Growing Product Options Drive US Shift to Daily Contact Lenses – GfK Data

One-third of contact lens users who switch brands are upgrading to higher-priced products, usually daily disposables

In the US contact lens market, upgrade is the word of the moment. In the past six months, 36% of contact lens users who switched brands moved to higher-priced products, usually from Weekly/Monthly to Daily lenses, or from “traditional” models to those made of higher-quality materials. 

GfK Fits data from independent optics shops and chains in the US show that Daily disposable lenses continue to post double-digit annual growth after roughly 20 years on the market. In 2015, Daily lens sales have already risen 23%, while Monthly sales grew by 7% and Weekly dropped 6%.

A number of factors have contributed to these million-dollar marketplace shifts:

  • new “family” assortments – mixing sphere, multifocal, and/or toric lenses – in the Daily category have made switching more convenient
  • the introduction of lower-priced Daily products has also made upgrading more attractive
  • a Unilateral Pricing Policy (UPP) introduced in June 2014 has helped to hold the line on prices for some lenses Unilateral Pricing Policy (UPP) introduced in June 2014 has helped to hold the line on prices for some lenses

GfK’s data shows strong growth among several new Daily lens styles in 2015:

  • Daily Toric – unit volume up 37%
  • Daily Multifocal – 66% unit growthDaily Multifocal – 66% unit growth
  • Daily Cosmetic – 59% unit growthDaily Cosmetic – 59% unit growth

“We have seen no shortage of experimentation in the contact lens market, and consumers are responding,” said Sonia Martins, Business Group Director (Optics) on GfK’s POS Tracking team. “With manufacturers emphasizing annual supplies, mapped pricing, and specialty segments, the industry has recorded tremendous growth in key categories. This seems like a recipe for continued success, helping lens buyers make healthier choices for themselves and more profitable ones for retailers and producers.”

Please contact marketing(at)gfk.com for more information. 

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