Your pain relief department must meet a wide range of needs

by Kelly Zygowski, category analyst, part of Monthly Retailer Category Tips

Pain relief is an important category for independent drug. There is no seasonality, the category is shopped throughout the year for both immediate solutions as well as for stocking up for the future. Once consumers enter the category, more often than not, they will continue to shop in it for the rest of their lives. Your department must meet the demands of a wide range of shoppers with a variety of needs. It is vital to carry a number of solutions to gain new customers and retain current shoppers.

Premium products are driving growth in the category. Lidocaine has continued to grow. It is now one of the top ingredients in external pain relief and will be for the foreseeable future. knee painJohnson & Johnson has entered this segment with their new BENGAY® Lidocaine Cream. Theraworx continues to perform well and has expanded the line with a new Theraworx Pain Relief Foam. Biofreeze brings new consumers to the category and has added new extra-large pain relief patches. Voltaren switched from Rx to OTC and has already grown to be one of the top performing externals in just a few short months. With the first innovation to internal pain relief in years, GSK launched their exciting new Advil® Dual Action, combining the top two ingredients in internal pain relief but in smaller doses with the same efficacy and longer lasting relief. Bring in these new items to meet your customer demand and reap the profits.

During recessions and times of stress, consumers tend to stock up on necessities. They make fewer trips, although with a higher basket ring, and most outings include a stop in the pain relief aisle. Pain relief helped drive growth during the pandemic and as it continues, the sleep segment has climbed in sales. This trend is expected to endure as consumers suffer from anxiety and a myriad of other worries over all aspects of their lives that have been affected. With your knowledge of the prescription medications they are taking, you can best counsel your customers on over-the-counter sleep aid options that may help.