Sunscreen makers seek an edge in the busy category.

06.01.2011

SN Whole Health: Arms Race

May 23, 2011 12:00 PM, By JEFF WELLS

Most consumers squeeze their sunscreen out of a bottle or tube, but that activity might soon be outdated as manufacturers step up production of spray and stick formulas.

Nick Barainca, director of nonfoods and Scolari's Food & Drug, Sparks, Nev., said that the many golfers who shop his stores prefer these hands-off sunscreens because they're quick, portable and won't make them lose their grip.

“When they're in a hurry and they're going to hit the golf course, that's the stuff they want,” he explained.

Active consumers are the target market, as are people who might otherwise scoff at using sunscreen. Biker Blok makes a 45 SPF sunscreen that features an outline of a motorcycle rider on its label. Natural formulas have taken off, too, with companies like Elemental Herbs and Eco Lips offering face sticks and lip balms with SPF protection. Mark Patterson, president of Eco Lips, said his company started off selling to athletes and outdoorsmen, now has shelf space at mainstream retailers like Hy-Vee and Big Y.

“Kids really like it because it doesn't end up all over their hands,” he said.

There's also the sneak-it-in method, with many moisturizing lotions, bug sprays and other skin applications now sporting SPF protection.

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