Multi-format allergy treatments drive sales
The allergy category has grown by more than 5% as a result of longer and more severe hay fever seasons, according to figures from Nielsen.
Sales of over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medicines have reached a value of over Â£116 million with customers increasingly buying into multi-format treatments, such as eye drops and nasal sprays, to achieve targeted relief from allergies such as hay fever.
John Smith, PAGB Chief Executive commented:Â â€œNearly 18 million people suffer with hay fever in the UK and itâ€™s evident that these sufferers are starting to see the benefit of purchasing multiple products. With experts predicting that the number of people suffering from hay fever is only going to rise in coming years, allergy products are a good opportunity for pharmacies to grow their sales during the peak season.â€
Sales of tablets and capsules still dominate the market standing at over Â£80 million, however spray and syrup formats have continued to rise year on year now reaching over Â£18 million (7% growth) and Â£9 million (6% growth) respectively.
Carlo Gavatorta, Nielsen Client Manager for Health & Beauty, added:Â â€œHay fever is a highly seasonal category with around 75% of sales happening between March and August and peaking in June and July. Recent trends have seen an increase in the number of moderate to severe sufferers in the UK with more frequent and longer symptomatic episodes.
â€œWe're likely to see the drops category grow in the coming hay fever season, starting when the weather warms up in April, as shoppers are moving more and more towards this format for its efficacy. These same shoppers are also looking for better and faster nasal and ocular relief, which is reflected in the growth of sprays (+7% value growth). However, tablets remain the key format sought by the average shopper, amounting to 70% of total allergy sales.â€