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SMITHKLINE BEECHAM INTRODUCING N'ICE N'CLEAR LOZENGES IN THE FALL

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

SMITHKLINE BEECHAM INTRODUCING N'ICE N'CLEAR LOZENGES IN THE FALL as a line extension to the company's N'Ice brand of throat lozenges. N'Ice N'Clear will begin shipping at the end of July in preparation for a late September launch to consumers. The new product will come in two flavors, cherry eucalyptus (7 mg menthol) and menthol eucalyptus (5 mg menthol). N'Ice contains 5 mg menthol. New York ad agency Ogilvy & Mather will oversee SmithKline's N'Ice N'Clear account, which is expected to include television spots beginning in September. The TV ads will feature both of the firm's lozenge lines, but will highlight N'Ice N'Clear. SmithKline said that the combination of menthol and eucalyptus will be promoted as making "nasal passages feel clearer." N'Ice is marketed as a treatment for sore throats and coughs only. The N'Ice N'Clear launch follows another recent SmithKline cough/cold line extension -- Contac Day & Night Allergy/Sinus, which began shipping in December 1992. SmithKline has budgeted $ 7.2 mil. for advertising to support the launch of the new allergy product, which employs the same dosing concept as Contac Day & Night Cold & Flu ("The Tan Sheet" March 15, p. 4). N'Ice N'Clear may give SmithKline a boost in the throat lozenge and spray market, which was estimated by Information Resources subsidiary Towne-Oller at $ 130 mil. for the 12 months between February 1992 and February 1993. The $ 130 mil. figure represents a 10% decline from the same period the year before. SmithKline Beecham's Sucrets lozenges led the category with a 22.1% share based on retail dollars. Sucrets accounted for $ 28.8 mil. in retail dollars in the February 1992-February 1993 period, down 10% from a year earlier, the Towne-Oller data show. N'Ice holds the number two spot with a 19.8% share, or $ 25.8 mil. in retail sales, down 8% from the previous year. Two Procter & Gamble products follow the SmithKline brands: Chloraseptic Throat Spray with a 19.5% share and $ 25.3 mil. in retail dollars, down 16%; and Chloraseptic lozenges with a 10% share, or $ 13 mil., down 20%. (See chart below.) Note: This table may be divided, and additional information on a particular entry may appear on more than one screen. The weakness in the overall throat lozenges and sprays market, which may have been due to the milder than usual 1992-1993 winter, affected nearly all brands. The exceptions were Marion Merrell Dow's Cepastat lozenges, which posted a 20% sales increase to $ 5.7 mil. and increased their share of the market to 4.4%; Warner- Lambert's Halls lozenges with a 7% sales gain to $ 5.3 mil. for a 4.1% market share; and certain private label lozenges and sprays. Fisherman's Friend lozenges, which holds 3.8% of the market, generated $ 4.9 mil. in retail sales. Private label throat sprays, with a 5% sales increase to $ 4.6 mil. during the February to February period, captured 3.5% of the market. Chart omitted.
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