies market (prepared 7 May 2021), at current prices, 2015-25
    • Market drivers and assumptions
      • Figure 19: Key drivers affecting Mintel’s market forecast, 2015-25 (prepared on 5 March 2021)
    • Preventative healthcare takes precedence, slowing OTC recovery
      • Figure 20: UK retail value sales of OTC analgesics and cough, cold and flu remedies, 2013-20
    • Forecast methodology
  6. Market Segmentation

    • Strong growth for oral analgesics
      • Figure 21: UK retail value sales of OTC analgesics, by segment, 2019 and 2020
    • Cough, cold and flu segment takes a significant hit from COVID-19
      • Figure 22: UK retail value sales of OTC cough, cold and flu remedies, by segment, 2019 and 2020
  7. Channels to Market

    • Grocery multiples become the one-stop shop during the pandemic
      • Figure 23: UK retail value sales of OTC analgesics, cough, cold and flu relief and medicated confectionery, by outlet type, 2019 and 2020
    • Pharmacies can drive footfall with sustainability concepts
    • Online retailers will need drive convenience to continue to appeal in 2021
  8. Market Drivers

    • Consumer confidence picks up as lockdown eases
      • Figure 24: Trends in how respondents would describe their financial situation, January 2018-March 2021
    • Consumer sentiment around Brexit is improving
      • Figure 25: Impact of Brexit on consumer sentiment, July 2016-March 2021
    • Innovate topical formats for the ageing population
      • Figure 26: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2015-25
    • COVID-19 drives frequency of smoking, impacting rates of coughs
      • Figure 27: Proportion of UK population who are current smokers, 2011-19
    • Align with the increased focus on prevention
      • Figure 28: Flu vaccination rate amongst GP patients, by selected demographics, England, September 2018/February 2019 and September 2018/February 2020
    • NHS funding challenges give rise to self-treatment trend
    • Focus on physical health presents sports partnerships opportunities
      • Figure 29: Trends in BMI, England, 1995-2019
    • Adapt to the growing wellbeing trend
      • Figure 30: Attitudes towards mental health and exercise, March 2020
    • OTC opioids face stronger addiction warnings
  9. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Preventative positioning steps up in cold and flu amidst COVID-19
    • Brands trump own-label in 2020
    • Emotional wellbeing comes to the fore in pain relief
  10. Market Share

    • Efficacy claims in oral analgesics benefit brands
      • Figure 31: Retail value sales of OTC analgesics, by brand, years ending February 2020 and February 2021
    • Consumers opt for cold/flu brands with topical formats
      • Figure 32: Retail value sales of cold and flu remedies, by brand, years ending February 2020 and February 2021
    • Herbal remedy Bronchostop sees growth amidst sector decline
      • Figure 33: Retail value sales of cough liquids, by brand, years ending February 2020 and February 2021
    • Premium medicated confectionery brands fare better
      • Figure 34: Retail values sales of medicated confectionery, by brand, years ending February 2020 and February 2021
    • Own-label sees higher declines than brands across all sectors
  11. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • Analgesics brands refresh with new packaging designs
      • Figure 35: New product launches in the OTC analgesics market, by launch type, January 2018-March 2021
      • Figure 36: Examples of new packaging launches in the OTC analgesics segment, 2020
    • Innovate topical analgesics to boost usage
      • Figure 37: New product launches in the OTC analgesics market, by format type, January 2018-March 2021
      • Figure 38: Anatomicals The Pound is Down Headache Relief Balm, 2021
    • Voltarol taps into convenience and waste concerns
      • Figure 39: Product launches in the OTC analgesics market, by top 10 ultimate companies and other, 2020
      • Figure 40: Examples of GSK product launches in OTC analgesics, 2020
    • Flarin launches new product for GSL, highlighting safety and efficacy
      • Figure 41: Flarin Ibuprofen Joint & Muscular Pain Relief Soft Capsules, 2020
    • Own-label brands expand low-cost topical alternatives
      • Figure 42: Examples of NPD in own-label topical analgesics, 2020
    • On-the-go packs will be a bigger demand in 2021
      • Figure 43: Top 10 claims in the OTC analgesics market, by 2020, 2019-20
    • Wellness benefits and ingredient transparency appeal
      • Figure 44: Examples of wellness claims in OTC topical analgesics, 2020
    • Tap into the opportunities for eco-friendly packaging
      • Figure 45: Be You Monthly Patches, 2020
    • Cough, cold and flu brands bring new flavours/formats to market
      • Figure 46: New product launches in the cough, cold and flu remedies market, by launch type, January 2018-March 2021
      • Figure 47: Examples of new flavour and format launches in the OTC cough, cold and flu remedies segment, 2020
    • Nasal sprays gain focus, tapping into preventative trends
      • Figure 48: New product launches in the cough, cold and flu remedies market, by format type, January 2018-March 2021
      • Figure 49: Examples of non-ingested products launches in the OTC cough, cold and flu segment, 2020
    • Natural cough, cold and flu brands rise the ranks
      • Figure 50: New product launches in the cough, cold and flu remedies market, by top 10 ultimate companies and other, 2020
    • Health and wellness claims are a focus in cough, cold and flu
      • Figure 51: Top 10 claims in the cough, cold and flu remedies market, by 2020, 2019-20
      • Figure 52: Examples of products launched with health claims in OTC cough, cold and flu segment, 2020
  12. Advertising and Marketing Activity

