"Analgesics in Japan" now available at Fast Market Research

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Sun Dec 06 2015

Newly released products and existing top brands led analgesics in 2015, including systemic and topical analgesics which expanded by 4% and 2%, respectively, and brought current value growth of the overall analgesics category to 3%. Growth was faster in systemic analgesics, as more new products were introduced in adult combination products - analgesics and adult ibuprofen. Systemic analgesics has continued to see healthy growth since 2010, but the growth accelerated after the launch of the game changer, Loxonin S, which was approved as an OTC switch in 2011. With the following hit of Bufferin Premium in 2014, the market of systemic analgesics became totally active, unlike other categories in the sluggish OTC market in Japan. As for the topical analgesics, there were no remarkable new products in 2015, but the healthy performance of the leading manufacturer Hisamitsu, which holds three major brands in the category, largely contributed to the continuing growth of topical analgesics. Growth drivers were different in systemic and topical analgesics, but it can be said that it is because those products gained a good reputation with consumers that the overall category saw 3% growth in 2015.

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Competitive Landscape

Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical led analgesics with a value share of 19% in 2015. The company has been the leading player in topical analgesics for a long time and offers major brands of topical analgesics, such as Salonpas, Salonship, Feitas and Air Salonpas. The main format of its topical analgesics product is patch format, but some products are also available in spray, lotion and cream formats. The company enjoyed robust growth of Feitas brand in 2015, as a result of launching multiple new products in various formats in the previous year. Feitas employed Shingo Katori, a muscle-bound member of one of the popular bands SMAP for a campaign series. Also, Salonpas, Hisamitsu’s bestselling brand, recorded healthy growth in 2015, even after its 80th anniversary in 2014. Towards the 80th anniversary, the company had employed a famous pop star Kazunari Ninomiya in 2013. In its series of TV commercials, Ninomiya invited girls into “Salon de Salonpas”, where they could be released from heavily stiff shoulders by putting on Salonpas. Traditionally, Salonpas and other patches for stiff shoulders had been considered muscle products that middle-aged male consumers heavily used. However, with today’s lifestyles, many female consumers are suffering from stiff shoulders as well. Nonetheless, female consumers had hesitated to use the patches because of the muscle product image. By employing Ninomiya as an icon of Salonpas, the brand succeeded in gaining a new consumer base of females in addition to the existing consumer segments.

Industry Prospects

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