Preparing for the upcoming cold & allergy season

by Kyle Lentz, category analyst, part of Monthly Retailer Category Tips

It’s time to update your cold & allergy department in preparation for the fall season.

  • Cold & allergy has always been the number one OTC category in dollar sales for independent drug.* In 2020, due to COVID-19, the category is seeing continued growth and now contributes 18.3% of dollar sales. Last year, for the same time period, it contributed 17.9%. Look for even greater growth numbers for the remainder of 2020 as the pandemic shows very few signs of slowing. HRG highly recommends stocking up on cold and allergy products that you know are top sellers for your pharmacy. Over the past three years, there have been availability issues on several immunity boosting and cold duration type products. These product types, especially elderberry-based and vitamin C items, have seen triple-digit growth in 2020, and pharmacies are having a hard time keeping them on their shelves.
  • This month, the TEMPS® cold & allergy planogram has a much different look than it did in March. Major cold product manufacturers, such as Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson, made significant design changes to their packaging, including a switch from horizontal to vertical orientation. Procter & Gamble went as far as to change its iconic triangle shaped bottle of the Vicks DayQuil/NyQuil line to better fit the growing number of pharmacies using a shelf pusher system. Because there are so many package changes, the relocation of the nasal and children’s cold & allergy subcategories, and the growth of the cold & allergy symptom reducer subcategory, start working on the remerchandising of your department as early as possible. Staying a step ahead of your competition will position you as the outlet of choice for cold and allergy products.
  • You may experience some products within the cold & allergy category that are in short supply, on allocation, or not being produced for the time being. If the unavailability of any of these items is leaving gaps on your shelves, start by double facing your private label options to fill the space. People will be looking for the additional savings private label products offer, especially when so many people are feeling the financial burden associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.


* Source: Hamacher Resource Group, Inc. — Wholesaler Withdrawal — 52 weeks