Join our community

OTC Medicines and Food Supplements a Massive Opportunity

Now is a great opportunity to reappraise, refresh, renew & re-energise your ranges. It's good to reflect on the sales trends and more importantly to take the learning's and try to predict outcomes for the year ahead. I've been reading through many of the trade articles and talking to suppliers. There is a clear consensus that consumers are moving increasingly towards "wellness" and healthy living. Some of the growth categories cited are: healthy snacking, healthy breakfasting, alcohol free beers, e-cigs/vaping, and "free from" products - particularly gluten free. Plus more diet diversity such as an increase in world foods lines, spicy ranges and local produce. There's no doubt that wholesalers and small store operators should be adjusting their ranges to exploit and anticipate these trends. My view is that these changes will offer a "slow burn" increase in sales and help to head off some negative trends such as the slowing in crisps consumption. 

But there is a massive opportunity for sales growth right now in the shape of OTC medicines, vitamins and food supplements. Trac reports that the OTC medicine market is worth £2.74 billion in the UK while Mintel states that food supplements are worth £420 million. Consumers are moving more towards self-medicating for cold/flu relief, upset stomachs, pain and allergy relief. Mintel reports that up to 65% of adults in this country are taking some form of food supplement with multi vitamins being the most popular. This is a profitable and growing market and a great opportunity for both small stores and wholesalers alike. These are classic "walk-in"local categories and fit superbly with the small store format. Those stores trading alone without a pharmacy nearby can really cash in.

I've long since advocated that stores (where possible) should trade tobacco from under the counter and use that valuable display space behind the tills for more fruitful profitable lines. OTC medicines and food supplements being physically small are perfect for this and offer a great way to kick start a healthy 2017. A happy and prosperous New Year to everyone.

David Gilroy

Store Excel

Join in the discussion of this article