    • TV advertising remains preferred in OTC analgesics
      • Figure 53: Recorded above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on OTC Analgesics, 2018-20
    • OTC brands show a caring side amidst COVID-19
    • Voltarol and Deep Relief focus on prevention and product efficacy
      • Figure 54: Recorded above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on OTC analgesics, by leading companies and others, 2020
    • Panadol and Voltarol align with wellbeing themes
    • Nurofen targets busy consumers
    • TV advertising attracts the largest spend in cough, cold and flu
      • Figure 55: Recorded above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on OTC Analgesics, 2017-20
    • Lemsip highlights trusted status
      • Figure 56: Recorded above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on OTC analgesics, by leading companies and others, 2020
    • Church & Dwight highlights natural benefits of Stérimar
    • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
  13. Brand Research

    • Brand map
      • Figure 57: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, April 2021
    • Key brand metrics
      • Figure 58: Key metrics for selected brands, April 2021
    • Brand attitudes: Halls is considered to be good value
      • Figure 59: Attitudes, by brand, April 2021
    • Brand personality: Vicks and Lemsip are seen as accessible
      • Figure 60: Brand personality – macro image, April 2021
    • Voltarol is perceived as innovative and effective
      • Figure 61: Brand personality – micro image, April 2021
    • Brand analysis
    • Vicks’ trust stems from expert image
      • Figure 62: User profile of Vicks, April 2021
    • Voltarol can communicate accessibility to drive usage
      • Figure 63: User profile of Voltarol, April 2021
    • Lemsip looks to drive trust levels further
      • Figure 64: User profile of Lemsip, April 2021
    • Halls’ value-for-money positioning appeals
      • Figure 65: User profile of Halls, April 2021
    • Reading word clouds
  14. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Easing COVID-19 restrictions will drive rates of cold/flu in 2021
    • Build a wellness positioning in OTC analgesics
    • Added digital solutions tap into self-treatment trends
  15. Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behaviour

    • Preventative measures decline infectious ailments in 2020…
      • Figure 66: Change in spend on OTC analgesics and cough, cold and flu remedies in the last 12 months, March 2021
    • …but behaviours may start to relax
      • Figure 67: Concerns over the risk of being exposed to the coronavirus/COVID-19, any worry (worried and extremely worried), February 2020-April 2021
    • Align with the interest in immune health
      • Figure 68: Behaviours relating to usage of vitamins and supplements since the outbreak of COVID-19/coronavirus, by age, 25 June-8 July 2020
    • Accessibility will aid analgesics growth in the long-term
      • Figure 69: Change in spend on OTC pain relief products in the last 12 months, by age, March 2021
    • Digital solutions help consumers self-treat at home
      • Figure 70: Changes in behaviour towards OTC analgesics and cough, cold and flu remedies over the last 12 months, March 2021
    • Health trumps financial saving as a priority, favouring brands
      • Figure 71: Selected behaviours towards OTC analgesics and cough, cold and flu remedies done more often over the last 12 months, by age, March 2021
    • Exercise will be a bigger priority post COVID-19…
      • Figure 72: Attitudes towards playing sports and exercising after the COVID-19 pandemic, August 2020
    • …as well as emotional wellbeing
      • Figure 73: Managing stress during the COVID-19 restrictions, by age, August 2020
  16. Experience of Pain

