Consumer Health in Western Europe

April 2024

While coughs, colds and the flu were less prevalent during the home seclusion of 2020, negatively impacting sales of cough and cold remedies in this year, they returned in full in the 2022/2023 winter season, with society fully reopened, boosting this category’s performance in 2022, with sales remaining at a high level in 2023. As health consciousness becomes increasingly important for consumers in Western Europe, this will continue to help drive sales in sports nutrition.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Lifting of Germany experienced a similar trend to many other Western Eurpean countries as demand for a number of products in the cough, cold and allergy remedies category surged in 2022, with sales remaining at a high level in 2023, as coughs, colds and the flu returned with a vengeance in the 2022/2023 winter season with the lifting of all COVID-19 restrictions.COVID-19 restrictions boosts demand for cough and cold remedies

UK OTC sales boosted by the strain on the National Health Servicef

OTC products are beneiting from the strain on the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), with long waiting times for appointments and consultations resulting in more consumers opting to self-medicate. NHS England also recently stopped providing prescription treatments for 35 “minor” ailments to help save costs, with local consumers instead required to purchase OTC medication for these conditions.

Pharmacies the main sales channel, but e-commerce gaining share

Health and beauty specialists continue to be the leading distribution channel, with almost two thirds of consumer health sales in the region. However, e-commerce continues to gain share, accounting for 18% of sales in Western Europe as a whole and 30% in Germany, the region’s biggest market. While large marketplace players like Amazon, Douglas or Kaufland are driving e-commerce sales in Germany, drugstore chains are also strengthening their online operations.

Sports nutrition to see the fastest forecast period growth

Consumption of sports nutrition products is expected to continue increasing in the coming years, driven by rising demand among its traditional customer base of athletes, gym-goers, fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders, as well as expanding usage among non-traditional users, who are helping bring such products into the mainstream.

Key findings
Western Europe seeing relatively slow growth in its consumer health sales
Weak performances in 2020 and 2023, with growth expected from 2024
OTC and vitamins and dietary supplements with almost 90% of regional sales
Sports nutrition a dynamic product in Western Europe
Coughs, colds and the flu return with a vengeance in winter 2022/2023
UK adds the most new sales, boosted by self-medication and Rx-to-OTC switches
Healthcare system weaknesses in France and the UK are helping to drive OTC sales
Pharmacies the leading consumer health retail distribution channel
Retail e-commerce continues to gain share in Western Europe
Fragmented competitive landscape in Germany, the region’s biggest market
Bayer looking to create “mega brands” in UK consumer health
Top 10 players all have a wide presence across the Western European region
Strepsils moves back up to the seventh place it lost during the pandemic
Positive growth expected throughout the 2023-2028 period in Western Europe
Healthcare system problems should boost sales in France and the UK
Austria: Market Context
Austria: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Belgium: Market Context
Belgium: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Denmark: Market Context
Denmark: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Finland: Market Context
Finland: Competitive and Retail Landscape
France: Market Context
France: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Germany: Market Context
Germany: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Greece: Market Context
Greece: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Ireland: Market Context
Ireland: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Italy: Market Context
Italy: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Netherlands: Market Context
Netherlands: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Norway: Market Context
Norway: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Portugal: Market Context
Portugal: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Spain: Market Context
Spain: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Sweden: Market Context
Sweden: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Switzerland: Market Context
Switzerland: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Turkey: Market Context
Turkey: Competitive and Retail Landscape
UK: Market Context
UK: Competitive and Retail Landscape

Consumer Health

It is the aggregation of OTC, Vitamins and Dietary Supplements (VDS), Sports Nutrition, and Weight Management and Wellbeing

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