Of Aches & Acne
Over-the-counter remedies run the gamut from anti-itch to anti-zit. Some categories
are growing faster than others, and there are several profitable niches to be mined.
Tom Branna • Editorial Director
New Proactiv+ debuted
earlier this year.
CALL IT A MELTING POT of medicated concoctions. Few retail spaces offer more disparate solutions for skin and hair than the over-the-counter aisle of the local pharmacy. All
in one place, shoppers find topical analgesics, diaper rash creams,
first aid kits…even non-prescription hair growth remedies. They
all converge to create a category that grew 2.4% to exceed $21
billion in 2011, according to Kline Group, Parsippany, NJ.
Kline even went a step further, dissected the data and came
up with a $2.4 billion medicated topicals market that rose 3.5% in
2011. This faster-growing segment includes: Anti-itch products;
corn, callus and wart removers; diaper rash; eye care; first aid;
fungicidal preparations; hair regrowth; hemorrhoidal prepara-
tions; oral care products and topical analgesics
Within this set, topical analgesics and hair regrowth formulas
are the top performing categories, according to Laura Mahecha,
industry manager, health care, Kline & Co., Fairfield, NJ.
“Hair regrowth formulas are growing 11% a year and in this
industry, anything that hits double-digits is a star performer.”
What’s driving sales? A lousy economy.
“So many people are looking for jobs and more men, there-
Advances in Acne Treatment
fore, are paying more attention to their appearance. As prices
have come down—store brands can cost 40% less than Rogaine—
more consumers are considering using the products.”
At the same time, more people are reaching for a joint pain
cream rather than running for the doctor. But for the cosmetics in-
dustry, one of the key focuses is on acne—which, unfortunately for
sufferers, seems to impact a growing segment of the population.
Long the bane of teens everywhere, acne does not age-discrim-inate. The American Academy of Dermatology notes that adults
in their 20s, 30s, 40s and even into their 50s can develop acne,
which is caused by overproduction of oil by enlarged oil glands in
the skin, blockage of the hair follicles that release oil and growth
of bacteria (P. acnes) within the hair follicles. As a matter of fact,
acne is the most common skin disorder in the US, affecting 40-50
million Americans. Nearly 85% of all people have acne at some
point in their lives.
Clearly, there’s a market for these products, as data from
SymphonyIRI, Chicago, can attest. Acne treatment sales
approached $640 million in food, drug and mass merchandisers
for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 30, 2012 (see chart, p. 60). Neutrogena
led the way, accounting for more than 12% of sales, followed by
private label acne treatments ( 8.63%) and Clearasil Ultra Rapid
Action ( 5.25%).