The Irish allergy remedies market increased by 2% in current value terms in 2012, to reach €74 million. There was a significant move away from purchasing non-essential items, and many consumers opted for lower-priced and generic products, which also further impacted value sales.
Despite the poor summer weather, antihistamines/allergy remedies continued to record solid current value growth of 4%. Approximately 500,000 Irish people are affected by seasonal rhinitis, whilst many others also use antihistamines for other conditions.
Recent years saw the hay fever season extend beyond the summer months, with symptoms presenting from March through to September, rather than the more usual June to August. Moreover, more recent products to the market do not cause drowsiness, making them more attractive to consumers, and benefiting value sales in the category.
There are a wide range of factors affecting consumers' choice of products. Whilst brand-loyalty and a family history of use are strong features in the Irish market, so too is efficacy, as well as recommendations from health professionals such as doctors and pharmacists. For allergy sufferers the overriding driver is efficacy, with the majority of consumers requiring efficient and long-lasting effects.
Products such as Olbas, Vicks Vapo Rub and Karvol, already popular with parents, are expected to become more widely used, alongside other herbal/traditional products, such as eucalyptus oil as a decongestant, in the face of reduced options for children under six years of age.
Advertising campaigns tend to be seasonal in nature, with, for example, a prevalence of advertising for antihistamines/allergy remedies during the spring and summer months from March through to August.
Nasal decongestant drops is expected to see the strongest performance through to 2017, with a constant value compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4%, due to a wider range of products available; however, this is from an extremely low base. Oral decongestants is expected to see a similar rate of growth, as new non-drowsy formulations come to the fore.
For more information on the Irish allergy remedies market, see the latest research: Irish Allergy Remedies Market
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