Homeopathic Industry Perspectives — Can More Be Better?
Natural products’ consumers now have more choices than ever in the homeopathic medicinal category. Competition and expansion of homeopathic products and dosage forms has resulted in increased sales and profits for natural products retailers. These are genuine positive trends that benefit both the retailer and their customers. More homeopathic choices, more competition and expanding markets, means that — even for homeopathy — more can be better.
The natural products industry has been experiencing a market transformation in recent years. This is especially true for the health and beauty aids segment including homeopathic products. “Consumer health awareness and choices are the driving force behind the growth in our industry, “says AAHP board member Mary Beth Watkins, “and consumer demand for safe and effective, natural OTC products, particularly in light of the recent problems with PPA in cold and sinus products, is fueling healthy growth in the homeopathic category.”
Market growth and maturity diversifies the number of companies and products, and competition becomes keener. Growing HBA sales have prompted retailers to expand these store segments by adding square footage as well as new product offerings.
Within the homeopathic product category, this competition has spurred companies to create diversity in their product offerings and package designs — including convenient blister packaged tablets and tins with individually wrapped tablet doses. Increased offerings of nasal sprays and throat sprays, as well as topical creams and gels, have expanded these categories and their corresponding shelf space. These packages would not have been seen on retail shelves even 5 or 6 years ago.
Innovative marketing and promotions with buy one – get one packaging, well designed floor displays, and consumer-friendly counter top or point of purchase displays have added to the further expansion of the homeopathic category.
Whether or not these new products and expanded marketing has drawn more new consumers to the category or simply expanded homeopathic use among existing consumers is not easily measured. This positive growth trend is likely the result of a combination of both new customers and increased consumer awareness. It is clear and evident that homeopathic sales at Health Food Stores show continued modest increases while other categories show no growth or are actually exhibiting declines. More and more pharmacies have are adding homeopathic products to their burgeoning natural products sections.