The COVID-19 pandemic has consumers scrambling to do more than kill germs on hands and surfaces. Amid the chaotic situation of out-of-stock shelves for cleaning products, hand soaps, and paper products, consumers are seeking ways to bolster their immune systems by eating more whole foods, increasing rest, and exercising. As a result, the nutritional supplements category is witnessing a strong surge in demand as customers turn toward multivitamins, single-letter vitamins, and specialty supplements. For one, Vitamin C products have seen a strong uptick in sales, as have other specialty supplements such as elderberry, zinc, and echinacea.
The U.S. FDA announced approval of three Rx-to-OTC switches on February 14, 2020. One is GlaxoSmithKline’s OTC version of its topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) pain reliever, Voltaren Gel (diclofenac sodium topical gel, 1%). This OTC medication will be indicated for temporary relief of joint pain and stiffness due to the most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, which increases with age, affects millions of people in the U.S., and can generally be self-diagnosed. Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more of the joints. Symptoms of arthritis include pain, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty moving a joint. This medication has been sold without a prescription safely for years in Europe and marks the first topical analgesic with anti-inflammatory properties available without a prescription in the United States. It also offers another non-opiate option for those suffering from chronic arthritis pain. Continue reading
There is growing awareness of the connection between probiotics and immunity. Studies show that bacteria found in probiotics assist in the maturation of immune cells and helps reduce undesirable bacteria in the body. More probiotics with immune-boosting claims are entering the category. Research continues to drive interest in probiotics and improved health. Continue reading
With the uptake of consumer CBD (cannabidiol) products rising at record growth rates, the need to assure consumers of product safety and transparency is of elevated importance. The purpose of the FDA’s Scientific Data and Information about Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-Derived Compounds public hearing on May 31, 2019 was to give consumers, academia, manufacturers, health care professionals, and other constituents the forum to share their knowledge and/or point of view on CBD, along with their input and/or recommendations to the FDA. Based on the presentations and comments made by manufacturers, Kline’s top three takeaways are as follows:Continue reading
In the OTC market, where year-over-year growth remains low to flat, more brands are embracing the importance of digital marketing to help drive stronger gains. For smaller brands seeking to punch above their weight class, digital marketing represents a great equalizer. It’s a more efficient strategy to reach a greater swath of target demographics, and when done well, the digital marketing can take on a life of its own by going viral. The savviest of marketers, though, spend heavily on digital and then challenge purveyors of traditional marketing outreach to match both the scope and price savings associated with keyword buys, social media brand building, and blogging community connections.Continue reading
With the recent OTC industry consolidation and mergers, many seasoned executives have left large OTC companies and moved on to smaller, independent companies where their past experience brings success in a nimbler environment, focused on specific brands and categories. Based on primary research for our soon-to-be published report, OTC Indies: U.S. Analysis of Independent OTC Companies, there are several examples of seasoned OTC executives driving growth at small, independent companies.Continue reading
The market for natural OTC products continues to see double-digit year-over-year sales growth, while the traditional OTC market struggles with only 2%-3% growth each year. Kline defines natural OTCs as drug-free, non-monograph products that may contain natural, plant, or herb-based ingredients. Natural OTCs can be homeopathic products and often make claims of support, prevention, maintenance and/or treatment of minor ailments. What seems to work for natural OTCs is honesty and transparency of ingredients. Millennials are driving demand for natural OTC products that have natural ingredients and help treat minor ailments without harmful ingredients or unwanted side effects. Millennials are also becoming parents and are also demanding natural products for their children.
Unlike most of the large, traditional OTC players, small, independent OTC companies have recently recorded double-digit sales growth. These companies often outpace market growth by offering unique brands, uncommon and often natural ingredients, focused distribution, and a strong online presence, frequently combined with compelling digital marketing that resonates with today’s OTC consumers. Identifying these market disruptors and learning the factors that make them resonate with consumers and retailers is crucial. Continue reading
At the end of July 2018, Johnson & Johnson announced it has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Zarbee’s Naturals for an undisclosed sum. Zarbee’s is a privately-held company that was started by pediatrician Dr. Zak Zarbock in 2008 with the mission of creating naturally sourced cough, cold, and immunity products for children and adults. Zarbee’s first product was a honey-based kids’ cough syrup made with vitamin C and zinc and free of alcohol, drugs, and artificial flavors. Over the last decade, Zarbee’s Naturals has grown into a broad-based health and wellness brand. This brand and others like it have disrupted the cough and cold category, where traditional marketers are struggling to see real sales growth.
Preliminary results from Kline’s Laundry Chemical Products USA: Market Analysis and Opportunities research uncover trends impacting the market. Kline is in the process of conducting hundreds of structured interviews with end users of laundry chemicals, as well as in-depth interviews with suppliers, distributors, and others knowledgeable about the market for commercial laundry chemicals. The research for the report due to be published this summer has uncovered some interesting trends. For example, long-term care and assisted living facilities rather than hospitals are driving sales growth of laundry chemicals for healthcare. Growth in hospitality laundry is being restrained by the increasing popularity of AirBnB and other short-term rental options. Laundry from some of these properties is done on site in a home-style machine.Continue reading