Insights for Retailers

Probiotics for allergies & skin irritations

Market analyst Lumina Intelligence’s 20-country survey of online offerings found approximately 120 probiotic topical cosmetic products and about 25 orally ingested probiotic food supplements targeted at those with allergies, eczema or other skin irritations including acne.

Naming this niche category as ‘skinbiotics’, Lumina identified the number of online customer reviews of probiotic cosmetics doubling in 2018.

A select few probiotic strains including L. fermentum and L. rhamnosus dominate in all skin care products. Multiple strain offerings are less noticeable than in other probiotic sectors such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

The category benefits from being widely perceived as ‘natural’ with 67% of probiotic cosmetics boasting a ‘clean label’ and/or vegetarian and free-from.

Clearer allergy labelling essential

The number of hospital admissions of children suffering severe allergic reactions has risen by 72% in the last five years, according to NHS figures. Just under 1,750 children were treated for anaphylactic shock in 2018-19, up from 1,015 in 2013-14.

This underlines the importance of clearly labelling pre-packed foods to guard against allergic reactions from all 14 major allergens.

Something’s brewing

National Tea Day conducted a survey of Tea Brands ahead of National Tea Day (April 21) and found that tea is on a rapid rise due mainly to a large 50% growth in consumption in the 24-35 age group. Meanwhile the 36-54 age group had a solid 25% increase in consumption.

The UK consumes 165m cups of tea per day whereas coffee consumption is significantly lower at 95m cups per day. Consumers are also becoming more conscious of consuming quality-sourced, healthy and great tasting products.

Rise in allergy disorders

Max Wiseberg, MD of HayMax allergen barrier balms, refers us to figures showing the dramatic rise in allergies and the link to eczema and asthma.

“The number of people living with allergies in the UK is rising by 5% every year,” he says. “In the UK, about one in three people have an allergic disease and 40% of children have been diagnosed with allergy in the UK, so allergies are now the most common chronic disorder in children.”

One in four people – that’s 16m in the UK – has hay fever. Each is four times more likely to suffer from other allergic conditions such as asthma, food allergy and eczema.

“Hay fever is often not recognised or treated seriously and is generally poorly managed,” says Max. “And the percentage of people diagnosed with hay fever, eczema and asthma has trebled over 30 years.”

Retailers should team up to meet rising demand for Click & Collect

Nine out of 10 retailers are planning to invest in Click & Collect services over the next five years with the market set to be worth almost £10bn by 2023. However, with store closures reshaping the nation’s high streets, businesses need to find new ways for shoppers to collect parcels.

That’s the conclusion of Barclaycard’s latest research which also reveals that six out of ten consumers want retailers to partner together so they can collect purchases in more locations. More than 80% of shoppers buy additional items in-store when using Click & Collect, while more than three quarters of retailers say providing the service reduces return volumes.

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Is there a future for cash in the retail sector?

Debit cards are the most popular form of payment as falling cash use pushed notes and coins down to third place.

Credit and charge cards accounted for £82bn, or 22%, of retail sales in 2018, outstripping cash (£78bn) for the first time, according to the British Retail Consortium. Spending on debit cards totalled £216bn.

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Researchers seek CBD solution for Parkinson’s psychosis

A pioneering clinical trial is to investigate if cannabidiol (CBD) can treat hallucinations and delusions in people living with Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s UK, Europe's largest charitable funder of Parkinson’s research, is backing a world first clinical trial at King’s College London (KCL), which will test whether CBD is safe and effective for treating Parkinson’s psychosis symptoms.

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Diabetes and the family connection

A study surveying 4,300 family members of people living with diabetes, published in Diabetes Therapy, shows that hypoglycaemia, also known as ‘hypos’ or low blood sugar, can be perceived as a substantial burden by family members of people with diabetes.

Almost two-thirds (64%) of family members of people with diabetes report being worried or anxious about the risk of hypoglycaemia. Added to this, 74% of the study participants that were helping their relative with diabetes to manage their hypos, state that they spend less time on, or forego entirely, other activities such as hobbies, holidays or being with other friends or family as a result.

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Menopausal women being prescribed ‘inappropriate’ antidepressants

Over a third of women visiting their GP with menopausal symptoms are being offered antidepressants despite the majority (80%) feeling the treatment is ‘inappropriate’ for their symptoms.

The What Women Want at Menopause survey shows that women are increasingly reluctant to visit the doctor over fears they will not receive the right advice or treatment, as choices of medication for menopause are limited.

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Young consumers are willing to pay more for organic

Latest research from Mintel revealed at the Anuga Food Fair 2019 shows there has never been so much choice for organic food and drink.

According to the Mintel Global New Products Database the total number of new food and drink product launches globally with an organic claim has risen from 6% to 10% between August 2009 and July 2019.

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“Organic can lead the way” – Soil Association annual conference

Around 200 delegates from across the organic industry attended Soil Association Certification’s annual Organic Trade Conference in London in October.

The conference, titled ‘Together we can make a world of difference’, hit an optimistic note for the future of organic and the potential for a united market to resonate with an increasingly “environmentally aware” public.

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A third of UK grocery shoppers prioritise planet over price

Ethical and sustainable issues are driving changes in food shopping. Almost two thirds of Brits (32.2m people) now consider themselves ‘ethical or sustainable grocery shoppers’, and 36% say ethical or sustainable considerations are the most important factor in their shopping.

Research of over 2,000 UK shoppers by natural food company Wessanen UK found that:

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Retailer confidence is at a three-year low

The British Independent Retailers Association’s business confidence barometer, which forms part of Bira’s annual Wages Survey, showed 50.8% of retailers are feeling anxious, which is significantly higher than in 2018 (40.83%). The number of retailers feeling very confident showed a decline too, with only 7.1% feeling very confident, which is down on 2018 and 2017 (8.28% and 12.5%).

The Wages Survey is an annual questionnaire of Bira’s membership to gauge how employment costs are affecting their businesses and also to see how confident they are about the future. The National Association of Health Stores is a member of Bira.

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