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
As consumers continue to show interest in cannabis products, mass retailers are embracing the products on a limited basis. CVS Pharmacy announced in March 2019 an agreement to sell Curaleaf topical CBD products in 800 of its stores across 10 states, including Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and Tennessee. Walgreens also announced at the end of March it will sell CBD products in cream, patch, and spray forms in 1,500 of its stores in Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois, and Indiana.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
There is no doubt that e-commerce is a rapidly growing channel in the OTC market, but this channel still makes up a relatively small percentage of actual OTC sales—well below 10% of total sales for most OTC categories. However, digital marketing can have profound effects on brand performance even within traditional brick-and-mortar retail channels. Some estimate that digital presence and marketing for OTC brands will impact more than 75% of all sales. For many consumers, their path-to-purchase for OTC remedies often looks like many other categories where the need for the product is immediate. It may begin online with a search for price comparisons or product information but likely end with the actual purchase happening in-store.Continue reading
Quality sleep is a major issue for many Americans. According to data compiled by the American Sleep Association, 50 to 70 million adults in the United States suffer from a sleep disorder. Insomnia is the most common with short-term issues reported by 30.0% of adults and regular insomnia by 10.0%. Sleep disorders tend to become aggravated with age, as 40.0% of people aged 40 to 59 years report short sleep duration, compared with 37.0% people in the 20 to 39 years age group. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that 43.0% of Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 rarely or never get a good night’s sleep on weeknights, and 60.0% experience disruptions in their sleep every night or almost every night.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.
On December 12, 2018, the U.S. Congress passed the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, otherwise known as the Farm Bill. The bill legalizes the production and transportation of hemp and hemp products, among other things. The Farm Bill has been sent to President Trump, who is expected to sign off on it before the end of the year. Marketers of health and beauty products containing Cannabidiol (CBD), which can be sourced from hemp, have anxiously awaited passage of the Farm Bill in the hopes that it will expand the U.S. market for consumer CBD products. However, this market is still burgeoning, and uncertainty about the legality of marketing CBD products nationwide continues to perplex marketers and retailers.
The Farm Bill defines “hemp” as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.” While the definition of hemp will include any part of the Cannabis sativa L. plant, it retains prior regulatory limits used to define industrial hemp by limiting permissible levels of THC concentrations to no more than 0.3%. Hemp and hemp products that meet this definition will be exempt from the definition of “marihuana” (or marijuana) under the Federal Controlled Substances Act, thereby removing it from the list of prohibited Schedule I drugs.
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
Oral contraceptives (OCs), known commonly as “the pill,” are prescription medications that prevent pregnancy. The most common brands of OCs contain hormone combinations of estrogen, progestin, and/or progesterone. These products have been used for years and were first launched on the U.S. prescription market in the 1960s. While OCs resulted in a new era of pregnancy protection for women, they were not without potential side effects to be considered, including risk of blood clots, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and breast cancer (particularly for women who smoke). To date, OCs have proven to be one of the most popular forms of birth control, due to ease of use, efficacy, and their good safety profile for most women. Continue reading
With the growing legalization of marijuana in the United States, consumers are becoming more intrigued with the product beyond its recreational uses. Smaller indie brands such as Optiat and MGC Derma were some of the first to enter into this untapped market, while mainstream players are following suit. In fact, Estée Lauder’s Origins recently introduced Hello Calm: Relaxing and Hydrating Face Mask with Cannabis Sativa Oil.Continue reading