The Grocer’s 2017 Top Products Survey, THE definitive guide to the current state of the UK’s grocery industry

There are chill winds blowing through OTC remedies right now. Across the top five sectors, brands are down £11.5m (1.1%). Own label is winning (though sales are masked for commercial reasons in some cases here).

“As OTC growth is slowing down, manufacturers and retailers have to find ways to sustain volume growth to secure future growth, especially as shoppers are finding more occasions to purchase own-label products in supermarkets or in discounters,” says Nielsen client manager Carina Hess.

The key will be convincing shoppers that brands are worth their premium, says Jennifer Rann, head of retail products at Well Pharmacy. “Consumers trade down to own label where they have the most confidence in their purchase,” she says. “But where people require added value or seek reassurance with their purchase, brands continue to win.”

Of the big brand owners, the strongest performers were Pfizer, which has seen combined sales grow £2.8m or 6.5% (thanks to strong growth in Nexium) and GSK, which pledged £80m marketing investment in ‘power brands’ Nurses, Voltarol and others earlier this year. Reckitt Benckiser, which issued its second sales warning of the year in October, saw sales of its 18 biggest brands fall £9.6m, or 3.6%.


sudafed sinus

Sudafed Sinus Pain Relief by J&J

This launch from Johnson & Johnson doesn’t mess about. Containing a potent blend of pseudoephedrine hydrochloride (which narrows swollen blood vessels in the nose to help mucus and air flow more freely) and ibuprofen (which tackles pain and inflammation), each pack contains 16 of the strongest OTC painkillers for sinus pain. J&J says a single pill will destroy sinus pain for up to eight hours, and the powerful pills will also sort out ‘headaches, fevers and other discomforts’.

Related files/tables

The Grocer Top Products Survey 2017: Up!