    • Lockdown triggers increased back and menstrual pain
      • Figure 74: Types of pain suffered in the last 12 months, March 2019, March 2020 and March 2021
    • Help city dwellers de-stress to manage headaches
      • Figure 75: Headaches suffered in the last 12 months, by area, March 2020 and March 2021
    • Inactivity drives arthritis pain amongst over-65s
      • Figure 76: Experience of joint pain and muscular/rheumatic pain, by selected age groups, March 2020 and March 2021
  17. Treatments Sought for Pain

    • Oral OTC remedies remain most common for head pain
      • Figure 77: Treatments sought for any head pain, March 2020 and March 2021
    • Exercise becomes more popular for easing body pain
      • Figure 78: Treatments sought for any body pain, March 2020 and March 2021
    • Tap into experimentation trends in menstrual pain relief
      • Figure 79: Treatments sought for menstrual pain, March 2020 and March 2021
    • Innovate OTC remedies with green solutions
  18. Usage of Analgesic Formats

    • Traditional oral formats are favoured
      • Figure 80: OTC oral analgesic formats used, March 2019, March 2020 and March 2021
    • Expand skin health trends in topical creams
      • Figure 81: OTC topical analgesic formats used, March 2019, March 2020 and March 2021
      • Figure 82: Ingredients Face Cleanser, 2021
    • Innovate in OTC heat wraps for out-of-home use
      • Figure 83: Usage of OTC heat wraps, by age, March 2020 and March 2021
  19. Interest in Pain Relief Benefits

    • Multipurpose OTC analgesics can widen usage
      • Figure 84: Interest in additional benefits to pain relief in OTC analgesics, March 2021
    • Over-45s prioritise physical health benefits
      • Figure 85: Interest in physical health benefits as an addition to pain relief in OTC analgesics, by age, March 2021
    • Use wellness packaging to boost usage amongst young adults
      • Figure 86: Interest in emotional wellbeing benefits as an addition to pain relief in OTC analgesics, by age, March 2021
      • Figure 87: OTC healthcare remedies with youthful and wellness-inspired packaging, 2019 and 2020
    • Added sleep aids are a keen interest across the board
    • Stress relief messaging in own-label ranges could appeal
      • Figure 88: Interest in stress/anxiety-relieving benefits as an addition to pain relief in OTC analgesics, by DE socioeconomic group and parents of under-18s, March 2021
    • Interest in bone health can engage young adults
      • Figure 89: Interest in bone health support as an addition to pain relief in OTC analgesics, by age, March 2021
  20. Experience of Colds and Flu

    • COVID-19 preventative behaviours reduce spread of ailments
      • Figure 90: Types of cold/flu and cough/sore throat (not as symptoms of cold/flu) suffered in the last 12 months, March 2019, March 2020 and March 2021
    • Encourage young people to think more about health and hygiene
      • Figure 91: Types of cold/flu and cough/sore throat (not as symptoms of cold/flu) suffered in the last 12 months, by age, March 2021
    • Stress and immune boosting remedies can appeal to parents
      • Figure 92: Types of cold/flu and cough/sore throat (not as symptoms of cold/flu) suffered in the last 12 months, by parental status, March 2021
  21. Treatments Sought for Colds and Flu

    • Usage of treatments declines reflecting severity of ailments
      • Figure 93: Treatments sought for cold/flu, March 2020 and March 2021
    • Added wellness benefits can appeal to 25-34s
      • Figure 94: Treatments sought for cold/flu, by 25-34s, March 2020 and March 2021
      • Figure 95: The Nue Co Forest Lungs Eau de Parfum, 2020
    • Women seek out healthy alternatives
    • Design topical OTC remedies for convenience demands
      • Figure 96: Treatments sought for cough/sore throat (not as symptoms of a cold/flu), March 2020 and March 2021
    • Promote OTC remedies through men’s health services
      • Figure 97: Selected treatments sought for cough/sore throat (not as symptoms of a cold/flu), by gender, March 2021
  22. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology
  23. Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

    • OTC analgesics forecast
      • Figure 98: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of OTC analgesics (prepared on 7 May 2021), 2015-25
    • OTC cough, cold and flu remedies forecast
      • Figure 99: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of OTC cough, cold and flu remedies (prepared on 7 May 2021), 2015-25
    • Forecast methodology

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