Household fresheners: The sweet smell of success
Latest research from MINTEL* sees the British spending millions on purging their homes of odious odours. This year British consumers are expected to shell out an incredible 438 million Euros (?302 million) on various home fragrances and smell neutralisers, with household fresheners outperforming all other sectors of the UK household cleaning market. What is more, this impressive market value completely outstrips that of France (382 million Euros) and Germany (232 million Euros), as the UK market for household fresheners comes up smelling of roses.
It is Britain's love of premium products, such as plug-ins** and automatic fresheners, that has resulted in such a substantial household fresheners market, as there are in fact fewer users in Britain (78%) than in the number two market, France (83%). This trend towards premiumisation is set to continue with the UK market expected to grow by 47% over the next five years.
"In the UK today, time pressure and the increasing importance of leisure commitments have eroded the traditional values that used to put housekeeping as a top priority. This shift in lifestyle has seen a departure away from impeccable housekeeping and a loss of the skills to keep a house clean and fresh. As such there is now clear demand for convenience cleaning products that command premium-prices but allow consumers to spruce up their home with minimal effort, a trend that household fresheners have clearly benefited from. The popularity of aromatherapy has also had impact as shoppers trade up to air fresheners which create a certain ambience," comments Michelle Strutton, senior consumer analyst at MINTEL.
In line with this, amongst those who use fresheners, spend per head is highest in Britain, as they splash out some 22.13 Euros each a year on these products alone, while the Germans spend as little as 16.50 Euros and the French just 18.50 Euros.
Europe: whose nose knows best?
Across Europe the fortunes of the household fresheners market have been varied. Germany has experienced the most phenomenal growth over the past five years, with market value rising by some 86% between 2000 and 2005, but growth has slowed over the last two years. Although Germany is the fastest growing market, it has come from a low base and still today only a minority (36%) of Germans actually use these products.
"One reason for the lack of popularity in Germany is that German consumers are highly cost conscious and are also concerned about the environmental impact of their purchases," comments Michelle Strutton.
Meanwhile, in France use of household fresheners is very widespread, with their love of fine fragrances making this product much more of a household essential than in neighbouring Germany.?
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