OTC in Private

All channels seeing growth in private-label medication

Samantha Oller, Senior Editor/Fuels, CSP

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- The convenience store health and beauty care (HBC) aisle continues to see soft sales in the current economy. The segment is struggling to communicate value in items such as over-the-counter (OTC) medication in the face of strong price competition from drug, mass and other channels.

According to figures from Symphony IRI Group, Chicago, for the 52 weeks ending October 2, 2011, sales of the largest OTC medication segment--internal analgesics--were relatively flat, with dollars up 0.9% and units off 0.2%.

In channels such as grocery, private label has supplied some of the headwind for dollar sales in that segment, according to a report by Mintel.

For the drug channel, private label has been "the primary driver" of channel sales, the report said.

In Symphony IRI's sample, private label saw the healthiest gains in c-store dollars and units compared to the top brands, going up by double-digit percentages.

In another segment--cold/allergy/sinus--it enjoyed even growth by both metrics for tablet/packets and liquid/powders.

For more details and a chart detailing the top c-store OTC medication brands, see page 190 of the December issue of CSP magazine.