Saturday, April 04, 2009

Re-Branded Latin American Honey Cough Syrup Boosts Sales

P&G's Trickle-Up Success: Sweet as Honey
Vicks Cough Syrup with Honey started out as a Latin American product, but Procter & Gamble saw an opportunity to offer it in richer markets
By Reena Jana, Business Week, 3/31/2009

A new over-the-counter medicine from Vicks that has become popular in Switzerland in the past year isn't as new as it seems. The product, Vicks Cough Syrup with Honey, is really just the latest version of an elixir that Vicks parent Procter & Gamble (PG) initially created for lower-income consumers in Mexico­ and then "trickled up" to richer lands...

Honey Cough originated in 2003 in P&G's labs in Caracas, Venezuela, which creates products for all of Latin America. Market researchers found that Latin American shoppers tended to prefer homeopathic remedies for coughs and colds. So they set out to create a medicine using natural honey rather than artificial flavors typically used. P&G introduced the syrup in Mexico first, under the label VickMiel, and then in other Latin American markets such as Brazil.

P&G wagered that the product could appeal to parts of the U.S. that have large Hispanic populations. In 2005, the company rebranded it as Vicks Casero for sale in California and Texas, at a price slightly less than Vicks' mainstay product, Vicks Formula 44. P&G won't release sales figures, but within the first year of its release the Cincinnati company boosted distribution to 27% more outlets…

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