Why Cough Medicine Sales Are On The Rise

With coronavirus cases on the decline and mask shedding on the rise, something else is also on the rise and that something is cough medicine. Yes, one of the primary symptoms of COVID-19 for many is a harsh, dry cough, but that’s not why people are reaching for the Robitussin during their drug store runs.

It turns out masks didn’t just protect people from COVID. It protected us from most of the common contagious ailments that spread throughout the year. Much of the country being masked is why flu cases for 2020-2021 were so low, according to Healthline. With the CDC advising in May that vaccinated people no longer needed to mask both outdoors and indoors, that signified life getting back to normal. And life getting back to normal means catching common bugs. Allergy sufferers are also being affected. In 2020, allergy season coincided with mask wearing, but not anymore (via Yahoo News).

2021 brings sales up for common over-the-counter remedies

According to Catalina’s Buyer Intelligence Database, which uses billions of bar codes to pull three years worth of U.S. buyer history, cough and cold medicines for children alone were up a whopping 564% over the spring of 2021 as of June 12, reports Yahoo News. In the spring, many schools opened five days a week, leading kids to venture out of the virtual world of learning. Hyland’s cough medicine saw the biggest jump in sales at 773%, with Mucinex up by 759%.

Adult cough and cold medicine also saw sales jump after the CDC mask recommendations. Vaporizers saw the highest jump in sales at 151%, while cough and cold remedies up by 80%. Throat and cough lozenge sales also rose 48% over the same time in 2020. The vaporizer brands that saw the highest jumps were Vaposhower and Vick’s, while Vick’s and Zarbee’s cough medicines saw the largest growth in that category. Vapocol and Cepacol were the brand’s that saw the biggest sales rise over 2020 in the lozenge category, according to Yahoo News.

Not surprisingly, face masks saw a drop in sales. When comparing the four-week period ending June 12, 2021 to the same period in 2020, Catalina found sales for items in the home health testing category, which includes those masks we all wore for over a year, dropped by 62%.

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