ST. PETERSBURG, Fla, – As allergy sufferers deal with wheezing and sneezing to varying degrees depending upon where they live in the U.S., and as the nation braces for cold and flu season to set in during the midst of a pandemic, shopper intelligence leader Catalina has launched two interactive heat maps to track the intensity and timing of these health maladies as they progress across the country.
With more than 50 million Americans affected by allergies each year (source: WebMD), Catalina’s Interactive Allergy Map tracks the shopping behavior of people seeking relief from runny noses, watery eyes and sneezing. Since allergies are typically triggered by weather shifts, each week Catalina’s data & analytics team is analyzing sales of over-the-counter allergy treatments in 152 Designated Marketing Area-based geographies nationwide. Sales in a particular geography are then compared to sales during a pre-season period to calculate a weekly “Allergy $ Index.” The map provides an early indication of the arrival of higher in-season sales levels at the regional level. Green areas on the map indicate that sales are still at off-season levels, while red and orange indicate increasing sales levels as the in-season peak approaches.
Similarly, Catalina’s Interactive Cough, Cold & Flu Map will track shopping behavior and sales as people fill their baskets with products to treat their coughs, runny noses, fevers and more in 152 DMA-based geographies nationwide. Every DMA across the U.S. has its own benchmark baseline, so retailers, brands and agencies can quickly find local and regional information.
“Catalina’s Interactive Allergy and Cold & Flu Heat Maps are part of our ongoing commitment to help our retail and CPG customers better understand and engage shoppers,” said Marta Cyhan, chief marketing officer of Catalina. “Over-the-counter brands and their agencies should find this data helpful to ensure optimal timing, location and level of their advertising and consumer promotions. Meanwhile, retailers can leverage this data to drive decisions on merchandising, promotion and product ordering for allergy and cold & flu-related products.”