Cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies is the largest OTC category in Hungary thanks to continuous demand and wide supply. Regarding cough and cold remedies, January is generally the start of the flu season in Hungary, but the length of the season can vary.
Antihistamines/allergy remedies (systemic) also has strong seasonal demand, with the peak period in Hungary lasting from spring to autumn. Antihistamines/allergy remedies (systemic) is one of the smallest categories within cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies, but it was also the most dynamic category in 2019 reflecting the growing number of allergy sufferers in Hungary.
Paracetamol is one of the main ingredients in the most popular cough and cold remedies, but some Hungarian consumers are not fully aware of its proper dosage and the risks of usage. As a result, some cough and cold remedies containing paracetamol are no longer available in channels such as drugstores/parapharmacies and forecourt retailers and can now only be purchased in chemists/pharmacies.
Within cough remedies there was a growing trend towards herbal/traditional alternatives with some consumers concerned about the side effects of standard options. This trend was in part driven by growing interest in Icelandic moss.
GSK Consumer Healthcare managed to maintain its lead within cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies in 2019, primarily due to the success of its Neo Citran brand, which maintained a strong lead in combination products – cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies. However, along with many other brands, Neo Citran products were withdrawn from channels such as drugstores/parapharmacies and forecourt retailers, and they are now available only in chemists/pharmacies, due to the new legislation on remedies containing paracetamol.
Cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies is a relatively fragmented and congested category and as such players have to invest heavily in marketing and advertising in order to maintain brand awareness and loyalty. 2018/2019 saw a range of new TV adverts including for Angelini Pharma Österreich GmbH’s Tantum Verde brand as well as for Teva Gyógyszergyár Zrt’s Ambroxol-Teva, with both brands seeing strong growth as a result in 2019.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Health market research database.