The emergence of COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictive lockdown measures in Greece in an attempt to control the spread of the virus urged local consumers to stockpile a number of digestive remedies early on, fearing home confinement for several months. Diarrhoeal remedies is set to record the strongest retail volume growth in 2020, driven by an early surge in demand as diarrhoea was added as a symptom of COVID-19, although anxiety issues during the pandemic may also have supported sales for this product.
The end of 2019 saw the withdrawal of H2 blockers in Greece following the contamination of a high proportion of products based on ranitidine with an impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine, which has the potential to cause cancer. Ranitidine, which was marketed in Greece under the brand name Zantac (GSK Consumer Healthcare), Zoliden (Uni-Pharma SA) as well as various generic brands, was traditionally used to reduce stomach acid and is commonly used to treat heartburn.
The absence of H2 blockers in 2020 is set to have a positive impact on a number of leading players relating to their overall rankings and share. Overall leader Sanofi-Aventis offers leading brand Dulcolax which is supported by strong advertising, including television commercials, while Maalox Plus leads antacids in value terms due to its perceived effectiveness.
The remainder of 2020 is likely to continue to be impacted by behavioural factors in terms of caution over spending prolonged amounts of time outside of the home and decreasing disposable incomes, reducing Greek consumers’ desire to eat out as often as they might have done prior to the emergence of the pandemic, thereby reducing their need for various digestive remedies. This scenario is likely to be exacerbated by the return of stricter lockdown measures during October in certain areas of the country.
The shift from standard to herbal/traditional digestive remedies is set to gather pace over the forecast period, with sales of the latter predicted to record a much stronger performance in comparison to OTC amid increasing product variety and availability and rising consumer awareness. Younger Greek consumers are more conservative in their use of medicine in comparison to previous generations when it comes to minor problems, such as minor digestive issues including heartburn and indigestion.
The dietary habits of Greek consumers are changing as they become increasingly aware of the importance in following a healthy diet, with many consumers looking to further reduce their intake of products such as bread, red meat and dairy. Furthermore, local consumers are also becoming increasingly informed about the benefits of dietary supplements, such as probiotic supplements, in maintaining a healthy gut.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Digestive Remedies industry in Greece with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Digestive Remedies research and analysis database.
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