Multi-symptom NPD is driving up the value of a cold relief market that is worth £51.5m in grocery, making it the second most valuable winter remedies sub-sector.
Suppliers have spotted the potential of branded, premium remedies that aim to deliver relief on several fronts in one shot, or provide a defence against trouble taking hold in the first place.
GlaxoSmithKline has launched Beechams All-in-One Liquid Pocket Packs, single dose liquid sachets. They come in a six-sachet and two-sachet trial pack either in clip strips or ready-to-use shelf/counter units.
Aiming to extend brand loyalty into the 'max' sector, Pfizer has launched Benylin Cold and Flu Max Strength, while Reckitt Benckiser has introduced the first Lemsip Day & Night capsules, containing analgesic and decongestant.
Reckitt Benckiser says the market is approximately 50% powders, 40% capsules and 10% liquid format products.
This year, it is delivering more choice with a wild berry and hot orange sensation flavour of new Lemsip Soother drink, added menthol in new Lemsip Max Breathe Easy and launched the first drink format sinus product (Lemsip Max Sinus).
Decongestants, which shot up in value in grocery to £46.9m last year, are also a key area for NPD, with Pfizer launching a non drowsy Sudafed Congestion Relief variant and two 'sensory' products: Sudafed inhalant oil and Sudarub chest rub. Product manager Kelly Marcham says the sensory market accounts for a third of the decongestant market and appeals to consumers who "want to stay in a brand but are concerned about mixing ingredients".
Vicks, part of Procter & Gamble, is also launching Vicks Sinus in a maximum strength capsule variant.
However, this year, all eyes will be on its Vicks First Defence Nasal Spray, which broke new boundaries when it was launched last year as a way of stopping the symptoms of a cold before they take hold.
This year, P&G is extending the concept into hand cleansers, specifically Vicks First Defence Protective Hand Foam, which it claims deactivates germs and protects against new ones. This strategy, which targets families with children, is also in favour at Kimberly-Clark, which this year is launching Kleenex Anti-Viral tissues.
Pfizer, meanwhile, has launched a pharmacy-licensed non-drowsy Sudafed Children's Syrup, which it is marketing as helping runny noses. It, like other suppliers to the children's market, will be watching the GSL launch of ibuprofen syrup, currently being marketed as Calprofen, a sister product