Having spent over two weeks recently with a really annoying cough and cold, I’ve had first-hand contact with the cold and flu remedies category. During my illness I consumed, in no particular order: vitamin C, vitamin D3, Day Nurse, Night Nurse, paracetamol, Sudafed, Covonia lozenges, Jakeman’s throat sweets and liquorice tea. Annoying as my symptons were, I didn’t bother going to the doctors because there’s nothing they can do for the common cold.

And it seems I’m not alone as, according to the Treat Yourself Better with Pharmacy Advice campaign, 52% of us are self-medicating for colds and flu. And that’s good news for you. According to Nielsen, the total cold and flu category is worth £142.5m and more people are treating their winter illnesses, as sales across the winter meds categories were up 19% year-on-year.

As to what to stock, a TNS consumer survey found that 66% of shoppers look for brand names, followed by 46% who look at price and 41% who look for format. As price is not always a big factor in forecourt purchases, retailers should therefore stock well-known brands in different formats such as tablets, capsules and sachets.

You might keep these high-value lines behind your counter but your customers will instantly know you have them when they see the familiar brand logos of LemSip, Nurofen and Beechams.

Reckitt Benckiser says its five must-stock winter remedies are: Lemsip Max all in one cold and flu; Nurofen Cold & Flu Relief; Lemsip cough range; Strepsils Extra triple action blackcurrant lozenges; and Nurofen for Children Cold Pain and Fever.

One brand that will be well supported over the winter is the aforementioned Lemsip, which is being relaunched with a premium look to increase that all-important shelf standout. Brand owner Reckitt Benckiser says the new look will help shoppers make speedier purchasing decisions.

There’s a range of formats for Lemsip including hot drinks, capsules and liquids so something for everyone. And those drinks come in lots of flavours including the obligatory lemon as well as blackcurrant, honey & ginger and apple & cinnamon. Almost makes you want a cold just so you can enjoy one!