Contact bans, movement restrictions, school closures, reduced social interaction and financial woes as a result of the pandemic have all resulted in heightened stress levels, having a negative impact on the physical and mental health of many German consumers in 2020. As consumers sought ways to alleviate stress and address resulting sleep problems, demand for products targeted to resolve these issues therefore rose in 2020, including sleep aids.
Ongoing sleep disorders amongst Germans tends to encourage consumers to resort to OTC products which they can purchase from a pharmacy or drugstore in an attempt to break the sleepless cycle before visiting a doctor to obtain stronger, prescription medicine as many are wary about possible addiction and dependency. This trend also drives the dominance of herbal/traditional products within sleep aids, as many Germans prefer to try natural products which they perceive to be less harmful or have fewer side effects.
The competitive landscape of sleep aids in Germany is relatively consolidated, with GlaxoSmithKline maintaining its overall leadership in 2020 due to wide recognition of its brand Baldriparan, which also has a herbal/traditional positioning. Ranked second is local player STADA Consumer Health Deutschland GmbH which offers the Hoggar Night brand.
Stress, anxiety and sleep disorders are among the leading long-term health concerns amongst German consumers, and this trend is unlikely to wane even after the impact of the pandemic recedes over the forecast period. Products which claim to support better sleep, particularly if they have a more natural positioning, will therefore continue to experience growing demand.
First-generation antihistamines are already on the PRISCUS list (a list of ingredients that are judged to be potentially inappropriate for older consumers), so their use by senior citizens is classified as critical. The Expert Committee for Prescription-Only Issues (SVS) recommends that active ingredients should only be available on prescription for people aged 65 years and over.
Chemists/pharmacies remained the most popular distribution channel for sleep aids in 2020, and this situation is unlikely to be threatened over the forecast period. While e-commerce has shown good growth over the review period, particularly in 2020 as the pandemic encouraged an increasing number of consumers to move online as a result of stay-at-home tendencies, the increase was not as pronounced as it was compared to other OTC products such as analgesics.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Sleep Aids industry in Germany 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 Sleep Aids research and analysis database.
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