The cold/flu and allergy seasons hit hard in 2019, thereby balancing the generally negative factors and leading to a slightly slower decline in sales. While the flu season generally begins in December, it struck late in January 2019 according to reports from the Bundesamt für Gesundheit (BAG), (the Federal Health Office), but more intensely, with more cases than usual.
Swiss consumers frequently opt for alternative, natural or even homoeopathic remedies such as hot steam baths or inhalations with ethereal/essential oils, such as eucalyptus, nasal rinses and teas for treatment for coughs, colds or hay fever. In addition they continue to try to boost their immune systems and health through healthier lifestyles, changed diets or the use of vitamins and dietary supplements, thereby decreasing the overall demand for cough, cold, allergy (hay fever) remedies.
When using medications for cough, cold and allergies, Swiss consumers often prefer to turn to their doctors’ advice, favouring prescription medication as it is usually faster acting and reimbursable by the Swiss health insurance system. When choosing OTC products, quick and effective products are particularly popular, which led medicated confectionery and combination products - cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies to be the only categories to record retail value growth in 2019.
The competitive landscape in cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies is fragmented, with the presence of a large number of companies. In 2019, the leading players were multinationals.
Ricola strengthened its share in fourth place in 2019 with its popular products, which not only benefit from their long local history and tradition but also their strong natural positioning. With Swiss consumers increasingly opting for natural remedies, the company has good potential with its large portfolio of natural and mostly locally sourced products.
Changes to the competitive landscape were minimal in 2019, with the leading five companies remaining in their strong positions, and indeed strengthening their shares, due to the high level of fragmentation. Competition remains intense and means that smaller companies struggle with innovations or new product developments.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Health market research database.