What you need to know

First aid items are a staple in homes that want to be prepared for routine cuts and scrapes. This category has traditionally been driven by value, with sales trending flat. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is encouraging consumers to protect their health and wellness more than ever before; thus, this category is experiencing some surges of interest – particularly when it comes to disinfecting and protective products such as antiseptic ointments, masks and gloves. For homebound consumers, being prepared for emergencies is more important than ever, particularly if medical care is difficult to find or risky to seek out. However, higher sales were not found across all categories of first aid, and it will prove difficult for brands to maintain this interest going forward.

Key issues covered in this Report

  • Current and forecasted sales for the first aid sector overall, along with historic sales trends by segment

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer purchases and attitudes regarding first aid products

  • New products and innovations impacting the first aid landscape

  • Attitudes and behaviors regarding face masks


For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has defined the first aid market as follows:

  • First aid accessories: bandages, first aid tape, gauze/cotton balls/swabs, first aid kits and personal thermometers.

  • First aid treatments: antiseptic ointments and first aid creams/wipes/sprays.

  • Foot care devices: arch support, shoe inserts/insoles and bunion treatment (eg splints, sleeves, toe separators).

This report excludes the following products:

  • Anti-itch products

  • Insect first aid treatments

  • Heat/ice packs

  • Smelling salts

  • Muscle/body support devices

Face masks and gloves are also excluded from market estimates but are discussed where relevant.

COVID-19: Market context

Consumer research for this report was conducted in September 2020 and reflects consumer attitudes and behaviors as the COVID-19 pandemic was in an established phase, with restrictions on movement having eased but consumer concerns growing about further waves of infection. The report was written in October-November 2020, when cases of COVID began to hit new peaks and some regions began discussing going back into lockdown.

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