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UK OTC Analgesics and Cold and Flu Remedies market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the OTC Analgesics and Cold and Flu Remedies market, its consumers and the major players who make up that market.

Market

Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Hera Crossan, 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 British population is facing a health crisis – it is getting older, more overweight and a growing culture of ‘presenteeism’ is resulting in many employees placing additional stress and strain on their bodies when rest and recuperation is what’s needed. The OTC analgesics and cold and flu remedies market has been well placed to benefit from growing pressure on the NHS, however, increasing confidence in own-label products threatens to undermine value growth. Hera Crossan
Health Analyst

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

This report discusses the following key topics:

Products covered in this Report

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

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Own-label continues to challenge market growth
              • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of OTC analgesics and cold and flu remedies, 2013-23
            • Changes to NHS England prescription services are a potential positive
              • Companies and brands
                • Nurofen leads the way in analgesics
                  • Figure 2: Retail value sales of all OTC analgesics, % share by brand, year ending May 2018
                • Lemsip solidifies leadership in cold and flu remedies
                  • Figure 3: Retail value sales of cold and flu remedies, % share by brand, year ending May 2018
                • Benylin stretches lead in cough liquids
                  • Figure 4: Retail value sales of cough liquids, % share by brand, year ending May 2018
                • Strepsils grows market share in medicated confectionery
                  • Figure 5: Retail value sales of medicated confectionery, % share by brand, year ending May 2018
                • Topical analgesics drive NPD
                  • Figure 6: New product launches in the OTC analgesics market, by launch type, January 2015-April 2018
                • Increased NPD focus on non-ingested cold and flu remedies returns
                  • Figure 7: New product development in the cough, cold and flu remedies market, by launch type, January 2015-April 2018
                • The consumer
                  • Headache most commonly experienced
                    • Figure 8: Types of pain suffered in the last 12 months, April 2018
                  • Oral remedies still most sought
                    • Figure 9: Treatments sought for types of pain, April 2018
                  • Paracetamol the leading oral analgesic
                    • Figure 10: OTC oral remedy formats used, April 2018
                  • Wraps enjoy a younger age profile
                    • Figure 11: OTC topical remedy formats used, April 2018
                  • 31% prepared for pain
                    • Figure 12: Behaviours around experiencing pain, April 2018
                  • Women drive experience of colds
                    • Figure 13: Types of cold/flu and cough/sore throat (not as symptoms of cold/flu) suffered in the last 12 months, April 2018
                  • Women suffer more symptoms
                    • Figure 14: Cold and flu symptoms experienced in the last 12 months, by gender, April 2018
                  • Oral remedies most chosen
                    • Figure 15: Treatments sought for cold/flu and cough/sore throat (not as symptoms of cold/flu), April 2018
                  • Too busy to take care
                    • Figure 16: Behaviours around dealing with colds and flu, April 2018
                  • Own-label products trusted
                    • Figure 17: Attitudes towards OTC remedies for treating pains and ailments, April 2018
                  • What we think
                  • Issues and Insights

                    • People won’t slow down to get well
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                          • NHS ‘crisis’ provides an opportunity for OTC brands and pharmacies
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                                • Own-label continues to undermine value growth
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                      • Own-label continues to challenge market growth
                                        • Topical analgesics see 3% value growth
                                          • Sugar concerns could be driving down sales of cold and flu remedies
                                            • Chemists see sales fall…
                                              • …but changes to NHS England prescription services are a potential positive for the channel
                                                • Obesity levels remain high
                                                  • Ageing population likely to increase need for OTC analgesics…
                                                    • …but low birth rate is a challenge
                                                      • Increase in ‘presenteeism’ increases demand for OTC remedies
                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                        • Own-label continues to challenge market growth
                                                          • Figure 18: UK retail value sales of OTC analgesics and cold and flu remedies, at current and constant prices, 2013-23
                                                        • Market forecast to return to growth
                                                          • Figure 19: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of OTC analgesics and cold and flu remedies, 2013-23
                                                        • Forecast methodology
                                                        • Market Segmentation

                                                          • Topical analgesics see 3% value growth
                                                            • Figure 20: UK retail value sales of OTC analgesics, by segment, 2016-18
                                                          • Sugar concerns could be driving down sales of cold and flu remedies…
                                                            • Figure 21: UK retail value sales of OTC cough, cold and flu remedies, by segment, 2016-18
                                                          • …whilst maximum-strength products may also be impacting on the category
                                                          • Channels to Market

