The first aid category has seen a decline in value sales since 2008, and although growth is predicted in 2013 (driven by increased investment in advertising), long-term decline is likely unless the market responds to consumer needs. Encouraging people to self-treat and treat others is key in this market, as although consumers show confidence in treating themselves, confidence in treating others is much lower.
Valued at £147 million in 2013, the market has seen a slow and steady decline in sales during the period 2008-12, with the greatest decline in 2010. In 2010, there was a reduction in the total number of new launches which may have contributed to the decline in market value by 4.5%. Although the decline in value was smaller in 2011 (1%) driven by a boost in the number of new launches and advertising spend, the overall value of the market has not recovered as it continued to show a decline in 2012. This is likely to have been driven by low investment in brand communication and promotion, as in 2013 where advertising in the first six months is already higher than total expenditure in 2012, the value of the market is predicted to have grown by 1% between 2012 and 2013.
With growth in the population of the oldest and youngest demographics predicted, encouraging parents to treat wounds/injuries on their children and elderly people to treat themselves rather than seek medical advice are key to boosting the market. Although there is little in new product development in the market, with own-label launches outnumbering branded launches, manufacturers could do more to advertise existing products and innovations.
Exclusive consumer research finds younger people, particularly those aged 16-24, are more likely to suffer from minor wounds/ailments than older people. When it comes to children, parents of children aged 5-9 are most likely to say that their children have suffered from wounds/ailments in the last six months. Another high-risk group are people who do a lot of DIY, 95% of whom have experienced a wound/injury in the last six months. All these groups offer opportunities to target products and in-store communication.