Forecourt stores are never going to be a consumer’s first port of call for their health and beauty needs they’ll go to the supermarkets, Boots or Superdrug instead. However, as full-blown convenience outlets, consumers will expect forecourt stores to stock the essentials. On a motorway or busy A-road site that could be the distress purchase for the businessperson who has forgotten to pack toothpaste, while in a neighbourhood area it could be a mum looking for a top-up because she’s run out of shampoo. What both these shoppers have in common is that they’ll want to quickly identify that you stock such items, so that means stocking the big brands backed by the big advertising bucks. So for toothpaste that’s probably Colgate while for shampoo it’s Pantene or Head & Shoulders.

Lynx is a real powerhouse brand you can’t seem to switch on the TV, go to the cinema or drive down the road without seeing a Lynx ad. The latest ad campaign supports Lynx Dry+ Sensitive the first sensitive variant from the brand.

Kieran Danaher, Lynx brand manager at Unilever UK, comments: "Every week over five million men in the UK use Lynx deodorants and the Lynx brand is worth £116m. We have launched Lynx Dry+ Sensitive, our first ever anti-irritation deodorant, in response to new consumer research which found that 57% of men have sensitive underarm skin that reacts badly to normal deodorants. Lynx Dry+ Sensitive tackles both sweat and sensitive skin, preventing embarrassing sweat patches and itchy underarms."

Meanwhile, Susan Woodhead, category insight controller at Lil-lets, reckons retailers could be missing out on up to a third of additional sales from their femcare fixture by only stocking the leading applicator tampon brand.

According to research conducted by Lil-lets, branded tampon users buy either Tampax (applicator) or Lil-lets (non-applicator), not both. And with the average Lil-lets user spending an additional £1 on associated products, such as painkillers, retailers could also see the benefits outside the femcare aisle. "Tampon buyers are very loyal to their format and loyalty to the Lil-lets brand in particular is very high at 84% the highest within the category," she says. "The majority of retailers are unaware of this strong loyalty and therefore may be missing out on almost a third of their tampon sales by not stocking Lil-lets non-applicator tampons as well as their standard applicator brand."

In addition to distress and top-up purchases, Ian Anderson, marketing director at Halo Wipes, reckons forecourt shoppers are looking for products that provide solutions for their away-from-home needs. "The most popular health and beauty products purchased from forecourts are items for freshening up when on the road, such as deodorant, hand wipes and dry shampoo. With products such as these, standard sizes are not required, so travel-sized items that can easily fit in a bag or the glove compartment of a car, are much more appealing to consumers."

Anderson says the merchandising and positioning of health and beauty products should be a key consideration for forecourt retailers. "These types of products will never be the primary purchase at a forecourt, so they need to be positioned in a place that is clearly visible to consumers. Clip-strips or counter-top trays work well to attract consumer attention."

The Halo range of pocket-sized wipes has just been re-branded. It comprises Handy Hygienic Wipes, Deodorant Wipes, Eye Make-Up Remover Pads, Toilet Wipes and Moist Toilet Tissue. All the products in the range come in a handy pocket-sized pack, with 10 wipes in a pack (30 pads in the eye make-up remover pack). Packs come in shelf-ready packaging. Recommended retail price is 99p, except for the eye make-up remover pads, which retail at £1.99.

The cold season

Shoppers should be able to rely on forecourts for basic cold and flu remedies.

Reckitt Benckiser recommends retailers stock: Strepsil Handy Tube in honey & lemon; Lemsip Max drink lemon (5); All in One Drink lemon (5); Lemsip Max Caps (16s); and Lemsip All in One Capsules (8s).

Retailers should also look out for Lemsip’s new flexible cold and flu tablets. These Lemsip Max lemon flavour tablets can either be easily swallowed as a tablet or dissolved to make a soothing hot drink.

The launch is supported by a £7m multi-media Lemsip marketing campaign including dedicated TV and radio ads for Lemsip Max lemon running throughout the winter months.

The tablets come in packs of 12 with a rrp of £3.99

Product News

l Unilever UK recently relaunched Timotei with a new formulation which combines natural beauty recipes from around the world with patented hair care technology. The packaging has been revamped and rebranded, with the old green bottle replaced with a more contemporary white one.

l Supermax has launched a £1 range of shaving products including male and female variants of triple blade and twin blade disposable razors. Also included are male and female 200ml shaving gels and a 400ml shaving foam. The Supermax3 range will be supported by an on-pack promotion which ties in with the release of the CSI New York series on DVD on September 20.

l Herbal Essences has launched a Beautiful Ends hair care range. It has been created specifically for consumers with mid to long hair, to help protect it from everyday damage and split ends. Products include shampoo, conditioner, leave-in split end protection cream and a rinse-out intensive mask.

l According to IRI data, the female razor market is worth £68m with the Gillette Venus brand holding over a 50% share. The Venus range was boosted earlier this year with the launch of the two-in-one product, Venus Spa Breeze. It is designed to make shaving easier with its built-in shave gel bars that provide moisturising lather for a smooth shave, without the need for separate shave cream. Rrp is £7.99 with refill packs of four blades retailing at £8.99 and packs of eight retailing at £16.99.

l Aqua Light, P&G’s recently-launched hair care range is being supported by a ’Make a Swisssh’ campaign, fronted by Cat Deeley. The campaign calls on British women to swish their hair, culminating in a world record-breaking swish in December at the Clothes Show Live in Birmingham.

l P&G advises that top-selling brands should signpost the men’s toiletries category by creating a ’male zone’ in store and drawing attention to premium offerings such as the Gillette skin care range.The range includes a pre-shave scrub, two after-shave balms and a moisturiser. Rrps start at £6.99