                                                            • Chemists see sales fall
                                                              • Figure 22: UK retail value sales of OTC analgesics, cough, cold and flu relief and medicated confectionery, by outlet type, 2016-18
                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                            • Obesity levels remain high
                                                              • Figure 23: Trends in body mass index (BMI), England, 1995-2016
                                                            • Sugar concerns rise
                                                              • Figure 24: Sugar Awareness Week, 30 October-5 November 2017
                                                            • Ageing population likely to increase need for OTC analgesics
                                                              • Figure 25: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2012-22
                                                            • Low birth rate challenges the category
                                                              • Figure 26: Trends in number of live births (thousands), and mean age of mothers at the birth of their child, England and Wales, 2010-16
                                                            • Flu vaccinations advance
                                                                • Figure 27: Flu vaccination rate, by selected demographics, 2017 vs 2016
                                                              • NHS under increased pressure
                                                                • Cuts to NHS minor ailment scheme
                                                                  • Figure 28: List of conditions for which prescribing should be restricted (according to NHS England), April 2018
                                                                • Increase in ‘presenteeism’ increases demand for OTC remedies
                                                                  • Figure 29: Employment trends (thousands), by gender, 2012-22
                                                              • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                • Nurofen leads in analgesics
                                                                  • Lemsip solidifies leadership in cold and flu remedies
                                                                    • Topical analgesics drive NPD
                                                                      • Increased NPD focus on non-ingested cold and flu remedies returns
                                                                        • DDD Group doubles recorded adspend on analgesics
                                                                          • Adspend levels for cough, cold and flu remedies drop below NPD
                                                                            • Anadin well known but uninspiring
                                                                              • Covonia most likely to be recommended
                                                                              • Market Share

                                                                                • Nurofen leads in analgesics
                                                                                  • Figure 30: Retail value sales of OTC analgesics, by brand, years ending May 2017 and 2018
                                                                                • Lemsip solidifies leadership in cold and flu remedies
                                                                                  • Figure 31: Retail value sales of cold and flu remedies, by brand, years ending May 2017 and 2018
                                                                                • Benylin stretches lead in cough liquids
                                                                                  • Figure 32: Retail value sales of cough liquids, by brand, years ending May 2017 and 2018
                                                                                • Strepsils grows market share in medicated confectionery
                                                                                  • Figure 33: Retail value sales of medicated confectionery, by brand, years ending May 2017 and 2018
                                                                              • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                • Analgesics
                                                                                  • NPD levels off
                                                                                    • Figure 34: New product launches in the OTC analgesics market, by launch type, January 2015-April 2018
                                                                                  • Topical analgesics drive NPD
                                                                                    • Figure 35: New product launches in the OTC analgesics market, by format type, January 2015-April 2018
                                                                                    • Figure 36: Examples of topical OTC analgesics launches, 2017
                                                                                  • Own-label increases focus on topical analgesics
                                                                                    • Figure 37: New product launches in the OTC analgesics market, own-label vs branded, January 2015-April 2018
                                                                                    • Figure 38: Examples of non-ingested own-label launches in the UK OTC analgesics market, 2017
                                                                                  • Topical manufacturers lead the way
                                                                                    • Figure 39: New product launches in the OTC analgesics market, by top 10 ultimate companies and other, 2017
                                                                                  • Convenience claims dominate
                                                                                    • Figure 40: Top 10 claims in the OTC analgesics market, 2017
                                                                                  • Cough, cold and flu remedies
                                                                                    • Decongestants lead NPD
                                                                                      • Figure 41: New product development in the cough, cold and flu remedies market, by sub-category, January 2015-April 2018
                                                                                    • NPD continues its steady rise
                                                                                      • Figure 42: New product development in the cough, cold and flu remedies market, by launch type, January 2015-April 2018
                                                                                      • Figure 43: Examples of new packaging launches in the cough, cold and flu remedies market, 2017
                                                                                    • Increased NPD focus on non-ingested cold and flu remedies returns
                                                                                      • Figure 44: New product development in the cough, cold and flu remedies market*, by format, January 2015-April 2018
                                                                                      • Figure 45: Examples of non-ingested cough, cold and flu remedy launches, 2017
                                                                                    • Own-label NPD falls back
                                                                                      • Figure 46: New product development in the cough, cold and flu remedies market, branded vs own-label, January 2015-April 2018
                                                                                    • Market fragmented
                                                                                      • Figure 47: New product development in the cough, cold and flu remedies market, by top ultimate companies and other, 2017
                                                                                    • Botanical and herbal claims popular
                                                                                      • Figure 48: Top 10 claims in the cough, cold and flu remedies market, 2017
                                                                                      • Figure 49: Examples of cough, cold and flu remedy launches with botanical and herbal claims, 2017
                                                                                  • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                    • Analgesics
                                                                                      • Adspend levels off
                                                                                        • Figure 50: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on OTC analgesics, January 2015-April 2018
                                                                                      • TV continues to dominate
                                                                                        • Figure 51: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on OTC analgesics, by media type, January 2015-April 2018
                                                                                        • Figure 52: A Combogesic Story by Thornton & Ross, May 2018
                                                                                      • DDD Group shows growth
                                                                                        • Figure 53: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on OTC analgesics, by top advertisers and other, January 2016-April 2018
                                                                                        • Figure 54: Mentholatum’s MindYourBack Campaign, October 2017
                                                                                      • Topical analgesics market growth drive Voltarol adspend
                                                                                        • Figure 55: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on OTC analgesics, by top brands and other, 2017
                                                                                      • Cough, cold and flu remedies
                                                                                        • Adspend levels drop below NPD
                                                                                          • Figure 56: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on cold/flu and cough remedies, January 2015-April 2018
                                                                                        • TV leads the way
                                                                                          • Figure 57: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on cold/flu and cough remedies, by media type, January 2015-April 2018
                                                                                          • Figure 58: GSK Day & Night Nurse ad pop-up, January 2018
                                                                                          • Figure 59: Covonia’s social media initiative #FeelThePower, 2018
                                                                                        • Market leaders swap places in adspend
                                                                                          • Figure 60: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on cold/flu and cough remedies, by top advertisers and other, January 2016-April 2018
                                                                                        • Lemsip the leader
                                                                                          • Figure 61: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on cold/flu and cough remedies, by top brands and other, 2017
                                                                                          • Figure 62: Lemsip TV advert for Dry Cough & Sore Throat Oral Solution, 2017
                                                                                        • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                        • Brand Research

