17% of Allergy Med Buyers Are More Likely to Consider a Brand After Seeing Ads; Zyrtec, Claritin, Equate (Walmart) Capture Highest Share of Spend

CHICAGO, IL May 13, 2024 (GlobeNewswire) – Numerator, a data and tech company serving the market research space, is releasing new findings on allergy medication buyers and their sentiments around over-the-counter medication usage, preference for name brand vs. store brands, and attitudes toward medication advertising, sourced from purchase data and a quick-pulse survey of 500 verified buyers. In general, allergy medication buyers are more likely to be high income, Gen X consumers living in rural areas, with 72% of surveyed buyers saying brand name and private label allergy medications offer the same quality.

Survey Findings Include:

  • 9 in 10 allergy medication buyers said they purchase for adults in the household. 93% of survey respondents said they purchase over-the-counter seasonal allergy medication for themselves or other adults (ages 18+) in the household. 15% purchase for children (ages 5-12), and 13% purchase for teenage children (ages 13-17). 70% said they only use OTC allergy meds to treat seasonal allergies, while 30% use both OTC and prescription medications.
  • The majority of allergy med buyers say store brands are just as high quality as name brands. 72% of survey respondents said that brand names and store brands are usually the same quality. 20% said that brand name is usually higher quality, and 8% said that store brand is usually higher quality.
    • But buyers are evenly split between brand name and store brand when buying OTC allergy medication. 38% of buyers said they mostly or always purchase brand name, 36% said they mostly or always purchase store brand, and 26% of buyers said they purchase brand name and store brand equally.
    • Walmart’s Equate brand is the most popular among store brand allergy medications. When asked which of the following brands they use or would consider using to treat allergy symptoms, the top answers were Benadryl (46%), Claritin (45%), Zyrtec (42%), Equate / Walmart (37%), Allegra (37%), Flonase (36%), CVS Health (19%), Walgreen’s (18%), Xyzal (16%), Up & Up / Target (13%), Kirkland Signature / Costco (12%), Members Mark / Sam’s Club (12%), and DG Health / Dollar General (11%).
  • Nearly 1 in 5 buyers say advertisements impact their purchase. While 75% of allergy med buyers said that advertisements have no influence on their purchases, 17% said they are more likely to consider a brand whose advertisement they have seen, and 8% are less likely.
  • Spring and fall are the top seasons for allergy med usage. The top months for OTC allergy med usage are April (83%), May (76%), and March (70%). About half of medication buyers use in June (56%), September (55%), October (51%), August (49%), and July (48%). The months with lowest usage are February (43%), November (38%), January (38%), and December (33%).
    • 3 in 5 respondents said OTC allergy meds are being taken every day. 60% said during the months of usage, seasonal allergy meds are being used every day. 24% said a few times per week, 7% said once per week, and 5% said a few times per month.
  • OTC allergy meds are being used most frequently for nasal symptoms. When asked what symptoms are being treated with OTC allergy meds, 84% of respondents said nasal symptoms (itchy, runny, congested nose; sneezing), 65% said itchy or watery eyes, 25% said headaches or fatigue, 24% said respiratory issues (chest tightness, wheezing, shortness of breath), and 22% said throat discomfort or tightness.
    • Allergy med buyers are also purchasing additional supplies to alleviate symptoms. 50% said they purchase nasal care products (e.g., tissues, saline spray, nasal irrigation products) to help manage symptoms. 42% said they purchase vitamins and supplements, 37% purchase eye care products (e.g., eye drops), 31% purchase hydration improvement supplies (e.g., water, electrolyte beverages), and 28% purchase air quality improvement supplies (e.g., air purifiers, filters, face masks).

Consumer Profile and Purchase Data Findings Include:

  • Nearly two-thirds of households purchase OTC allergy medications. 64% of US households purchased allergy medications in the past 12 months, spending an average of almost $58 and making 3-4 separate purchases. 60% purchased adult allergy meds, while 15% purchased children’s allergy meds.
    • April is historically the top month for sales, and early data indicates a worse allergy season in 2024. April is historically the top month for allergy medication sales (11.3% of annual sales in 2023), followed by March (10.4%), May (10.3%) and September (8.6%). March 2024 allergy medication sales were up 15.4% versus last year, indicating a potentially heavier allergy season.
  • The average allergy medication buyer is more likely to be a high income, married Gen X’er living in a rural area. Compared to the average consumer, those who purchase OTC allergy meds are 7% more likely to be Gen X, 12% more likely to live in the East South Central US, 9% more likely to have an income of $125k+, 12% more likely to be married, and 8% more likely to live in a rural area.
    • Seasonal allergies are not the only allergies in the household. Allergy med buyers are 9% more likely to have or have someone in their household with a tree nut allergy and 6% more likely to have or have someone in their household with a wheat allergy.

Top Allergy Care Brands by Share of Spend

Numerator TruView, Last 52W ending 3/31/24

Brand Share of Spend










CVS Health


Kirkland Signature








Numerator’s OTC Allergy Med survey was fielded 5/3/24–5/6/24 to 500 consumers.

About Numerator:

Numerator is a data and tech company bringing speed and scale to market research.  Numerator blends first-party data from over 1 million US households with advanced technology to provide 360-degree consumer understanding for the market research industry that has been slow to change. Headquartered in Chicago, IL, Numerator has 2,000 employees worldwide; 80 of the top 100 CPG brands’ manufacturers are Numerator clients.


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