Laboratoires URGO continued to lead the France wound care market in 2012, accounting for a 34% value share. Building on its very strong reputation in France, the company continued to add value to this category in 2012 through premium innovations and the broadening of its product range in order to cater for specifically-targeted needs. To continue supporting its strong innovation strategy, the company started the construction of a new €8 million factory in 2012 (in Dijon, in the east of France, scheduled to be operational in 2013) which will be dedicated to improving its industrial testing and production capacity.
Bolstered by a frenetic innovation spree from the key players, sticking plasters/adhesive bandages saw the fastest growth of 2% in current value terms in 2012. First aid kits saw less of a decline in 2012 than in 2011, as it benefited from the ongoing community incentive of Beiersdorf (in collaboration with the Red Cross Society), as well as the new impetus given by Laboratoires Mercurochrome's launch of a new decorative first aid kit in April.
Wound care is expected to see a negative constant value CAGR of 1% over the next five years. It is highly possible that multinational players will retaliate with similar innovations at lower prices in order to recover their shares, thus driving down the overall value of the category. Furthermore, a prolonged economic downturn may dampen the growth potential for premium innovations, as the thrifty French population switches to more economical substitutes such as private label wound care products. In addition, a more pragmatic French population may not necessarily continue to adhere to the ongoing sophistication of the category by continually using technologically-advanced, more expensive products for treating small wounds. Disposable incomes are too low for such products, which are often deemed as secondary, occasional consumables.
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