Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/23/2014 -- Owing to other key innovations in 2012 and 2013, manufacturers are intensifying their efforts to generate added value in a mature category. However, none of the major distribution channels, the grocery retailers (leader in volume but not in value) and chemists/pharmacies (51% of the value sales) posted interesting performances in 2013. The former channel bears the brunt of a strong price erosion and private label encroachment. In the latter, in spite of the added value of growingly sophisticated products for feet and blisters and liquid plasters, sales did not take off. In both channels, given consumers are increasingly on a budget, only the most basic products recorded appreciable volume performance in 2013 due to the growing price sensitivity of consumers.
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In a concentrated competitive landscape, Laboratoires URGO led the pack in wound care with a value share of 33% in 2013. It maintains its dynamism in terms of innovation, with positive results for the recently launched UrgoStart and Urgo Cicatrices during the last couple of years of the review period. These two premium products help to add value to its sticking plasters/adhesive bandages division, as the company widely promotes the improved efficiency of its recent technological advances, notably in removing post-wound scars and being more appropriate for patients suffering from other health complications, such as diabetes and ulcers. Laboratoires URGO also slightly progresses thanks to Urgo Filmogel, the leader in liquid plaster for deep cracks, nonetheless has to face the aggressiveness of a new entrant, namely Nexcare (3M) with its Skin Crack Care brand variant in 2013 - included in 'others'.
According to a marketer, "in spite of a high level of innovation, wound care is not an extensible category". Sophisticated novelties can temporarily fuel sales in wound care, nonetheless, the category will continue to suffer from the cannibalisation of sales in chemists/pharmacies by grocery retailers. According to a manufacturer, there is still room for a further transfer from chemists/pharmacies to supermarkets/hypermarkets. Nonetheless, brands available in the former channel benefit from an asset: Better consumer loyalty, while brand equity is much weaker in grocery retailers. In supermarkets and hypermarkets, consumers spot the type of wound care they need (blister, burning, liquid plaster, basic...) thanks to A brands on the shelves and then often switch to a private label equivalent - if it exists.
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