REMEDIES aren’t just for winter. Generally there is an all-round trend for increased sales in over-the-counter medicines through the convenience channel with Mintel estimating that sales could reach over £700m in the next five years, said Andrew Freestone, commercial director of SHS Sales & Marketing UK, which sells Johnson & Johnson’s winter remedies in the wholesale and convenience channel in the UK.
Colds and flu are suffered year round but there is a seasonal increase in cases during autumn and winter and he suggested retailers should increase space for cold and flu products during those months. Lines such as allergy-relief products will be less in demand.
Recent research from Johnson & Johnson showed that as many as 87% of all cold and flu sufferers use a shop-bought product to treat their symptoms, he said.
Leading national brands are particularly in demand, he added, and he suggested retailers stock brands such as Sudafed and Benylin that shoppers can instantly recognise.
The research also found that sufferers can experience up to 10 different symptoms per episode of cold with 97% of people choosing a remedy that specifically targets their most troublesome symptom. So, he suggested retailers should stock a range of products that treat specific problems such as a chesty cough or blocked nose.
At over-the-counter remedies supplier RB, senior brand manager Kate Sweeney said:
“The cold and flu category is important for both pharmacy and grocery and it is crucial for retailers to get their offer right for their customers and make the most of the season.
“RB with its Nurofen, Lemsip, Strepsils and Gaviscon brands, literally has winter ‘all wrapped up’ for the retailer: leading brands that customers want, with direct to consumer TV, online, social media and out-of-home campaigns to the value of over £12m. Campaigns break in October and continue through until spring 2015.”