Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/17/2014 -- Unlike other over-the-counter categories, wound care in the US is not driven by any noticeable demographic or lifestyle trends. Common factors, such as the greater incidence of allergies, the struggle with obesity, and increased use of prescription medicine, have yet to have a noticeable impact on wound care. If anything, the ageing population is mildly limiting to growth, because fewer children means fewer cuts and scrapes from playtime activities, and fewer sales of more expensive bandages that come in different colours or licensed art. However, this is not a very limiting factor, as people of all ages occasionally need to patch up the odd wound. This general need is what has driven baseline growth throughout the review period, and will keep demand steady over the years to come. However, the frequent adoption of private label products due to price competiveness in a highly mature and simplistic category has only helped to put a ceiling on this growth.
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Johnson & Johnson continued to lead the category with 43% of all retail value sales in 2013. While Band-Aid bandages remain its largest and most established brand (consumers often refer to generic bandages as Band-Aids), it also produces gauzes and tapes under the Johnson's brand and first aid kits under the Johnson & Johnson Red Cross Brand. Despite its formidable presence in wound care, the company actually saw its sales decline by 6% in 2013, contributing to a loss of three percentage points in its value share. In addition to participating in two flagging categories (first aid kits and gauze, tape and other wound care), the company has done little within sticking plasters/adhesive bandages to differentiate itself, struggling to compete on both uniqueness and cost.
Wound care is predicted to grow modestly over the forecast period, with value sales increasing by 8% in constant 2013 terms to reach US$892 million in 2018. Despite relatively flat and falling demand for gauze, tape and other wound care as well as first aid kits, sticking plaster and adhesive bandages is expected to increase by 11% throughout the period, generating the majority of the growth. Gashes and cuts are a part of everyday life, and while enough people maintain an active lifestyle, they will continue to buy bandages at about the same rate as they have before.
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