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Sneezy money

Sore throats, runny noses, earache, colds and flu-like illness produce a range of symptoms that can usually be managed using over-the-counter medicines and don't need antibiotics. That was the message from Public Health England (PHE) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) in the run up to last winter and with all the recent news about antibiotic resistance, we can probably expect more of the same this year. Instead, the PHE and the RCGP advise that those suffering from the aforementioned conditions opt for painkillers, home remedies such as honey and lemon, cough mixtures and lozenges.

Cold comfort

You might be sweating your 'whatsits' off as you read this but cast your mind back a few months and you'll shiver at the thought of March, which was the second coldest month since records began more than 100 years ago. Sneezes, coughs and colds hit higher-than-average levels, sending demand for remedies soaring. And such was demand that Tesco apparently maintained winter levels of supplies for its customers.

Clean living

When it comes to hair care, consumers really do believe "they're worth it" and stick to named brands. So says Mintel in its recent Shampoo, Conditioners and Styling Products report. Highlighting this, is the fact that last year own-label products accounted for a measly 4% of haircare value sales. Meanwhile, the big sellers were Elvive, Tresemmé, Head & Shoulders, Pantene ProV, Aussie and Herbal Essences and these are the brands your customers will expect to see in your stores.

Cough & Cold Remedies: Going menthol

In the UK, medicated confectionery products are traditionally bought for the cold and flu season, which runs from September to March. However, Kraft Foods is looking to extend sales of its Halls brand beyond this period by invigorating consumers with a new proposition, product and pack design, as well as a £1.3m marketing campaign.

Healthcare: Looking good

The big news in male grooming so far this year has been the Lynx brand's move into hair care. Brand owner Unilever says the new range "taps into the strong and sustained growth of the male grooming market". The company's internal stats show that use of deodorants by men has increased by almost 40% in the past 15 years, while Kantar Worldpanel data reveals that hair care plays a major role in daily routines for men accounting for 14% of male grooming usage occasions.

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Weekly Fuel Prices 14 August 2017
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East117.78126.20116.58
East Midlands117.17126.70116.22
London117.7259.90127.04116.54
North East116.9560.90129.14116.15
North West117.36126.64116.53
Northern Ireland116.19122.90115.51
Scotland117.41124.99116.52
South East118.0359.90127.89116.96
South West117.7463.40125.47116.65
Wales117.10127.21116.19
West Midlands117.39126.42116.62
Yorkshire & Humber117.0267.40127.01116.21

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