Jamie Rosenberg
Jamie Rosenberg is Global Household & Personal Care Analyst at Mintel, exploring trends and new business opportunities in household, beauty and personal care categories.

Here, Jamie Rosenberg, Global Household & Personal Care Analyst at Mintel, outlines the two major trends set to impact the global home care industry this year and in the years to come.

#1 From green to natural

As consumers see higher ingredient disclosure in the food, beauty and personal care categories, they will expect the same from household brands. Transparency will move beyond regulations to become an opportunity to grow consumer engagement and loyalty

Why it’s important now

  • 82% of Spanish surface cleaner users think brands should make it clearer how safe their ingredients are.
  • 77% of US pest control users say they are concerned about the chemicals used in these products.
  • 65% of Chinese dish detergent buyers say it’s worth paying more for natural products.

What’s next

Full disclosure beyond ingredient lists. Brands are building trust by discussing controversial ingredients. SC Johnson’s What’s Inside program discusses ingredients and their function, but also talks about negative health effects to put the risk in context.

Green brands need ethical parent companies. More green, niche brands are being bought by global parent companies. As consumers are researching all stakeholders, parent companies need to ensure that they meet the same ethical criteria and transparency is one way of achieving this.

Retailers mandate next-generation transparency. Target is moving beyond disclosure, with full visibility to chemicals starting with cleaning, baby, beauty & personal care products. The retailer is working with suppliers to root out certain chemicals and has invested $5 million in green chemistry research 2017-2022.

Private labels are pursuing proof of provenance. Waitrose is the only UK supermarket to guarantee that all its dairy cows have access to grazing. To prove this, it streams footage from its dairy farm. This helps consumers connect with the origins of their food and drink.

Ethics positioning. The home care category lags beauty and food and drink in launches’ with a human-based ethics story. Fair trade is an example of highly-recognized souring ethics that build trust.

What we think

  • What’s behind a brand matters. Transparency presents an opportunity for companies to engage consumers by addressing ingredient safety, but this is also an opportunity to build trust with the stories behind brands, ingredients and companies..
  • Real hero ingredients appeal to needs/wants rather than fears. Emphasizing what’s inside, in addition to not gives consumers something to look for, not just something to avoid.
  • Transparency makes safety more science-based. Brands should think of transparency as a way to educate consumers on the nuance of ingredient safety. This will reduce the need to pander to  misconception.

#2 HomeBiome

Probiotic home care will evolve based on the recognition that bacteria should not always be destroyed.

Why it’s important now

  • 69% of British consumers believe that exposure to some germs is healthy.
  • 57% of US parents are concerned that disinfectants destroy good bacteria
  • 64% of French consumers would pay more for products that clean with good bacteria.

What’s next

Cross-category appeal for probiotics. Home care can be complementary to skincare, extending probiotics beyond the hospitable ecosystem, with a more holistic, cross-category approach. Burt’s Bees launched a line of probiotic protein shakes called Protein + Gut Health with Probiotics, signaling that the brand is going after a more holistic positioning, and suggests potential in home care to round out the cross-category offering.

Probiotics in air care and pest control. A new generation of probiotic products including odor neutralisers amd bed purifying sprays featuring probiotic technology is emerging. Probio odor Spray+ from South Africa contains millions of powerful live and active microbes, antioxidants and enzymes to neutralize odors, can be sprayed directly onto surfaces and is free from hazardous ingredients.

Seeking secondary benefits. Probiotic toilet paper could lessen the flushable moist wipe controversy. Abco says it’s toilet paper reduces odors and cleans pipes, sewage and septic systems with the probiotic activated in water.

Redefining healthy cleaning. Consumers will be receptive to new product platforms that change the definition of a clean home and a healthy home. There is an opportunity to re-position probiotic products as next-generation disinfecting products that use a more preventive means of controlling germs.

Lessons from supplements and skincare. Prebiotics have so far been ignored by probiotic household brands.They can keep cultures alive for more beneficial plumbing maintenance, but ultimately will have potential to maintain a home’s microflora.

What we think

  • Creating a symbiotic relationship is key. Home care brands have an opportunity to develop a stronger health and wellness stance with products that compliment probiotic investments in diet and skincare.
  • Focus on prevention vs. treatment. Probiotics represent an opportunity to change the consumer mindset from treatment to prevention of dirt, germs and odor.
  • Position probiotics as the new antibacterial. Probiotics are both a threat and an opportunity, but there is an opportunity to compliment germ killing with germ cultivation.