Cold/flu is a vital product segment of the respiratory category, especially when seasonal illness spikes occur, but it has not historically been a category growth driver. This can be attributed to the fact that cold/flu has not benefitted from the same level of innovation as sister segments: allergy, cough and sinus/nasal, with their high-profile Rx to OTC switches and new formulations.
Changes are coming to cold/flu, however, as new consumer-relevant choices are introduced to the segment. To better understand where consumers are coming from when making cold/flu remedy decisions, consider that there are primarily two consumer mindsets, as defined by P&G:
The “Performance” Consumer:
This consumer leads a full, busy life and, especially given the current economy, can’t afford many sick days. Having a cold, cough or the flu severely affects her family and everyday routine. She wants her cold to be invisible to herself and those around her, turning to multi-symptom cough/cold products that conveniently treat the widest range of symptoms.
For the Performance Consumer, Vicks is the leading brand. And in contrast to the total respiratory category, which is basically flat, is experiencing healthy double digit growth. To continue its strong growth track, Vicks is introducing up-sized SKUs of NyQuil and DayQuil to provide these consumers with ways to stock up and save on their favorite brands.
The “Care” Consumer:
An active information-seeker, this consumer prides herself on her knowledge of health-related matters and regards health treatment as a personal responsibility. She may only turn to doctors and/or OTC medication when her cold or flu symptoms are at their worst, and tends to treat for fewer days than her Performance counterpart.
Essentially establishing a new sub-segment within cold/flu, Vicks new Nature Fusion is designed to appeal to Care Consumers for whom effective relief is still important, but who have a healthy respect for natural ingredients.
Nature Fusion provides trusted FDA monograph ingredients and is also flavored with real honey, a key point of difference from other medicines with natural flavors that are not, in fact, natural ingredients. Plus, the entire line-up is free of alcohol and gluten.