After strong growth in recent years, 2015 showed a decline in value for the first aid category driven by lack of innovation as well as a fall in recorded advertising expenditure.
While overall sales of first aid have been decling, sales of plasters increased in value by 2% in 2015, being the only segment to show growth. This may have been driven by launch activity, with plasters remaining the most innovative segment in 2015 (making up 72% of new launches). The segment is likely to see further innovation in the coming years, particularly as research into smart plasters and bandages has recently been unveiled.
However, sales of insect repellents have experienced a sharp decline, despite data from Mintel suggesting that more people are going on holiday to long-haul destinations. The insect repellent segment may have been impacted by focus on the safety of the insecticide DEET. Although it has been deemed safe to use on skin, reports in the media that it could impact the nervous system may have had adverse effects on sales of the product. In addition, innovation in sun protection products featuring insect repellent properties may also have impacted the segment.
According to exclusive consumer reserah, accidents are more likely to happen inside rather than outside the home, reflected by the high proportion of those who have not had any minor wounds/injuries outside the home. Paper cuts, shaving nicks and knife cuts are wounds/injuries that are most likely to have been experienced in the past 12 months, reinforcing the position of plasters and bandages as staple first aid items.
Younger people are more likely to experience a paper cut (40% of 16- 24s vs 33% of over-55s) whilst older people are more likely to experience knife cuts (37% of over- 55s vs 25% of 16-24s, see Databook).