Children’s Cough and Cold – Preparing for Back-to-School Germs

October 26, 2016By Focus on the Pharmacy Front End Blog

Over the next couple of months, I will be submitting several blog posts on the state of the Cold & Allergy category and what to look forward to. These blog posts will be subcategory specific and will include product information, new item launches, an explanation on how the subcategory is performing, and tips on how to make the most out of the cold, flu, and allergy seasons. Seeing as how we are still at the beginning of the back-to-school season, I thought I would share some information on the children’s cold & allergy subcategory.


It’s that time of year again when children have headed back to school and begun mingling with hundreds of kids they hadn’t seen all summer. If they got through the couple of months without a cough or sniffle, they are lucky. Be prepared for the nearly inevitable illnesses on the horizon by stocking the symptom reducers they will need to treat their colds.

Capitalize on Children’s Homeopathic Remedies

Homeopathic products represent a 23% unit share of the children’s cold & allergy subcategory compared to a 14.4% share just two years ago. Children’s cold & allergy homeopathic sales have grown 15% in that same timeframe.  Dollar sales of pediatric cough, cold, flu, and nasal subcategory grew by $5.3 million, and homeopathy products are a big reason for this growth.1 According to Zarbee’s, their sales have increased 34% over the past year within the children’s cough and cold segment. Most of these trends are seen in the mass and chain classes of trade, as the independent pharmacy channel is a bit slower to catch up; however, these top-selling children’s homeopathic products are in your Cold & Allergy planogram, if you are a TEMPS® subscriber.

Key children’s homeopathic products:

  • Zarbee’s Baby Cough Syrup + Mucus 2oz – UPC - 89811500267Cold and Allergy
  • Zarbee’s Children’s Cough Syrup with Dark Honey 4oz – UPC - 89811500218
  • Similasan Kids Cold & Mucus Relief 4oz – UPC - 09484125615
  • Similasan Jr Strength Cough & Fever Tabs 40ct – UPC - 09484150003
  • Hyland’s For Kids Cold n’ Cough 4oz – UPC - 35497330751
  • Boiron Chestal Children’s Cough Relief Honey 6.7oz – UPC - 30696906828

Private label still holds the lion’s share of children’s cold & allergy sales within independent pharmacies at 25%, followed by Mucinex at 8%, and Benadryl at 7%.2 The recalls of products in the early 2010s had a significant effect on sales within the children’s subcategories. Private label was the beneficiary of a lack of availability of core brands like Tylenol and Dimetapp and has yet to relinquish their shares.

To cover the cold and flu season, stock your shelves with the most productive items. Add an additional product or two to the mix that you are not currently carrying and maintain excellent in-stock condition so your customers don’t leave your store without making a purchase. Also maintain stock on ancillary items like electrolytes and stomach remedies, which are used to help young patients suffering from colds.


  1. Nielsen xAOC 52 Weeks ended March 16, 2016
  2. Hamacher Resource Group Wholesaler Withdrawal Data ended June 30, 2016