Take care

While not traditionally a mainstay of the convenience channel, the health and personal care category has great potential, as recent times have shown.

Health and personal care products were once the sole domain of pharmacies, and then supermarkets where shoppers favoured the big weekly shop. But with fluctuating Covid rates in major cities and concerns about visiting large, potentially packed supermarkets, many shoppers have turned to corner stores to seek health and personal care items when in need.

Such shifts in shopping behaviour have also been noticed by Ampol General Manager Merchandise Skye Jackson.

“During lockdowns, we’ve seen that consumers are doing less frequent and larger weekly shops at supermarkets and heading to convenience shops like ours to top up throughout the week,” she says.

“This change in consumer behaviour has led to growth within the grocery and health-and-beauty categories.”

In August 2020, Ampol extended its online offer available through Uber Eats to include essential pharmaceutical items. Available through The Foodary shop on the Uber Eats app, over-the-counter pharmaceutical products, such as Panadol, Nurofen, Zyrtec, Codral and Advil, could be delivered from participating stores across Australia.

“Our partnership with Uber Eats has provided our customers with access to a wide range of health and personal care items from over 400 of our locations across the country,” Ms Jackson says.

She adds that the buying habits of Ampol customers shopping via Uber Eats have notably differed between areas in lockdown and those less affected by Covid-19.

“We’ve absolutely noticed a boost in Uber Eats sales in areas that have been affected by lockdowns, especially in the health and personal care category, as Australians seek to access these products from the comfort and safety of their homes,” she says.

Looking ahead, Ms Jackson anticipates consumers will retain the habits they’ve picked up throughout the Covid-19 era and “continue to regularly use products such as hand sanitiser and other disinfectants”.

“The key for Ampol is making sure we have the right range of products people are likely to need on the go and the right pack sizes for our channel,” Ms Jackson says.

Read more about the health and personal care category in the latest issue of Convenience World.

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