Growth in consumer health continues to be hindered in 2019 by price rises and the higher cost of living in the country due to the introduction of VAT over 2017-2018. As a result, many categories such as: cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies, eye care, wound care, digestive remedies, sleep aids and paediatric consumer health saw negative or no current value growth over 2019.
The Saudi Food & Drug Authority (SFDA) continues to exert its authority over consumer health to better regulate and control sales of these products in the country. The SFDA controls pricing as well as which product categories are allowed to be sold online and without a prescription.
GSK Consumer Healthcare leads consumer health, having been created by the global merger of GlaxoSmithKline with Pfizer. This company benefits from its well-known brands like Panadol and Voltaren.
Internet retailing became increasingly dynamic over 2019 with a number of new players entering Saudi Arabia. Holland & Barrett opened its own Saudi internet retailing site in 2019 as did Marnys and Al-Dawaa.
Despite a rocky end of the review period in overall growth terms, current value sales are expected to pick up over 2020-2024. Consumers will be used to higher prices and VAT on most products and will have been able to absorb the “shock” of the introduction of VAT by the end of the forecast period.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Health market research database.