What you need to know

Cold, cough, flu and allergy remedies help adults feel in control of their health when common illness occurs. In the midst of the global pandemic COVID-19, feeling safe, healthy and protected is more important than ever. In years to come, proactive purchasing of essential OTC medication, health measures that provide a sense of security and the importance of self-isolation when sick will increase, creating areas of opportunity for symptom relief solutions and illness management.  

Key issues covered in this Report

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the cold, cough, flu and allergy category

  • How consumer behavior toward illness management will shift post-COVID-19

  • Consumer loyalty isn’t bound to brand name

  • How certain proactive wellness ingredients can boost category spending

This Report was written in April 2020, and updated on April 27, 2020 with the COVID-19 implications.


This Report covers remedies that can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription to relieve symptoms of colds, flu, allergies, sore throat, coughs and congestion.

  • Cold, flu, and sinus remedies include: tablets, capsules, liquids, powders and hot drinks for treating cold/flu and/or nasal and chest congestion. Nasal remedies include nasal strips and aspirators.

  • Cough/throat remedies include: cough/sore throat drops; cough syrups/sore throat liquid medicine.

  • Allergy remedies include: tablets, capsules, liquids, powders and nasal sprays.

The market size is not inclusive of all herbal and homeopathic remedies used for treatment of cough, cold, flu and allergy, in part because many natural supplements are not labeled for specific medical conditions. The market size does cover sales of those herbal and homeopathic brands, such as Zicam, that are most likely to be found in mainstream retailers and can be identified as intended for use for the conditions discussed in this Report. Sales of herbal and homeopathic medicines are discussed in this Report, however.

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