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An early June heatwave helped boost volume sales

Suncare products are well positioned to solidify their place in shopping baskets, as Brits brace for what could be the hottest-ever year.

Bucking the volume decline in most skincare sectors, suncare grew 10.6% in 2023 – shifting 4.9 million more units [Kantar 52 w/e 21 January 2024]. Value sales also surged, by 22.8%.

This growth was partly driven by “2023 being ranked as one of the hottest years on record” and “an early June heatwave”, said Kantar analyst Ruth Fallon.

Suncare’s performance was also aided by major price reductions last May on Superdrug’s own label Solait products, she added. Solait Sun Cream SPF50 200ml, for instance, was cut by 28.1% to £3.59 from £4.99 and Solait Kids Roll-on Sun Cream SPF50+ 75ml was cut 20.1% to £2.79 from £3.49.

Superdrug’s move to push suncare as a “healthcare essential” was lauded by the charity Melanoma Focus. And it boosted Solait value sales by 46%, added Fallon.

Across the broader suncare category, products such as UPF creams are doing especially well, up 12.6% over last year, having shifted 44.1m packs overall. Own label has benefited most.

“Own label sun protection has seen a 10.9% increase in packs sold but only a 1.4% increase in price, a huge difference from branded sun protection’s 17.6% price increase,” said Fallon.

In January, the Met Office predicted 2024 would likely be the hottest year on record – a result of climate change.