Cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies continued to decline in 2019, albeit at a slightly slower rate than in the two previous years. The category continued to suffer at the hands of a number of factors, including the preference among French consumers for prescribed and reimbursed products.
Cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies seems to be stumbling from one ingredient-based crisis to another. Firstly, pharyngeal preparations were under pressure, with the reverse switch to prescription status of flurbiprofen, the active ingredient in Reckitt Benckiser's Strefen.
The only product area seeing dynamic current value growth in recent years, including 2019, was antihistamines/allergy remedies (systemic). These products have been helped by falling rainfall levels in winter and spring, with no or little rain usually meaning more pollen and rising levels of people suffering from allergic reactions.
After having become the leading player a year earlier in 2018, Solinest continued to lead cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies with the Ricola medicated confectionery brand in 2019. It also continued to perform well in 2019, with sales and share growth helped by its introduction of two new variants: Honey Sage and Echinacea Honey Lemon.
In 2019, some of the most dynamic brands were to be found in antihistamines/allergy remedies, notably cetirizine-based products such as Cetirizin Sandoz, Zyrtecset and other generics. In nasal sprays, growth drivers are essential oil-based brands such as ProRhinel Extra Eucalyptus by GlaxoSmithKline, Phytosun Arôms from Omega Pharma and Pranarôm from Pranarôm.
In 2019, Reckitt Benckiser’s Strefen brand was hit by the switch to prescription status of the product’s active ingredient flurbiprofen. This switch came as the country's medicines agency ANSM warned of serious adverse events related to certain NSAIDs over a number of years.
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