Mintel analyst Stephen Brown attended ISSA/INTERCLEAN, a trade show for the professional cleaning industry hosted by the International Sanitary Supply Association. Here, find out what key trends from the industrial cleaning arena might be spilling over to consumer markets.

Brands are seeking new buyers as demographics change and markets grow

Compared to the consumer market for household care products that can typically fit under a kitchen sink, industrial cleaning products are designed for a much larger scale. Customers buying this equipment are in charge of managing a fleet of custodial staff and ensuring all of this cleaning is handled efficiently and under budget. However, the industrial cleaning market isn’t limited to big companies.

Natural brands were at ISSA/INTERCLEAN to seek out opportunities with key buyers, especially with target groups like Millennials, who are more likely to favor eco-friendly products and are also entering positions with key buying power. Greenology Products and Seventh Generation are two companies with natural brands that were present at the show for this reason. The opportunity to engage these buyers is supported by Mintel’s Household Surface Cleaners US 2015 report, which finds that a third of adults who purchase household cleaning products place importance on products that are safe to use around children/pets and a fifth look for products made from environmentally friendly ingredients.

Consumer brands also have much to gain from improving their visibility through community engagement.

In addition to seeking out new vendors, consumer brands also have much to gain from improving their visibility through community engagement. Bona, a family-owned floor care brand based in Sweden, is one company which is taking this approach to gain appeal among institutional customers. The floor care brand is partnering with the Healthy Schools Campaign, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring healthy school environments, to promote its Green Clean Schools Program, which advocates for the use of “green” cleaning products.

Companies that engage with community institutions, such as the Healthy Schools Campaign, is an important way to gain attention in the consumer market. Indeed,  Mintel’s Attitudes toward Charities and Non-profits US 2016 report highlights that 43% of adults agree that companies that partner with charities/non-profits make a positive impact on people’s lives, and 42% agree this benefits the local community. The Mintel Trend Buydeology discusses how consumers may be more likely to affiliate themselves with a brand that shares similar values and views to their own.

What We Think

  • Despite the many differences between consumer and commercial cleaning products, ISSA/INTERCLEAN 2016 demonstrated that certain themes permeate this line and spillover on both sides.
  • Technology advancement in robotic cleaning equipment may have potential to improve similar products in consumer markets, where young adults are more interested in purchasing these.
  • Natural brands are leveraging their eco-friendly position to gain institutional buyers, especially those with special needs related to safety and environmental factors.

Stephen Brown is a Research Analyst at Mintel covering Household Care for the Mintel US Reports team. With research experience in household heating, Stephen’s expertise has grown to include adjacent CPG markets and channels.

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