Consumers’ perception of sleep aids: OTCs, natural products, and devices

After significant gains in recent past, sales of OTC sleeping aids slow, but alternatives show promise

Findings from our upcoming Nonprescription Drugs USA study estimate that sales of OTC sleeping aids post 3.4% growth to reach $244 million at the factory level in 2016.

After seeing significant growth rates ranging from 50.0% to 15.0% per year in the recent past, the market for OTC sleeping aids is still growing, but at a much slower pace. ZzzQuil (Procter & Gamble), Unisom (Sanofi), and private-label sleeping aids posted growth while the rest of the market was flat or declining in 2016. The number of consumers who have trouble sleeping or staying asleep continues to exceed the number of consumers who use OTC sleeping aids, leaving this market ripe for more growth. However, alternatives to OTC sleeping aids are plentiful and gaining interest from consumers. Combination sleeping aids/analgesics like Tylenol PM (Johnson & Johnson) and Advil PM (Pfizer) pose competition to OTC sleeping aids. Consumer interest in new technologies, such as sleep apps and monitors, also compete to help the sleepless.

Competition from natural and homeopathic sleeping aid alternatives, such as melatonin-based brands like MidNite (Mylan) and EmergenZZZ (Pfizer), are popular, and many consumers prefer these products as they are not habit forming and do not risk grogginess the next morning. However, the market could be even further crowded in the event of an Rx-to-OTC switch of a prescription sleeping medication, such as Takeda’s Rozerem. This drug could become a large brand on the OTC market as it offers a different mode of action and increased efficacy over the currently available OTC sleep aids. A full analysis of the issues surrounding a switch of Rozerem, including switch probability and OTC sales forecasts, are provided in Kline’s Rx-to-OTC Switch Forecasts USA: Next Frontier study.

Even greater options exist for consumers that have problems sleeping or who want to improve the overall quality of their sleep. Sleep technology products include monitors, apps, and other products incorporating light, sound, motion, and even chill therapy. In 2016, sleep aid monitors launched include Misfit Ray Sleep Monitor (Misfit), Pzizz (Pzizz), and Hello’s Sense (Hello). This follows the 2015 launches of Neuro On Smart Sleep Mask Device (Inteliclinic), ActiGraph (ActiGraph), and Fatigue Science RediBand (Fatigue Science). The growing popularity of sleep apps and sleep monitors may also steal some sales of OTC sleeping aids. Some popular sleep devices include Sleep Number 360 (Sleep Number), UnderArmour’s Recovery Sleepwear (Under Armour), Zeeq Smart Pillow (Zeeq), and Sensorwake’s Oria (Sensorwake). These devices are also very expensive compared to OTC sleep aid tablets and liquids. More details about sleep devices and monitors can be found in Kline’s Sleep Technology: U.S. Market Analysis and Consumer Insights study.

Join us for Kline’s free webinar on Key Issues Trending in the OTC Market on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at 10:30 ET for an in-depth look at the OTC sleeping aids market and many other OTC markets, including probiotics, digestive health, and Rx-to-OTC switches.

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