HRG Reviews Over 2,400 New Items in 2020

March 18, 2021By News

Waukesha, Wisconsin — March 18, 2021 — HRG’s New Item Review team, in its ongoing evaluation of products suitable for the independent pharmacy channel, evaluated 2,402 new health, beauty, and wellness (HBW) items in 2020. This is a decrease of roughly 21.1% from the 3,045 products reviewed in 2019. The decrease can be directly attributed to manufacturers canceling or delaying new item launches due to the global pandemic and supply chain irregularities in 2020. HRG forecasts a higher-than-average total of new item launches in 2021.

Using HRG’s proprietary Star Rating System, the team of analysts awarded Stars to 196 HBW products (representing 8.2% of products introduced in 2020). Despite the high percentage of new product launches that fail, these items are believed to have the highest potential for succeeding and are expected to drive profits in independent pharmacies.

In addition to the large variance in the number of new items introduced in 2019 vs. 2020, the type of products varied greatly as well. In previous years, the highest number of launches was in the beauty classification, whereas in 2020 there were more new wellness items than beauty products.

  • Of the 1,016 wellness products reviewed, 97 were awarded HRG Stars and these items received nearly half — 49.5% — of all Stars awarded. Two wellness items received a coveted HRG Three-star Rating.
  • The second largest classification of new items entering the market were beauty products, representing 41.3% of all HBW launches with 993, and only 10.7% of the HRG Stars awarded.
  • The lowest quantity of new products launched were OTC (over-the-counter) medications at 393, which follows the multi-year trend for this classification. OTCs represented 39.8% of 2020 launches, with two items earning the prestigious HRG Three-star Rating.

There were 666 new items added to the market within the top five categories in independent pharmacy (diabetes, cold & allergy, vitamins & dietary supplements, digestive health, and pain relief). From those items, 19.4% received an HRG Star Rating. In addition to indicators that these products have a high potential to succeed, they offer great growth opportunities for retailers, distributors, and manufacturers, by driving traffic to a category, and sometimes new shoppers not only to the department, but to the store. HRG-starred items should be added to appropriate-sized departments without delay to capture sales and profits.

Using HRG’s proprietary Tri-PAC™ data, the 100 top-performing new items include gummies in vitamins & dietary supplements and digestive health. Gummies were a big launch trend in 2020, no matter what they were formulated to address. 4.45% of new items launched were in gummy form.

  • 5.85% of OTC launches
  • 8.17% of wellness launches

Ingredients that were trending include melatonin for sleep, and hemp, charcoal, and elderberry. Tri-PAC data showed products containing melatonin are performing well. OTC switches in external pain relief and eye preparations are also showing good movement for their short time on the market. HRG expects all of these trends to continue in 2021.