Over the five years to 2012, the US cold medicines market has enjoyed stable growth. From 2007 to 2012, revenue rose at an average annual rate of 1.2%, to reach a valuation of $2.3 billion.
The demand for over-the-counter (OTC) cold medicines is primarily linked to the occurrence and severity of cold and flu seasons, and changes in private health insurance coverage. During the recession, a greater percentage of Americans were unemployed, causing the number of individuals with private health insurance coverage to drop.
There are currently 21 companies operating within the US cold medicine market; with no change compared to 2007. Industry manufacturers include large pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Reckitt Benckiser and Johnson & Johnson. These companies produce household brand names such as Robitussin, Advil Cold & Sinus, Mucinex and Tylenol.
Johnson & Johnson Inc remained the category leader (in GBO terms) in the United States cough medicines market during 2011, with a 12% value share held among major brands like Tylenol, Benadryl, Sudafed, and Zyrtec.
Despite this position, the company's share has fallen dramatically - dipping from nearly 21% in 2009 to just over 12% in 2011 - on the back of major and repeated product recalls throughout 2010 and 2011. As a result of these recalls, consumers were unable to locate their traditional brands and were forced to choose alternative brands or private label equivalents.
Private label brands will likely be a continued source of competition for the US cold medicines industry. They are typically owned by retailers or suppliers that do not primarily manufacture the products, often available at drugstores or discount retailers, and have been forecast to gain in popularity over the next five years.
Looking ahead, retail sales growth is projected to slow down for cold medicines to a CAGR of 1% in constant value terms. This predicted growth is significantly lower than what the sector exhibited over the past five years, due to the fact that Rx-to-OTC switches of Zyrtec and Allegra drove dramatic growth in 2008 and 2011.
For more information on the US cold medicines market, see the latest research: US Cold Medicines Market
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