Study Finds Slump in Foot Care Sales

A recent report on foot care has revealed that the manufacturers of these products should encourage consumers to take a chance on focused foot care. According to Mintel's report Foot Care, the US foot care industry grossed nearly US$568 million in 2006. The report states that this figure was an increase of 9% over 2001 in current terms but a decline of 5% in constant terms.

Foot care is defined in the report as devices for foot support such as liners, insoles, cushions, cups and other types of orthotics; medications to treat problems such as athlete's foot, corns, warts, calluses, etc.; and other types of foot care tools, creams and lotions, including blister relief and pedicure-type products.

Mintel reports that while the number of baby boomers and diabetics have increased, sales of foot care really has not. Also, the report claims that while many people experience foot discomfort, 51%, few buy products to alleviate their problem. There may be many reasons that consumers do not readily seek out foot care, according to the report. Consumers may feel that their irritation is not severe enough to seek treatment. Additionally, consumers may not know what products to buy or may feel the products are too expensive. The report suggests dividing pain-relieving foot care into different categories including: moms-to-be, athletes, overweight consumers, older consumers and diabetics.

Among foot care, general foot care  and pampering products are the most popular. Dominating the foot care industry, according to the report, is Schering-Plough, followed by such companies as Novartis, Pro Foot, and Combe.

Most foot care products are purchased in drug stores, according to the report, with 60.2% of the market share. Since 2004, the market share for supermarkets and mass merchandisers has dropped slightly.

The foot care market, however, is expected to increase, according to the report. The report expects the market to increase 8% in current terms to US$616 million by 2011. This represents a decline of 9% in constant terms. If private label version become more popular than anticipated, the report expects sales to be lower than forecasted. The report recommends that producers of foot care products introduce premium products to drive future sales.

Disclaimer: The report did not include Wal-Mart sales into the study which the report estimates to have approximately 24% of all sales in the foot care market.

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