Kiwis are buying sunscreen products at astonishing levels, with a 9.9% year-on-year increase in sales revealed today as the country continues to bask in a long, hot summer, setting a category record for the past three years.

The New Zealand Suncare Initiative and New Zealand Food & Grocery Council jointly announced the figures, calculated by IRI Worldwide via transactions across all grocery and pharmacy outlets nationwide, as NIWA predicts an outlook for the next three months of sweltering temperatures that will see Kiwis embracing the great outdoors, and sunscreen, in record numbers.

IRI Worldwide confirmed that sunscreen product sales for the Moving Annual Total (MAT) to 2 January 2022 was $28,075,233, representing a 9.9% increase on the MAT to 3 January 2021 which was $25,551,728. The 2022 growth figures also surpass the MAT to 5 January 2020 by an increase of 2.8%.

Lyndal O’Toole, General Manager at Cosmetics NZ and spokesperson for the New Zealand Suncare Initiative, says seeing the behaviour change among Kiwis when it comes to embracing sunscreen is very satisfying.

“Sunscreen brands work very hard to formulate reliable, effective products that Kiwis can trust and rely on, so it’s fantastic to see such a bold increase in sales. A recent survey showed us that an impressive 30% of Kiwis use sunscreen every day, regardless of their activities, so attitudes have definitely evolved to the point where sunscreen is no longer just for the beach or the boat.”

FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich says the combination of consistently good weather, high temperatures and an increased awareness of sun smart behaviour has contributed to the record increase in sales.

“This increase is the reflection of the way shoppers are now seeing sunscreen products as an essential item on their household list, not to mention a critical way to protect the whole family while having fun in the sun. With the hot, sunny weather far from over, I predict we may see these sales figures continue to climb and set a new benchmark.”

The New Zealand Suncare Initiative is a special interest group established by Cosmetics NZ, the industry body representing sunscreen. The Initiative spans 15 international and local sunscreen brands (such as Hawaiian Tropic, Neutrogena, Skinnies and La Roche Posay) as well as independent formulation, skin cancer prevention and regulation experts, to motivate Kiwis to be sun safe by sharing helpful, insightful information around sunscreen products and sun safety behaviour. The Initiative is also supported by the New Zealand Food & Grocery Council and Consumer Healthcare Products Association NZ.

  • Research survey conducted via online survey undertaken by Perceptive in November 2021 with n=1,040 New Zealanders using a nationwide sampling framework.