The Irish eye care market increased by 1% in current value terms to reach a value of €7 million in 2012.
2012 saw one of the wettest and dullest summers on record, negatively impacting sales of allergy eye care products. Temperatures also remained lower than usual, resulting in lower than usual pollen levels. As a consequence, sales of allergy eye care products remained muted, as those affected by hay fever suffered less severe symptoms.
This low growth rate followed a similar pattern to that seen in the last few years, which also saw poor summer conditions, and was distinctly lower than the 3% growth recorded in 2008-2009. This decline in the rate of growth can further be attributed to the reduction in consumers' spending capacity.
The majority of eye care products in the Irish market are in the form of drops. Drops are easy to apply, and can be used throughout the day without inconvenience, especially in the case of women, who may be wearing eye make-up.
Products associated with the treatment of dry eye conditions are prevalent, as well as those aimed at relieving the discomfort of contact lens use. Furthermore, whilst historically the majority of such products were generally found in chemists/pharmacies, a greater number are now available through supermarkets, further driving volume sales.
The majority of allergy eye care products have been available for many years in the Irish market, and are well-recognised by consumers.
A new report titled 'Eye Care in Ireland,' published on companiesandmarkets.com, states that Reckitt Benckiser Ireland remained the dominant force within the Irish eye care market in 2012, with a 37% value share. The company's Optrex brand remains popularamongst Irish consumers, with a high level of brand recognition.
Sanofi Ireland was second with a 22% value share, thanks to its highly popular Brolene (12% share) and Opticrom (9% share) brands.
The category remains largely underdeveloped in Ireland. Recent additions to product ranges, especially in the form of private label products, may serve to invigorate volume sales somewhat. However, an increase in sales of lower-priced private label products over the longer term may serve to reduce overall value sales.
For more information on the Irish eye care market, see the latest research: Irish Eye Care Market
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