SOURCE: Packaged Facts

Packaged Facts

October 13, 2009 11:07 ET

OTC Medications and Sustainability: a Market Update

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - October 13, 2009) - Market research firms Packaged Facts and The Hartman Group have joined forces to publish a series of reports tracking current consumer attitudes and shopping behaviors in relation to "sustainable" consumer packaged goods.

The final volume in the four-part series, Consumers and Sustainability: OTC Medications and Supplements, reports that increased media coverage of tainted medications due to human error and globalized production has increased consumer awareness of the potential negative impacts of over-the-counter (OTC) medications and supplements, whether in pill or other formats.

Therefore, according to Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts, "about half of the over-the-counter medicine and supplement products in the U.S. market now feature some type of sustainability claim, whether based on manufacturing practices, product formulation, or packaging."

Sustainability means different things to different people. Asked to identify what the term means to them, consumers most frequently respond "the ability to last over time" and "the ability to support oneself." Sustainability is also strongly associated with environmental concerns, whereby consumers are being challenged to develop and express an "eco-consciousness" in their daily habits and purchases. But using "eco-conscious" or "green" as synonymous with sustainability unduly limits the frame of reference; these older terms fail to acknowledge the variety of social, economic and environmental issues that real-world individuals believe to be important to sustaining themselves, their communities, and society at large.

According to Consumers and Sustainability: OTC Medications and Supplements, adoption of sustainable products often mirrors the health and wellness progression that The Hartman Group has previously reported, in which consumers first consider the impacts of things in the body, followed by on the body, and finally around the body.

Many consumers have, of course, modified their purchasing of sustainable products in response to the current economic downturn. While tradeoffs and cutbacks are less likely for product categories viewed as essential to one's quality of life-with food at the top of that list-OTC medications are not necessarily assigned that level of importance. Therefore, consumer cutbacks are likely to hurt sales of higher-priced sustainable versions of OTC medications and supplements.

The Consumers and Sustainability series draws on an online survey of 1,856 U.S. adults consumers conducted in September 2008 by The Hartman Group, as well as qualitative research on sustainability in three markets (Seattle, Dallas, and Columbus) during August 2008. Packaged Facts provides a market update based on Experian Simmons national consumer surveys fielded November 2008 through June 2009. In addition to OTC Medications and Supplements, the consumer markets covered by the Consumers and Sustainability series are Food and Beverage, Personal Care, and Household Cleaners.

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About Packaged Facts - Packaged Facts, a division of, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet products and services, and financial products. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. To learn more, visit: Follow us on Facebook at

About The Hartman Group - The Hartman Group, located in Bellevue, Washington, blends leading-edge customized research and consulting to understand the subtle complexities of consumer behavior. Since 1989, Hartman Group has been listening loudly to the underlying motivations and behaviors that move the needle for our clients. To learn more about how Hartman Group stays sharply focused on how consumers live, shop and use brands and products visit:

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