Consumer focus on value, legislative push lead to record-breaking growth in 2016


The graying of the baby boomers, an increased focus on supplementing healthier lifestyles and the steady stream of nasal corticosteroid brands making their way from prescription-only to the more value-oriented OTC aisle were just three significant drivers behind the growth of over-the-counter medicines in 2016.

(To view the full Category Review, click here.)

Sales were on an upward trajectory in each of the top five OTC categories — cough-cold and allergy, vitamins, weight loss and nutrition, pain relief and digestives — which collectively account for 68.9% of all OTC sales.

In fact, sales of all OTC medicines and natural supplements broke records in 2016, reaching $45.8 billion for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 25, 2016, according to IRI. That’s an additional $1.8 billion in sales volume compared with what Drug Store News reported in this space a year ago.

And the outlook for 2017 is looking even better, whether you’re catering to an aging demographic, a consumer in search of healthcare value or an allergy sufferer seeking the latest in OTC remedies.

Baby boomers are getting older. There are 108.7 million adults older than the age of 50, according to AARP, 28.1% of whom are older than 70. In the previous 12 months, 30% of seniors reported buying an allergy remedy, and 29% purchased a cold or flu solution.

According to a study conducted by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, OTCs save consumers and the healthcare system $102 billion each year.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds