Children's health headliners
As experts in treating the symptoms of colds and flu, we feel it is more important than ever for pharmacists to stock a range of products suited for children
Children's health issues, from access to the meningitis B vaccine to the Duchess of Cambridgeâ€™s campaign for healthier â€˜young mindsâ€™, continue to dominate the news. Here isÂ an update on the latest products making the headlines in this topical and ever-changing category
Vitamin D demand
The first ever childrenâ€™s supplement to include the 10 micrograms of vitamin D recommended by the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition was launched this January. Vitabiotics claims that the new Wellkid Multi-vitamin Liquid for children aged four to 12 years is the â€œfirst ever comprehensive multivitamin liquid just for kidsâ€.
The orange-flavoured liquid contains around 15 vitamins, including 40 micrograms of iodine to promote healthy growth and 5mg of iron for cognitive development. Senior vice president of Vitabiotics Robert Taylor says that the childrenâ€™s supplement market is experiencing a period of rapid growth. â€œMore parents are aware of official Department of Health advice, and issues such as the return of rickets and lack of vitamin D in children regularly hit the media. Liquid supplements sometimes contain a small number of ingredients, missing many important vitamins and minerals, but we felt it was very important for our Wellkid Liquid to be both great tasting and comprehensive, so pharmacists can recommend it with confidence.â€
Around four in 10 children develop constipation at least once in their first year. NICE also reports that up to 30 per cent of children suffer from constipation at some point.
Typharm is responding to potential demand by marketing Docusol Paediatric Solution for constipation as an OTC product for children aged over six months. Faye Carter, marketing manager at Typharm, explains: â€œOTC laxative sales have been flat in the UK over the last few years with an estimated market value of Â£53.4 million. We are confident that with Docusol Paediatric Solution there is now an opportunity to invigorate the market with the introduction of a unique and differentiated product, driving both volume and value growth.â€
Pain relief for 7-12s
Nurofen for Children 100mg Chewable Capsules were launched in February as a Pharmacy-only medicine intended specifically for children aged 7-12 years.
After the age of seven, headache overtakes bumps, cuts and stomach ache as the most common form of pain in children. At this age, a product that is easy to dose, doesnâ€™t require any water, and can be taken anytime and anywhere, is particularly appealing to parents, according to an RB survey. And a survey conducted by Mumâ€™s Views found that 83 per cent of mums rate age suitability as one of the most important attributes when choosing medicine for their child.
â€œWe know as children grow older and become more independent, parents face new challenges when it comes to managing their childâ€™s pain,â€ says Nurofen for Children brand manager Gurinder Chohan. â€œAt this age, children can feel they have outgrown liquid pain relief but struggle to swallow a tablet.â€
Nurofen for Children Chewable Capsules will be supported by a Â£2m consumer TV, digital and PR campaign that breaks in July.
Investing in infant feeding
There are some new movers and shakers in the infant feeding sector. Chemist and former research and development manager Von Sy has masterminded a new baby bottle wash spray, which blitzes stubborn, cloudy milk stains from bottles. Nimble Babies Milk Buster Wash, which was launched at the end of 2015, uses plant-based ingredients and is free from colourings and fragrances.
Mr Sy explains: â€œI was inspired to create a solution to this common parenting bugbear when my sister complained she could never get her babyâ€™s bottles truly clean. After extensive research, lab testing and product development, Nimble Babies was born.â€
Infant feeding brand Kidsme launched in the UK last year after a run of success in the USA and Asia and is hoping to extend its range of colourful products into independent pharmacies. The Food Feeder is Kidsmeâ€™s signature product. â€œThe Kidsme Food Feeder is perfect for those mothers whose infants are fussy eaters and they are struggling to encourage their child to take an adequate amount of food at each feed,â€ says Kidsmeâ€™s midwife and health visitor, Katie Hilton. â€œIt is also beneficial for those with a sensitive gag reflex, allowing the child to regulate how much food they consume in each mouthful. It encourages independence through self feeding, hand-eye coordination and development of fine motor skills.â€
Allergies and colds
This month, the drug-free allergen range HayMax is adding HayMax Kids to its portfolio, says marketing manager Jasmine Wythe. â€œKidsâ€™ remedies are amongst the fastest growing pharmacy product sectors and so Iâ€™m delighted that HayMax has been snapped up by the major wholesalers and is available to independent pharmacies at fantastic prices (look out for discount promotions across the spring/summer period),â€ she says.
The launch is backed by a six-figure marketing campaign, including national press, PR, advertising, TV features and parenting blog coverage. Pharmacists can receive free point-of-sale materials, and point parents to the webpage.
Olbas for Children is also making headway at the moment, with some considerable marketing. This includes a national TV advertising campaign, PR and online activity, plus point-of-sale support for pharmacists.
Brand manager Nikki Banwell explains that little ones are the first to be affected when colds spread in schools and nurseries: â€œAs experts in treating the symptoms of colds and flu, we feel it is more important than ever for pharmacists to stock a range of products suited for children. We created Olbas for Children to help provide families with a decongestant remedy from a brand they can trust. Olbas for Children is a gentle decongestant that eases breathing naturally for infants over three months.â€
Pharmacists may welcome a new option for cradle cap. Loyon is the first new keratolytic for 30 years and became the market leader three months after its release in Germany.
The two active ingredients â€“ dimethicone and dicaprylyl carbonate â€“ seep between corneocytes, loosening cell bonds so that they flake away. The remedy comes in a 15ml bottle with a spray nozzle and dropper and should work within three days.
The top-selling natural skincare range for eczema in Australia, Hope's Relief, is launching three new products in the UK this month and next:
- Active Skin Barrier Lotion, containing colloidal oatmeal and nine other natural active ingredients, including sea buckthorn and coconut oil
- Cooling Gel Lotion, containing aloe vera, marshmallow root and vitamin B5
- Moisturising Spray, containing aloe vera, evening primrose, borage and tea tree oils.
Meghna Patel, director of Hopeâ€™s Relief UK, says: â€œAll the products complement the original rescue cream and are designed to be used in conjunction with it. The products demonstrate true innovation in the dry skincare category and offer customers maximum choice. The handy new counter display unit is ideal for till point and showcases the new products alongside the bestselling rescue cream â€“ all have full-size testers supplied.â€
Thornton & Ross has been promoting its Metanium nappy rash brand and recently revealed marketing plans intended to increase its profile in pharmacies. Plans include an ongoing partnership with the Emma's Diary baby and pregnancy advice website, free samples available at baby shows and in Your Baby Boxes, print and digital advertising, parenting magazinesâ€™ cover mounts, reader offers and competitions.
Metanium Everyday Easy Spray Barrier Lotion was added to the portfolio last May. The product won a silver award at the Prima Baby Awards and was runner-up in the â€˜most innovative productâ€™ category at last yearâ€™s OTC Bulletin awards.
Jane Draude, Metanium marketing manager, says: â€œTo achieve so much positive recognition within months of launch is a testament to the strength of the Metanium brand.â€