General Merchandise/HBC

General Merchandise Sales: Where the Gains Are

Mixed results in over-the-counter medicines
General Merchandise

CHICAGO — Sales were mixed in c-stores’ over-the-counter medicine sets in 2019. Pain relievers declined in unit sales across segments, with units off 3.5% overall, according to IRI. C-store sales of cold/allergy/sinus tablets and liquids grew; only gastrointestinal liquids posted gains, with tablet unit sales falling more than 4%.

In the weight-control segment, dollar and unit sales were up for liquids and powders but off for candy/tablets and refrigerated liquids. The downward trend in c-store sales of energy shots worsened in 2019, with unit sales down nearly 7%, IRI data shows.

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 29, 2019

Remedy typeC-store sales ($ millions)PCYA*Unit sales (millions)PCYA*
Pain Relievers    
Internal analgesics tablets$393.61.2%148.1(3.5%)
Internal analgesics liquids$8.02.6%1.0(2.5%)
Feminine pain relievers$5.4(4.8%)1.5(5.5%)
Cough Remedies    
Cough drops$115.22.5%63.7(0.7%)
Cough syrup$6.23.1%1.02.3%
Energy and Sleep Aids    
Energy shots$674.9(5.5%)217.5(6.7%)
Sleeping remedies$22.858.7%3.62.5%
Weight Control/Nutrition    
Refrigerated liquids/powders$7.7(25.5%)2.8(30.3%)
Vitamins and Nutrition    
Mineral supplements$144.328.6%19.811.1%
Liquid vitamins/minerals$110.128.5%16.93.9%
Anti-Smoking Products$6.4(41.4%)1.1(47.1%)

Source: IRI

* Percent change from a year ago

General Merchandise stat

Click here to review complete category sales data. 

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