Get Ready for Summer

Spring is fast approaching and the UK is looking forward to some sunshine and warmer weather. As a convenience retailer, what are the key summer trends to look out for and how can you prepare for them? Undoubtedly there will be lots of activity and promotions on beers, burgers and disposable BBQs, but what about hay fever, insect control and sunburn?

One of the biggest and most obvious spring and summer trends is the rise of hay fever. There are two key pollen peaks – tree pollen in April and grass pollen in June, and 72% of allergy remedy sales happen between March and August1. The category is in long-term growth, and in recent years the hay fever season has lasted 10 days longer than average and dealt us 21% more pollen2. Rising pollution increases the development of allergens and makes allergies feel worse, and urbanisation is increasing our likelihood of developing atopic conditioners such as hay fever and asthma1.

There are three key sub-categories of allergy remedies – anti-allergy medicines, eye care and decongestants. So how do you know what to stock?

The most important products to have on shelf are ‘one-a-day’ anti-allergy tablets, ‘instant’ anti-allergy tablets, a decongestant nasal spray, decongestant tablets and eye drops. The key brands are Piriteze, Benadryl, Sudafed and Optrex. You can find detail of all the individual SKUs on the Healthcare & Medicines pages now.

Whilst 72% of allergy sales happen in spring and summer, the sharp-eyed amongst you will have spotted that this means shoppers still buy these products in autumn and winter as well, so remember you need them in stock all year round. In particular, decongestants such as Sudafed are popular for winter illnesses too.

Another unpleasant summer trend is the arrival of insects and bugs. For those who do want to have some measure of control, insect killers are a must, and it’s easy for convenience retailers to stock the right products. Raid is the number one brand in the UK with a 63% share of the insect killers category, ahead of Nippon with a 27% share3. The sales peak starts slightly later than for hay fever, with sales ramping up significantly in April. The top three insect killer SKUs you need on shelf are Raid Fly and Wasp Killer Spray 300ml, Raid Ant and Cockroach Killer Spray 300ml, and Raid Ant Killer Powder 250ml. Sanmex Fly and Wasp Killer Spray 300ml also do well in independent convenience stores, carrying a slightly lower price point.

Insect repellents are important too, albeit not so much in the convenience channel. The best-seller in the UK is Jungle Formula Maximum Protection 125ml mosquito repellent. It carries a higher price point than the insect killer products – around £10 – so it’s perhaps one for very large or more specialist convenience stores, but not for the majority.

Another essential product to stock in summer is an anti-diarrhoea remedy. With lots of people going abroad on holiday, and many more having BBQs or otherwise finding excuses to eat and drink a little too much, it’s worth putting Imodium on shelf to meet this need. Indigestion remedies are important too for (some of) the same reasons, so stock Rennie and Gaviscon too. You can find all the product details on the Healthcare & Medicines pages now.

One final note: sunburn. Lots of Brits like to soak up as much sun as possible, and awareness about the dangers of sun exposure is growing so sun cream is essential for most. There are lots of products available, but for convenience retailers, you can cover most shopper needs with Nivea. There are two form factors – spray and bottle/tube – and you can cover most shopper needs with an SPF 50 and SPF 30 in each format (i.e. 4 SKUs). You can extend your range to a kids’ SPF 50 spray as well if you see fit.

That’s all for now. Check out the Category Insight pages now to see all the latest advice and guidance on how to grow sales in the household, health and beauty categories in your convenience store.


1: Proprietary brand manufacturer insight (J&J)

2: Proprietary brand manufacturer insight (Reckitt Healthcare)

3: Insect Killers (exc. Insect Repellents) – Total Market – Value Sales – MAT: 28.05.2022

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