Pediatric sales lead cough and cold category

stockchecker on cough and cold products


Pediatric sales lead cough and cold category

The Hamacher Resource Group provided the information for this article. The company provides marketing services and business intelligence to the healthcare industry. Wholesalers, manufacturers, and retailers partner with Hamacher Resource Group to improve their profitability. For more information, .

In 2000, pediatric cough and cold products - children’s throat relief, cough syrup, cough drops, and cold/allergy/sinus products - produced an impressive 12% of cough and cold category sales. And compared with the previous year, pediatric product sales increased 7%, totaling $197 million. To put this growth in context: The cough and cold category as a whole grew only 4% to $3.751 billion.

The withdrawal from the market of items containing PPA had the potential to affect the pediatric subcategory more than the adult segment. While only 14% of adult sales came from products containing PPA, these items generated 27% of pediatric sales. However, because manufacturers responded quickly to the withdrawal, producing reformulated offerings, sales did not decline as expected.

Cough and cold trends

With unimpressive growth in the adult segment, manufacturers are homing in on children’s offerings. New delivery methods will differentiate products and add revenue to the cough and cold coffers. For example, the ReVital line of Oral Electrolyte products from PTS Labs offers freezer pops, jell cups, and squeeze bottles as delivery options. Whitehall-Robins’ Dimetapp Bear Pops, in grape and cherry, are a fun way to relieve sore throats. Triaminic Vapor Patch from Novartis produces the relief of a mentholated rub in a no-mess patch form.

The self-medication trend in the pediatric category shows no sign of slowing. According to Novartis, 61% of families treat children with over-the-counter (OTC) medications without consulting their physician. Moreover, other studies report that up to 75% of adults medicate themselves without doctor recommendations. Self-medication heightens the pharmacist’s advisory role within the entire cough and cold category.

The danger of overmedicating

Self-medication raises concerns about overmedicating children. For example, many parents administer fever reducers and then unwittingly add to the dose by using a multi-symptom medication. Consequently, parents are often wiser to purchase products that deal with specific symptoms: ibuprofen to reduce fever, guaifenesin to loosen mucus, or detromethorphan to quell a persistent cough. Single-symptom relievers tend to contain fewer ingredients, thus lowering the risk of overmedicating.

Given the possible duplication of medication and the trend toward self-medication, your counseling takes on added importance. When you recommend multi-symptom products–whether you’re counseling about pediatric products or adult OTC remedies–thoroughly review dosing instructions and ingredients.


The pediatric subcategory is a destination department, meaning that customers come to your pharmacy specifically for children’s medications. Make shopping as easy as possible. Block these medications by brand in a well-defined area within your department.


When possible, use shelf strips to further help customers find the products they seek. You’ll save customers time and cut down on the confusion often associated with shopping the cough and cold department.

Offer substantial savings by including eight to 10 private-label products within the department. Highlight the savings with "Compare and Save" signs or shelf extenders.

Strategically place signs inviting customers to ask the pharmacist for assistance. Letting customers know you’re available is the first step in developing trust as a counselor.

Also, be sure to cross-merchandise children’s cough and cold accessories, like thermometers and measuring devices, in the pharmacy. You’ll want them close at hand during counseling; patients will readily take your recommendations, and you’ll spare your patients a return trip to a department to retrieve these items.

The preference among families to self-medicate for coughs and colds works in your favor. Promote your store by giving good counsel. It will serve you well.


 Large dept.Medium dept.Small dept.
Linear feet16128
Number of SKUs756040
Estimated sales per year$9,000$8,000$6,500
Estimated inventory retail$1,300$1,140$850
Retail inventory turns777.6



Buckley’s Cough & Cold DM Jack & Jill 4ozW.K. Buckley
Children’s Motrin Cold 4ozBerryMcNeil Consumer

Children’s Motrin Cold 4oz

Children’s Motrin Cold Dye-Free 4ozBerryMcNeil Consumer
Little Colds Cough 1 ozVetco Pharmaceuticals
Little Colds Decongestant 1 ozVetco Pharmaceuticals
Little Colds Decongestant/Cough 1 ozVetco Pharmaceuticals
Little Colds Multi-Symptom 1 ozVetco Pharmaceuticals

Little Noses Stuffy Nose Kit

Pedia Care Cold/Allergy 4 ozPharmacia
Pedia Care Long Acting Cough & Cold 4 ozPharmacia
Popeye Cold Buster 12 PacketsWagner Products
Triaminic Chest Congestion 4 ozNovartis
Triaminic Chest Congestion 8 ozNovartis
Triaminic Chest Cold & Allergy 4 ozNovartis

Triaminic Chest Cold & Allergy 8 oz

Triaminic Chest Cold & Cough 4 ozNovartis
Triaminic Chest Cold & Cough 8 ozNovartis
Triaminic Chest Cough Relief 4 ozNovartis
Triaminic Soft Chew 18 Allergy/CongestionNovartis
Triaminic Soft Chew 18 Allergy/Runny NoseNovartis
Triaminic Soft Chew 18 Allergy/SinusNovartis


Use this never-out list to monitor your in-stock condition. The items listed account for more than 50% of the dollar sales in the Children’s Cough and Cold subcategory. An out-of-stock on any of these items represents a significant loss of sales.

____ Benadryl Allergy Liquid 4 oz

____ Pedia Care Infant Drops Cough 15 ml

____ Pedia Care Multi-Symptom Cold 4 oz

____ Robitussin Pediatric Cough & Cold 4 oz

____ Triaminic Chest Congestion 4 oz

____ Triaminic Cold & Allergy 4 oz

____ Triaminic Cold & Cough 4 oz

____ Triaminic Cold & Night Cough 4 oz

____ Tylenol Children’s Cold M/S 4 oz


This list includes the most popular and price-sensitive SKUs in the Children’s Cough and Cold subcategory. Use it to see if your prices on these key items fall within the average everyday retail range.


Pedia Care Cough & Cold 4 oz

Tylenol Children’s Cold M/S 4 oz


Sandra Levy. Pediatric sales lead cough and cold category.

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