Consumer health in Lithuania continues to generate strong sales growth. The industry’s positive performance in 2017 can be attributed mainly to rising consumer purchasing power, which has generated higher interest in innovative consumer health products with higher prices. However, many people remain rather conservative when purchasing and consuming products, preferring more familiar brands.
The rising public awareness of various health issues has had a particularly positive effect on sales of vitamins and dietary supplements, where stronger value growth was seen in 207. Moreover, the fast-growing trend for healthy lifestyles is supporting rising demand for sports nutrition. Whilst many Lithuanians remain skeptical about the quality and effectiveness of low-cost OTC medicines, private label is recording solid value growth in some categories as its presence on retail shelves improves.
The leading retailers of consumer health products launch regular large-scale marketing campaigns and undertake promotional activities, which has had a significant impact on sales. Discounters was the most dynamic distribution channel in consumer health in 2017 due to the entry of Lidl into Lithuania. Prior to the arrival of Lidl, no discounters were operating in the country after Coopernic closed all 90 outlets of its Iki chain in 2015. Internet retailing also saw strong growth in consumer health from a relatively low base in 2017 as price-sensitive consumers went online in search of substantial discounts on OTC products from licensed e-stores as all of Lithuania’s leading chemists/pharmacies chains have extended their operations to include online sales platforms to lure modern consumers.
The positive development of Lithuania’s economy is set to support sales growth in consumer health over the forecast period. In addition, self-medication is becoming more common as consumers shift towards preventive medicine. In general, Lithuanians are increasingly concerned about their health, which has led to a steadily growing tendency for preventive medication among consumers. Interest in various educative campaigns and seminars to obtain more information about defined diseases and diagnoses and ensure the safest healthcare practices. This trend is highly supported by governmental institutions as well as the leading distributors and manufacturers of consumer health and products which are engaged in programmes to protect consumers from the improper use of medicines. Moreover, the industry’s leading companies are set to continue investing in expanding their products ranges and engaging in promotional activities to maintain or even strengthen the positions of their main brands.