First Aid - US - December 2013
“The first aid market is expected to grow steadily into 2018. To accelerate market growth, companies should focus on the needs of aging consumers, better engage with low-product usage groups like Blacks and Hispanics, and encourage consumers to be more prepared to treat injuries, especially on-the-go.”
– Gabriela Elani, Home & Personal Care Analyst
This report looks at the following areas:
- Focus on needs of aging consumers
- Increase outreach to Blacks and Hispanics
- Encourage greater consumer preparedness, especially on-the-go
Total US retail sales for the first aid products market are $3.1 billion in 2013. The market was largely untouched by the recession and subsequent recovery years. This is due to first aid staples, such as adhesive bandages and antiseptic treatments, having a high incidence of household use due to consumers needing treatment options for minor wounds and injuries. Category growth in the coming years will continue to be driven by this need.
Though the market is growing, expanding usage occasions and getting consumers to spend more on products is a challenge because this is a commodity category for most consumers. Private label is the top player in two out of the three product segments because consumers are mainly shopping by price. Consumers are also not using products beyond when they need to treat wounds/injuries and aren’t looking for new product benefits. Addressing the needs of aging consumers who are using products such as muscle/joint support devices at increased rates and focusing on on-the-go preparedness are two strong opportunities for the category.
The key topics of focus for the 2013 report include understanding consumers’ incidence of wounds/injuries in the past six months, along with their current first aid product use and shopping behaviors. In addition, this report will explore what types of opportunities exist for companies and brands to grow consumers’ current first aid product repertoire and how brands can encourage consumers to be more prepared for potential first aid needs both inside and outside the home.
Mintel defines the US first aid market as consisting of the following product categories:
- First aid accessories: bandages and medical tape, cotton balls, gauze, personal thermometers, first aid kits
- First aid treatments: ointments and antiseptics for the treating external injuries and wounds, includes antibiotic ointments
- Muscle/joint support devices: narrowly defined as products typically sold in drugstores that provide support for joints or muscles as they heal from sprains, strains, or other injuries. Includes joint, back, and neck support devices, elastic wraps, sports tape/wraps, finger splints, slings, etc.
This report excludes the following products:
- Anti-itch and insect first aid products (covered in Mintel’s Medicated Skincare—US, December 2012 report)
- Heat/ice packs (covered in Mintel’s Analgesics—US, July 2013 report)
- Smelling salts
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