Nonfood

Stress Relief, Self-Care Are Sales Drivers in Health, Beauty

Consumers also gravitate toward the vitamin aisle
Image: Shutterstock

In health and beauty aisles across the country, stress relief and self-care continue to be important sales drivers.

According to IRI data for the 52 weeks ending Oct. 4, 2020, dollar sales for skincare products increased 4% over the previous year to $4.2 billion. Within that category, facial moisturizers saw the biggest gain at nearly 20%. Predictably during a pandemic, the soap category saw a big surge, increasing 36% to $7 billion, and hand sanitizer sales spiked 456% to $1.2 billion. Body wash sales grew by a healthy 11.5%, and sales of hand and body lotions increased 4.3% over the previous year.

Consumers also gravitated toward the vitamin aisle. Dollar sales for the category saw an overall increase of 15.3% to $8.8 billion, and multivitamin sales rose by 17.2% to $2.2 billion. Mineral supplement sales increased 8.4% to $4.1 billion.

“If we were to bundle all the micro-trends we’re seeing, I think it all comes back to how our customers are looking to combat the stress and inflammation that we experience from our modern lifestyles,” says Jonathan Lawrence,  senior director of grocery and natural living for Downers Grove, Ill.-based  Fresh Thyme Market. “These factors are what ultimately lead to weakened immune systems, low energy and poor digestion.”

The stores’ biggest-selling health and beauty products currently include hand soaps and sanitizers, as well as vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and a variety of herbal remedies.

In competing with online and specialty brick-and-mortar stores, great customer service goes a long way, Lawrence says.

“We’ve got an incredibly knowledgeable and passionate group of people in our department who are solely there to help our customers along their path to taking control of their health and happiness,” he says. “There’s no secret to our success—we truly care about our customers and hopefully that shines through.

“Grocery retailers can learn from the independent health food stores with regard to the importance of educating their teams and their customers,” he continues. “The interaction that takes place in the aisles is where the magic happens. To me, that is where you build that connection and loyalty that every retailer is looking for.”

Keeping up with product trends is another advantage. “We’re the perfect size to offer the best of both worlds,” says Lawrence. “We’re big enough to leverage our volume to offer great prices and a large assortment, but small enough to turn on a dime with new and trending items. Our merchant team doesn’t just depend on data to determine what’s on our shelves. They live the lifestyle, so they can spot the next new, hot items before most other retailers. Our mantra is ‘first and fast.’”

Health and Beauty

Total U.S. multioutlet (grocery, drug, mass market, military and select club and dollar retailers) | Latest 52 weeks ending Oct. 4, 2020

Source: Market Advantage TSV; IRI Liquid data

Click here to view the full report.

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