Segment sales spike for summer

The same weather factors that are boosting allergy sales as the allergy season is extended may be having a substantial impact on the sales of anti-itch ointments, up 10% to $528.2 million across U.S. multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ended April 20, according to IRI, and insect bite treatments, which totaled $13.6 million and were up 19.4% over the same period.

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“We’ve found that poison ivy is greatly affected by weather patterns. Over the last couple of years, spring has been late, cold and wet,” said Lisa Leverich, director marketing at Tec Laboratories. “A wet spring makes for a later, [more lush] poison ivy season. However, July is usually the peak month for poison ivy.”

Rising temperatures and an increase in rainfall throughout much of the country also help boost mosquito and tick populations, according to the National Pest Management Association.

Another factor driving anti-itch is the CrossFit trend, Leverich added. “With the CrossFit trend exploding across the country, people are getting down and dirty in the elements. Warrior and mudder competitions also are hot beds for brushing up against poison ivy.”

Weather has less of an impact on other first-aid categories, such as accessories and bandages, though summertime does see a sales spike in these categories as more and more people venture into the outdoors. And though sales of actual first-aid kits were down 4.6% to $47.2 million across U.S. multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ended April 20, such first-aid kit marketers as Johnson & Johnson have identified an opportunity to build incremental sales through its concept “Build Your Own First Aid Kit,” whereby consumers fill a first-aid kit with J&J branded first-aid merchandise. The concept first was introduced through Target in 2009, but it has expanded to other retailers after successfully increasing the first-aid market basket size.

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