OTC products is a booming category

By: Budai Klára Date: 2023. 01. 13. 10:28

ültek még inkább előtérbe. A szegmens szárnyalása folyamatos, annak ellenére, hogy a szinte minden kategóriát érintő alapanyaghiány ezt a területet sem kímélte, ami főként a termékek csomagolásában hozott kisebb-nagyobb változásokat.

Dancza Dániel, Egis

Dániel Dancza
OTC head of pharmacy management
Egis Gyógyszergyár

Dániel Dancza, Egis Gyógyszergyár Zrt.’s OTC head of pharmacy management: “The OTC category has been growing dynamically recently, and Egis performed better than the market average. With our market leader products, we were able to increase our value share in the market.”


Zákány-Mercz Krisztina, Kulcspatikák

Krisztina Zákány-Mercz
head of sales

Krisztina Zákány-Mercz, Kulcspatikák Zrt.’s head of sales: “There are stock shortages because there aren’t enough product ingredients and packaging materials available, but we do our best to manage these problems. As ingredient prices are rising sharply, we need to keep up with the trends and adjust the prices of our products.”



Mezei Gyöngyvér, Rossmann

Gyöngyvér Mezei
category manager
Rossmann Magyarország

Dietary supplement sales continue to increase in Rossmann stores, but this growth rate was slower in the last two years than during the Covid period. Gyöngyvér Mezei, Rossmann Magyarország Kft.’s category manager: “The pandemic has taught us that we need to strengthen our immune systems as prevention is much better than an illness which needs to be treated. Demand is on the rise for vegan products and those made of organic ingredients.”


Zabán Ferenc - dm

Ferenc Zabán
assortment manager

Ferenc Zabán, dm Kft.’s assortment manager informed us that OTC products only have a small share in their “pharma” category sales, as dietary supplements are responsible for the bulk of the turnover. “Sales of these have been developing rapidly since the breakout of the Covid pandemic. Especially immune boosters are popular” – he added.


Balogh Judit, Herbaház

Judit Balogh
marketing manager

Judit Balogh, Bennovum Kft.’s marketing manager (they operate Herbaház shops): “We do both retail and wholesale, and our experience is that demand is growing for lower-priced products, plus convenience is also a strengthening consumer need.”



Price matters more and more

Gyöngyvér Mezei sees growing demand for products in the “beauty” segment too, e.g. collagens, and for products with a relaxing effect such as Valeriana Chill. Ferenc Zabán’s opinion is that the digestion category is growing, and even though shoppers are loyal to the brands they like, a shift is likely in the direction of cheaper products. Judit Balogh told that Herbaház shops sell dietary supplements, medicinal products, medicinal herbs and herbal teas. They offer products for hundreds of different needs and symptoms. Dániel Dancza talked about the duality of consumer behaviour: most shoppers aren’t really price-sensitive, but they are keen on promotions. Television commercials play an important role in buying decisions, together with earlier personal experience, pharmacy presence and price promotions, and the recommendation of pharmacy staff. Krisztina Zákány-Mercz explained that painkillers are a special category, where shoppers tend to stick with the product they know. The market is going in the direction of smaller product size.


Own experience, advertisements, recommendations: decision-making mechanism in this category is quite complex

Detailed information and educating consumers

Egis Gyógyszergyár Zrt.: innovation work concentrates on introducing bigger product sizes and on packaging modernisation. They regularly offer price promotions, which are advertised both offline and online. Kulcspatikák Zrt.: plans include developing a private label product range. They also organise training courses for pharmacy staff regularly, and provide customers with as much information as they can on their website, Facebook, etc. Rossmann Magyarország Kft.: drugstores have a growing selection of products targeting smaller consumer groups, e.g. for treating aging skin, special vitamins for vegetarians, etc.

Dm Kft.: store staff regularly participate in training courses, thanks to which they can better provide customers with the product information they need. Dm dedicates special attention to the “pharma” category. Herbaház: they make great effort to offer the same high level of service and shopping experience both in-store and online. As part of this, the company is extending its loyalty scheme to the online shop. //


Sales of the big OTC categories grew mainly in value

NielsenIQ logo

Vitamins and minerals

Gubek Nora, NielsenIQ

Guest writer:
Nóra Gubek
client support executive

NielsenIQ audits OTC product sales in Auchan, Tesco, Spar, Interspar, Metro, DM, and Rossmann stores. Vitamin is the biggest category, sales of which represented a value of almost HUF 11bn in the August 2021-July 2022 period. Value sales were up 5% but volume sales dropped 2%, still nearly 8 million boxes were sold. Manufacturer brands had an 89% market share (in value). Vitamin C was the biggest segment, generating HUF 1.5bn sales. It was followed by vitamin C+D and D, both of them selling for more than HUF 1bn. It is noteworthy that all three vitamin types saw their value and volume sales drop if compared with the previous year. Products containing 50-99 vitamins realised half of value sales.

Dietary supplements

Another major OTC category is dietary supplements, sales of which grew by 14% in value and 7% in volume. Hungarian consumers spent HUF 8bn on the category, buying approximately 3 million boxes. Manufacturer brands had a 97% value share in the category – value sales of these augmented by more than 14% and their volume sales improved by 8%. Products containing 50-99 capsules or tablets were responsible for 37% of sales at HUF 3bn. Capsules are the most popular when it comes to buying dietary supplements (50%), but the tablet version also sells well (31%). Supplements for arthritis and joint pain were sold in the value of HUF 380m in the examined period. Value sales were up by a stunning 86%. Volume sales jumped more than 23%, as 89,000 products were sold. //

This article is available for reading in Trade magazin 2022.12-01.

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