Bandage, tape remain stable

The first-aid tape and bandage business is a relatively stable category without a lot of dramatic sales swings. For the 52 weeks ended April 20, sales of first-aid tape and bandages were up 1.3% to $772.5 million across total U.S. multi-outlets, according to IRI. Johnson & Johnson, principally with its Band Aid brand, drives the category with $339.1 million in sales (up 1.1%), followed by 3M and its Curad brand with vendor sales of $70.3 million (0% growth). Sandwiched between the two first-aid giants is private label, which generated $256.8 million in sales (up 5.3%).

There is a company that’s come onto the scene in the past two years looking to drive some foot traffic into the first-aid set that goes beyond buying bandages and tape for minor cuts and scrapes. KT Health, with its KT Tape, is attempting to recreate the Breathe Right phenomena with endorsements by such Olympic athletes as three-time gold medalist and champion volleyball player Kerri Walsh. Breathe Right, a product that opens the nasal passages, became a success after San Francisco 49er’s Jerry Rice wore the nasal strip during a football game in the late 1990s.

KT Health most recently announced it was the official Kinesiology Tape of USA Soccer. “It is an aspirational brand,” John MacKay, KT Health president, told Drug Store News, explaining why athlete endorsements were important. “But it’s applicable for the person who develops tendinitis [from] painting their house ... [who finds that when] they throw a strip of tape on, there is an immediate pain-relieving effect and therapeutic effect that gives them accelerated recovery.”

“It treats such a variety of conditions that the challenge then is to educate people on the multiple applications and how to use it. ... We have 50 instructional videos on our website,” MacKay said.

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