While coughs, colds and seasonal allergies have always been a retail health category, this recession has bolstered the workplace channel for messaging and products.
BigResearch‘s Workplace Media group has found that 85% of working consumers are concerned about this year’s flue and cold season. Two-thirds of workers planned to get a flu shot. And, 9 in 10 workers would likely welcome and use an offer for flu/cold products delivered through the workplace.
The H1N1 virus drives most working consumers to take extra precautions this cold/flu season.
Other key findings are that:
  • 3/4 of employers will offer flu prevention tips to employees this season
  • 1/4 of employers will offer products to prevent and treat flus and colds
  • More hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial cleaning supplies are showing up in office settings
  • Employers are looking for ways to educate employees like informational brochures and posters for the breakroom.
2009/2010 Cough, Cold & Flu Season in the Workplace Research Findings report is based on research among 898 U.S. adults conducted in September 2009.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: These data suggest a useful continuum-of-care when it comes to cold/flu prevention in the workplace, beginning with prevention messages communicated in posters (think: “wash your hands”), to workplace-provided hand sanitizers and treatment remedies (e.g., perhaps coupons for OTC products, links to local pharmacies).

Workplace Media sees that recession is driving workers to spend more on flu/cold remedies this year given workers’ concerns for job security. The Consumer Intentions and Actions survey finds that, while American workers are more positive about the economy in general, their spending is on needs more than wants. OTCs for managing health fall into the ‘needs’ category.

The proof of this is in the data: spending on OTC cough/cold/flu meds was up in December 2009. Workers purchased 28% more cough medicine on a weekly basis in 12/09, and 20% more cold/flu meds weekly in December more frequently than the general U.S. population.

Coupling this evidence with the growth of worksite clinics solidifies the fact that the workplace is certainly a key locus for health.