While the 24-hour character of modern lifestyles and the constant access to information and other people provided by smartphones have eroded traditional sleeping patterns, OTC sleep aids is struggling to tap into the increasing prevalence of conditions such as insomnia. This is largely due to the wide range of alternatives available to treat sleep disorders.
Consumer concerns about the impact of taking OTC sleep aids are supporting a trend towards interest in sleep hygiene – creating conditions conducive to good sleep. In Japan, it is common to firstly seek to deal with sleeping problems naturally by reconsidering daily lifestyle and the rising awareness of sleep hygiene builds on this foundation.
Whilst consumers with milder symptoms seek treatment from alternative products, consumers with more serious concerns often opt for professional help. In the review period, the number of clinics and salons which specialise in sleeping disorders increased, promoting professional treatment.
SSP, which was acquired by French multinational, Sanofi, in 2017, remained the clear leader in sleep aids, at the end of the review period. The company’s brand, Drewell, has achieved high levels of awareness amongst consumers, which helps to maintain its presence in the market.
The challenges facing sleep aids players and the shifting character of consumer demand were underlined by Kobayashi Pharmaceutical’s efforts to turn its sleep aid brand, Nightmin, in a different direction in the review period. In 2017, the brand launched a non-medicated mouth closing tape under the Nightmin brand.
Moves such as Kobayashi Pharmaceutical’s and the lack of major activity within sleep aids itself point to the category’s ongoing decline and the fact that the sleep industry is shifting towards an ever-growing range of natural and non-medicated remedies, including food and drink, bedding, lifestyle, bathing, exercise and stress relief.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Health market research database.