With incidences of cold and flu increasing by 16% in 2014, Johnson & Johnson is launching campaigns for its medicine brands this winter.

Cough medicine Benylin is returning to TV between November and January in a £2.5m campaign. The cough medicine category is worth £5.5m in annual sales to impulse retailers and is growing by 13%.

Although 75% of allergy products are sold during hay fever season, out-of-season sales are driving sector growth. Johnson & Johnson is helping retailers capitalise on this with poster and press advertising for Benadryl.

Sudafed will also be supported by a campaign to grow the £2.7m that decongestant relief delivers to the impulse channel.

The total category saw sales increase by 21.5% in the winter season compared to 2014, meaning that more shoppers than ever could be heading to their local store seeking relief from their symptoms this year.

Andrew Freestone, commercial director for SHS Sales & Marketing, said sales growth was driven last year by more than 1.5million new shoppers to the category.

“Consumers are increasingly being advised to treat minor cold and flu symptoms at home rather than visiting a doctor. Shopper are also using convenience stores more than pharmacies or supermarkets to access quick and easy relief,” he added.