2019 was another year of stable growth of consumer healthcare in Costa Rica. Increased consumer understanding of the importance of adopting healthier and sustainable lifestyles to support personal wellbeing ensured the rising popularity of herbal/traditional products across all consumer health categories, in particular digestive remedies, sleep aids, cough and cold, weight management and wellbeing and dietary supplements.
Current value growth in 2019 outperformed the review period CAGR, reflecting the increased consumer focus on health. Additional levels of segmentation and specialisation was a key driver of growth in 2019, with increased availability of products according to age, gender, use occasion and formats.
Benefiting from their consolidated manufacturing and distribution capacity across the region, strong international pharmaceutical companies, such as GSK Consumer Healthcare and Bayer Centroamérica y El Caribe, maintained their competitive edge in consumer health sales in Costa Rica in 2019. Their brands’ top-of-mind positions, broad levels of segmentation, good availability and affordable pricing strategies continued to set the pace in terms of OTC demand.
Whilst chemists/pharmacies continued to lead the distribution of consumer health in Costa Rica in value terms in 2019, most players made additional efforts to increase their penetration across less traditional channels, in particular modern grocery retailers for all-in-one shopping convenience. Walmart and Auto Mercado even include their own in-store pharmacies to provide a more extensive assortment of OTC and BTC options.
As consumer interest in health, wellness and convenience continues to rise, further growth and development opportunities for preventive consumer health in Costa Rica is anticipated over the forecast period. Herbal/traditional products and basic dietary supplements and vitamins, such as probiotics, minerals, vitamins B and D, sleep aids and articulation/joint support supplements will continue to penetrate as they become more important parts of balanced lifestyles that consider ageing, nutrition, physical activity and proper stress management.
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