Sales within the Australian eye care market grew by 4% through 2012, reaching a value of A$131 million. Key factors that played a part in this growth include the ageing population, continued urbanisation, and strong hay fever seasons.
Urbanisation is playing a significantly large role in driving demand for eye care products as issues such as dust and pollution, air conditioning, working with computer screens and changes in temperature all contribute to dry eye symptoms.
Dry eye standard eye care offerings have grown over the review period to account for 72% of value sales in 2012. Growth is attributed to the growth of the older population in Australia. The over-65 portion of the population in 2012 was 3.2 million people, having grown from 3.1 million in 2011.
Supermarkets accounted for 23% of eye care sales in 2012. Although the traditional eye care retail distribution channel of chemists/pharmacies is still more popular, the growth of eye care sales through supermarkets has meant eye care offerings are now purchased as part of a regular shopping trip, not purely as a destination purchase.
With the growing importance of supermarket distribution within eye care, eye care players are paying closer attention to product packaging. The trade-off for good exposure and high foot traffic found in supermarket distribution is that supermarkets offer less in-store customer service, compared to chemists/pharmacies, and also offer less dedicated shelf space. To compensate for this, producers are placing more emphasis on product packaging.
Allergan Australia Pty Ltd led sales in eye care in Australia over 2012. The company has a 33% share of sales in value terms. The Refresh brand registered a 14% share of eye care; sales of Refresh significantly contributed to Allergan Australia Pty Ltd's leading position. However, it was the company's smaller brands which contributed to its rise in share in 2012.
Alcon Laboratories (Aust) Pty Ltd was the second largest player in eye care in Australia, with a value share of 28%. The company's leading brand was Systane, which accounted for 10% of value sales of eye care in 2012. Johnson & Johnson Pacific Pty Ltd is also a significant player with a 12% brand share.
Allergy eye care is expected to see a higher compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4% in constant value terms through 2017, the fastest rate within the eye care category as a whole. Many in Australia are predicting wetter weather over the next five years than that seen over the previous decade, when the continent was experiencing drought.
The drought broke in 2010 and higher rainfall figures have been seen since; this has led to higher instances of hay fever, which in turn has increased demand for allergy eye care.
For more information on the Australian eye care market, see the latest research: Australian Eye Care Market
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