Winter Warmers – Hot sellers in a cold climate

As winter approaches, Winter Warmers become close to consumers’ hearts. Two categories that come into their own when the weather turns cold are OTC remedies and fresh soup.

OTC remedies are headed by Reckitt Benckiser (RB), who have one of the largest OTC ranges of cold, flu, headache and sore throat remedies, including favoured brands such as Lemsip, Strepsils and Nurofen.

The fresh soup market is led by the best selling New Covent Garden brand, who keep their range fresh by launching a new Soup of the Month, each and every month. New Covent Garden’s latest offering, ‘Pumpkin Ghoulash’ will appeal to consumers seeking warming comfort food on cold nights.

With the arrival of autumn in the northern hemisphere, along with the changing colours of the leaves comes a less welcome change – the arrival of the annual cold and flu season. Mintel Global Market Navigator predicts that the British will cough up over £500m in 2012/13 on over the counter cold remedies, just as in previous years.
Some 17% of Brits claim they are often ill with coughs and colds. According to Mintel the value of the cough, cold and throat remedies market has been increasing slowly but steadily in the UK, and is expected to forward to increase 7.9% by 2013.

According to Mark Pearson, Marketing Director Health & Personal Care, RB UK, the latest cold and flu incidence FAN data for Oct-Dec 2012 is predicted to be up 14% on last year. This suggests this season will see a return to the more average pattern, with ‘normal service’ resumed. The unseasonal summer means that many retailers have depleted stocks and need to order now to be prepared for the onset of winter colds, flu, coughs and sore throats.

According to Mintel, the total retail sales value of soup in the UK continues to go from strength to strength, with sales jumping 10% between 2009 and 2011 to an estimated £617 million last year. Unlike other sectors of the food industry, soup has proven a resilient market during the economic downturn. With steady annual sales growth of at least 5% since 2008, consumers have increasingly relied on soup as a cheap meal despite reduced levels of disposable income. With winter coming up, soup offers a quick and tasty source of nourishment and warmth when it’s chilly outside.

The Grocery Trader