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Band-Aid continues its dominance of the US wound care market

Alex De Angelis
·2-min read

Current value sales within the US wound care market grew by 2% through 2012, reaching a value of US$819 million.

Unlike many other consumer health categories, where trends such as the ageing population, stressful lifestyles and higher incidence of allergies exert a notable influence on sales, there are fewer major demographic drivers in wound care.

While slow-healing wounds can be an issue for the growing diabetic population, most diabetes-specific products are targeted more at preventing infection or treating pain. In addition, the under 14 population grew at a markedly slower rate than adults and seniors, thus diminishing demand associated with children's propensity to incur minor cuts and scrapes.

Compounding the sluggishness in value growth, private label steadily captured share, as consumers demanded greater value in basic staples they can keep to hand for precautionary reasons.

The decline in wound care sales in 2011, strongly impacted by private label, moderately slowed in 2012, as branded players recovered marginal amounts of share.

Sticking plasters/adhesive bandages represented the only wound care product category to post positive growth in 2012. Plasters more readily fulfil consumer demand for convenience and on-the-go options, giving an advantage over gauze, tape and other wound care, while also presenting a more cost effective and streamlined alternative to first aid kits.

Johnson & Johnson is the overwhelmingly dominant force within the US wound care market. Although the company's total share slipped against private label, it still contributed to the majority of category sales for every year since 2007.

The high brand recognition for Band-Aid - the name of which US consumers use almost exclusively to refer to plasters - is the main factor in Johnson & Johnson's leadership position. Band-Aid is the top brand in the category, commanding 38% value share of all wound care sales and 64% share of sticking plasters/adhesive bandages.

Private label grew the fastest in current value terms by 7% in 2012, but Band-Aid and 3M Healthcare's Nexcare both increased sales by 4%. Nexcare is using couponing and a ―product review sweepstakes‖ to engage consumers, while Johnson & Johnson is offering its own discounts and emphasising distinctive product attributes, such as its Quiltvent bandage pads.

For more information on the US wound care market, see the latest research: US Wound Care Market

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