While prevention and boosting immunity have always been important tools in self–care, since the COVID-19 pandemic started in the United States in March 2020, consumers have wholeheartedly embraced using various vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other products to ward off illness and help support their immune systems. Immune support products can span multiple product types but typically include one or more of the following:
- Vitamins: vitamin C, vitamin D
- Herbals: echinacea, elderberry, ashwagandha, turmeric
- Minerals: magnesium, zinc, selenium, and iron
- Amino acids: glutamine
Regular supplementation with immune support products has become a common first line of defense for consumers trying to avoid illness, with traditional cold medications that treat symptoms being used only occasionally as needed. Often, immune support supplements are taken on a daily basis, and dosages may be increased when sick. Immune support products can offer the following benefits:
- Strengthen the immune system
- Enhance immune response
- Decrease the odds of developing colds or flu
- Shorten the duration or lessen the severity of colds or flu
- Improve allergy symptoms
- Fight inflammation and stress
Sales of leading immune support brands are skyrocketing as consumers use these products on a regular basis to ward off coronavirus and other viruses. Several immune support brands have experienced triple-digit gains recently, including Johnson & Johnson’s Zarbee’s, PharmaCare’s Sambucol, and Nestlé’s Garden of Life. Meanwhile, traditional cold treatment-oriented brands such as Robitussin (GSK), Alka-Seltzer Plus (Bayer), Mucinex (Reckitt Benckiser), and Tylenol Cold (Johnson & Johnson) are seeing sales trends that are either declining, flat, or posting only moderate gains. While the trend toward wellness and prevention has been gradually increasing for many years, concerns about COVID-19 are accelerating this trend and causing more consumers to seek out products that help them maintain health in favor of treatment.
Kline’s new subscription service, KlinePULSE Consumer Healthcare Industry Trends, will provide insights and analysis on the topics of prevention versus treatment in addition to many other important topics pertinent to the OTC market, such as Immune Support, Anxiety, Stress, and Mental Wellness, Sleeping Aids, Digestive Health and Probiotics, Cough, Cold and Flu, Allergy, Topical and Oral Analgesics, Retail Channel Distribution Trends, Nutritional Supplements, and Rx-to-OTC Switch case studies; there will also be a Year in Review. To learn more, contact us.