The battle between supermarkets and pharmacies continues to be keenly contested when it comes to the purchase of over-the-counter painkillers with almost half of all grocery shoppers (48%) claiming to purchase painkillers in either SuperValu, Tesco or Dunnes Stores, with the same proportion purchasing from independent pharmacies (48%) and just over 4 in 10 (44%) purchasing from pharmacy chains.
Recent research on behalf of Retail Intelligence by Empathy Research, amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,011 adults aged 18+, sought to identify if this behaviour has changed year-on-year and the motivations for these changes.
While purchase incidence in the multiples is largely unchanged year-on-year (48% in 2017 vs. 49% in 2016), there have been significant decreases in the purchase incidences recorded in both independent pharmacies (48% in 2017 vs. 58% in 2016) and Discounters (14% in 2017 vs. 20% in 2016) year-on-year.
Although purchase levels in the multiples has remained unchanged there is still some concern expressed by consumers about purchasing painkillers in supermarkets. A third of grocery shoppers (33%) claim they are “worried that supermarkets will not take appropriate care when selling over-the-counter items”, rising from 29% in 2016. Value is a big driver of purchase from supermarkets in this category, with just over half (54%) of grocery shoppers agreeing that “supermarkets offer better value for money when it comes to over-the-counter items than pharmacies do”, although this level of agreement is largely unchanged year-on-year (52% in 2016).
There appears to be good scope for supermarkets to increase basket size amongst those who currently buy painkillers in-store with two thirds (66%) of this cohort agreeing that they “would like to see supermarkets stock a wider selection of over-the-counter items.”
For more information into where OTC items are being purchased and the attitudes of consumers in relation to these products, please contact Robbie Clarke at Empathy Research.
© 2017 - Checkout Magazine by Donna Ahern