External Ointments and Gels – What’s spurring the growth?

August 29, 2018By Behind the Shelf Blog

By Colleen Volheim, category research manager

We recently completed our research into categories driving growth in independent pharmacies, drilling down to the segment level to understand where the unit sales are growing by comparing the past three years (2015, 2016, and 2017). The good news is there are 11 categories that have segments increasing in sales, detailed in our infographics series to be released this year. For the August issue of ROI for Manufacturers, we highlighted the gains made in the external ointments and gels segment in the Pain Relief category. There is a recent trend I believe has had a great impact on the growth of this segment: lidocaine.

We saw lidocaine become a popular ingredient among external ointment and gel pain relievers launched back in 2016. That’s likely why we saw a jump from 8.96% unit growth in 2015 to 11.23% in 2016.

Lidocaine has been found to be effective in numbing the nerves and thereby easing pain. Consequently, we’ve seen major pain relief brands adding lidocaine to their various forms of external ointments and gels, and that continues in 2018. Consumers have a wide variety of brands and forms to choose from when they’re shopping this section of the pain relief department.

Additionally, in 2017 as well as in 2018, we are seeing lidocaine in products in other categories such as Digestive Health. Keep an eye out for these exciting introductions.