Supplements, allergy drive eye segment


Eye care supplements have become a big growth driver within eye care sets, and for good reason — baby boomers aren’t getting any younger and they plan to see their great grandkids play in the sandbox someday, so eye health is paramount. 

Bausch & Lomb’s Preservision multivitamin leads the charge with growth of 14.7% and $50.5 million in sales for the 52 weeks ended April 15 across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), according to SymphonyIRI Group data. Alcon’s ICaps eye vitamins garnered 11.9% on the way to $22.3 million in annual sales, and Bausch & Lomb’s OcuVite generated $21.4 million in sales, up 28.2%.

According to the latest American Eye-Q survey conducted annually by the American Optometric Association, both baby boomers and their elders have greater awareness around such conditions as glaucoma (39% and 42%, respectively) and diabetic eye disease (38% and 43%, respectively).

As big as the baby boomer — and older — demographic is, allergy is another significant driver behind trips to the eye care aisle, and represents a much broader potential patient base. According to a recent Vistakon online survey, more than 2-in-5 consumers suffer from mild to moderate eye allergy symptoms on a daily basis.  

To that end, at least two suppliers are targeting major eye allergy product launches this year at NACDS Marketplace. Akorn, which last year acquired Advanced Vision Research, is adding Eye Itch Relief to its TheraTears lineup. The new product will become part of an entire system addressing eye allergies that incorporates TheraTears Lubricant Drops and SteriLid Eyelid Cleanser into the regimen. 

Parlaying the awareness generated by its pediatric cough-cold products, Similasan is line extending its homeopathic offerings with Kids Allergy Eye Relief to help establish a branded destination within pediatric cough, cold and allergy sets. Similasan is coupling that launch with Kids Irritated Eye Relief for multisymptom relief from redness, burning, stinging and grittiness.

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