                                                                                            • Brand map
                                                                                              • Figure 63: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, April 2018
                                                                                            • Key brand metrics
                                                                                              • Figure 64: Key metrics for selected brands, April 2018
                                                                                            • Brand attitudes: Covonia cares
                                                                                              • Figure 65: Attitudes, by brand, April 2018
                                                                                            • Brand personality: Sudafed accessible
                                                                                              • Figure 66: Brand personality – Macro image, April 2018
                                                                                            • 4head youthful
                                                                                              • Figure 67: Brand personality – Micro image, April 2018
                                                                                            • Brand analysis
                                                                                              • Covonia most likely to be recommended
                                                                                                • Figure 68: User profile of Covonia, April 2018
                                                                                              • 4head seen as youthful
                                                                                                • Figure 69: User profile of 4head, April 2018
                                                                                              • Sudafed regarded as consistently high quality
                                                                                                • Figure 70: User profile of Sudafed, April 2018
                                                                                              • Anadin well known but uninspiring
                                                                                                • Figure 71: User profile of Anadin, April 2018
                                                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                              • Headaches the most commonly experienced pain
                                                                                                • Women more likely to experience pain
                                                                                                  • Paracetamol the leading oral analgesic
                                                                                                    • Wraps enjoy a younger age profile
                                                                                                      • 31% prepared for pain
                                                                                                        • Women drive experience of colds…
                                                                                                          • …whilst flu experience is driven by young men
                                                                                                            • Oral cold and flu remedies most chosen
                                                                                                              • Too busy to take care
                                                                                                                • Own-label products trusted
                                                                                                                • Types of Pain Suffered and Treatments Sought

                                                                                                                  • Headache most commonly experienced
                                                                                                                    • Figure 72: Types of pain suffered in the last 12 months, April 2018
                                                                                                                  • Menstrual pain dominates for women…
                                                                                                                    • …increasing opportunities for topical analgesics
                                                                                                                      • Musculoskeletal pain increases with age
                                                                                                                        • Back pain an ‘ageless’ concern
                                                                                                                          • Oral remedies still most sought
                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Treatments sought for types of pain, April 2018
                                                                                                                        • Analgesic Formats

                                                                                                                          • Paracetamol the leading oral analgesic
                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: OTC oral remedy formats used, April 2018
                                                                                                                          • Wraps enjoy a younger age profile
                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: OTC topical remedy formats used, April 2018
                                                                                                                        • Behaviours around Experiencing Pain

                                                                                                                          • 31% prepared for pain
                                                                                                                            • Figure 76: Behaviours around experiencing pain, April 2018
                                                                                                                        • Experience of Colds and Flu and Treatments Sought

                                                                                                                          • Women drive experience of colds…
                                                                                                                            • Figure 77: Types of cold/flu and cough/sore throat (not as symptoms of cold/flu) suffered in the last 12 months, April 2018
                                                                                                                          • …while younger men drive flu experience
                                                                                                                            • Non-cold/flu-related coughs and sore throats could still nudge sufferers towards cold remedies
                                                                                                                              • Women suffer more symptoms
                                                                                                                                • Figure 78: Cold and flu symptoms experienced in the last 12 months, by gender, April 2018
                                                                                                                              • Oral remedies most chosen
                                                                                                                                • Figure 79: Treatments sought for cold/flu and cough/sore throat (not as symptoms of cold/flu), April 2018
                                                                                                                            • Behaviours around Dealing with Colds and Flu

                                                                                                                              • Too busy to take care
                                                                                                                                • Figure 80: Behaviours around dealing with colds and flu, April 2018
                                                                                                                              • Prevention over cure important for 32%
                                                                                                                              • Attitudes towards OTC Analgesics and Cold and Flu Remedies

                                                                                                                                • Own-label products trusted
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 81: Attitudes towards OTC remedies for treating pains and ailments, April 2018
                                                                                                                                • 39% have confidence in homemade remedies
                                                                                                                                  • Seniors think claims are unrealistic
                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

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

                                                                                                                                              • Figure 82: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of OTC adult oral analgesics, 2013-23
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 83: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of OTC paediatric analgesics, 2013-23
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 84: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of OTC topical analgesics, 2013-23
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 85: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of OTC cold remedies, 2013-23
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 86: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of OTC cough liquids, 2013-23
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 87: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of medicated confectionery, 2013-23