In 2020, Deloitte commissioned a Life Sciences Healthcare report which correctly predicted that leading into 2025, consumers will be become far more informed about their health and take a proactive approach to managing health (Self-Care).
Consumers will be routinely monitoring their health data through digital technologies such as wearable technology (e.g., Apple watch), OTC Diagnostics and validated health apps which can drive consumer behaviours around exercise and nutrition, influencing the products that consumers want to buy.
This gives Consumer Healthcare companies a major opportunity to access data and build category value via these behavioural trends, for instance in vitamins, minerals, and supplements markets where we are already seeing a real boom in sales.
Companies are exploring how to free up their organisations and to allow the start-up mentality to permeate to take up strong positions in these growth markets. We are seeing the emergence sub-teams that form and are deliberately disconnected from the operational running of the current business to become “Consumer Obsessed.”
GSK Consumer (Haleon) has created the “NEXT team” which exists to explore and grow disruptive new propositions in everyday healthcare. Run as a division agnostic from the company portfolio, NEXT is the strategic commercial growth engine for Haleon, focused on the creation and scaling of net-new product, service, and platform businesses across everyday health.
Whether Haleon’s own health will be to the standard it aims to provide for its consumers is up for debate. The company may well need some self-care of its own to secure the growth required to stand the test of time.
In Good Health
As companies decouple during these volatile times, they will find themselves under the spotlight like never before and performance will be more closely scrutinised than ever. Growth and company valuations will come under even more pressure as they release from their ties to pharma.
The pandemic had profound performance implications for the consumer healthcare sector, for instance heavily impacting key categories such as cold & flu, which missed a season. It is important for business leaders to hold up a mirror and extrapolate real growth as opposed to year-to-year sales comparisons to assess the true health of their businesses and drive performance.
Market moves will calm at some point and attention will turn to who is running these businesses and their organic growth engine. Leaders who stay in first gear and require conformity may find their safe and carefully defined plans having the opposite effect.
This innovation-led market requires leaders that simply do not have all the answers and can champion a healthy level of dissent, harnessing talents that can disrupt the order of things. As one CHC executive put it to me, related to the new order of things, “Today, there’s no such thing as a stupid idea.”
In Consumer Healthcare, everything is up for grabs, and we are working closely with executives and wider stakeholders in the sector to stay tuned to this evolving market.
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