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Austria consumer health market: Dominated by multinational companies
Consumer Health in Austria - a new market research report on 2014-04-18 17:47:01
The overall consumer health market in Austria was able to see a good performance in 2012. Compared with the review period, current value sales registered a healthy increase. The fastest growth categories were eye care, digestive remedies, calming and sleeping and sports nutrition. Whilst growth in categories such as eye care was mainly driven by the demographic phenomena of an ageing society, digestive remedies and calming and sleeping benefited from increased levels of stress and consumers´ growing health awareness, as well as the intention to lead a healthy lifestyle. In this respect, Austrians proved to have an open-minded attitude towards self-medication.

The majority of categories within consumer health were influenced by the increasingly busy lifestyles that Austrians were leading in 2012. An increasing number of working people in Austria face constant stress both at work and at home due to long working hours. Due to a lack of free time, consumers increasingly look for healthy and natural products which can help them to alleviate the effects of a rather unhealthy lifestyle. In particular, rising demand for natural medication was observed in 2012, which contributed to the positive development of herbal/traditional products.

The competitive landscape within consumer health in 2012 was marked by the dominance of multinationals. Since Austrians pay a great deal of attention when it comes to the products they use for self-medication, they particularly focus on product quality and efficacy. International brands and manufacturers are able to benefit from consumers relying on strong brand recognition and customer loyalty. In order to distinguish themselves from multinationals, the majority of domestic players focus on herbal/traditional products in order to attract traditional and environmentally-friendly consumers.

Store-based retailing remained the key distribution channel in consumer health in 2012. Chemists/pharmacies and parapharmacies/drugstores maintained their positions as the leading distribution channels. Whilst Austrians continue to show a willingness to self-medicate, they still feel "safer" obtaining advice from a professional, for example a pharmacist or doctor. Nevertheless, the importance of internet retailing continues to grow, thanks to a greater number of consumers opting for a more convenient distribution channel without any strict opening hours.

The consumer health market is predicted to continue to see positive value growth over the next five years. While on the one hand a high number of Austrians are already leading healthy lifestyles and as such demand for consumer health products may be restricted, growing health awareness amongst Austrians will likely continue to encourage an increasing number of people to turn to products to help maintain their health in the forecast period. This will be further impacted by an expanding ageing population who require more consumer health products.

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Mike King
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