New Study Shows Consumer Health and Wellness Shopping Habits within the OTC Category
Newtown Square, Pa., July 22, 2010—Eighty-two percent of U.S. women shoppers ages 25–70 are attempting to limit their overall usage of traditional over-the-counter (OTC) medications. While they believe in the efficacy of OTCs, they feel these products aren’t “good” for them, especially when used frequently. A sizable number of shoppers consider purity/healthfulness (42 percent) and lack of chemicals/irritants (31 percent) to be important factors in choosing OTC products.
This is one of the key findings in a new study conducted by The Hartman Group on behalf of Boiron, world leader in homeopathic medicines. More than 1,400 women who are the primary shopper for their household participated in the online study administered January 29–February 3, 2010.
Despite wanting options to traditional OTCs, shoppers lack knowledge of homeopathic medicines. Most respondents said they just don’t know enough about it, which may be a key barrier to usage. After these same shoppers were given a minimal definition of homeopathic medicines highlighting the benefits (i.e. safe, no side effects), at least one-third of the users for each product category (cough, cold and flu relievers, pain management, etc.) said they were then interested in trying homeopathic medicines.
Fifteen percent of the shoppers said they have used homeopathic medicine for themselves, and 14 percent said they have used homeopathic medicine for their children in the past 12 months.
This most recent study aligns with other Hartman Group studies that point to health and wellness no longer being a niche market dominated by a small group of consumers. It’s a long-term change that reflects how consumers view their lives and the products they purchase. Symptomatic of this, 27 percent of shoppers have successfully used a natural/alternative OTC medicine in the past, and an additional 55 percent who have not tried these products are interested.
Ready for “alternatives” to jump into mainstream retail shops, shoppers were asked what the most important purchasing factor is besides price/value. “Easily being able to find the product where I shop” ranked second only to effectiveness. Currently shoppers most often purchase natural OTC products in non-traditional stores.
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