It seems that Londoners are turning to air care products to tackle pollution. Indeed, Mintel’s Air Care UK 2017 market Report reveals that while those in the capital are the most likely to be concerned about pollution, they are also the most likely to have increased their use of air care products over the past year.

Today, over half (52%) of Londoners say they are concerned about the quality of outdoor air where they live (ie. pollution levels), compared to a national average of 34%. Meanwhile, 45% in the capital say that they are concerned about the quality of air in their home, above the national average of 33%.

While Londoners are the most likely to have concerns over pollution, they are also the most likely to have increased their use of air care products. 14% of air care users say they have used these products more often in the last 12 months, rising to 18% of Londoners. What’s more, Londoners are among the most likely to use air care products; as many as 85% have used any type of air care product in the last 12 months, higher than the national average of 81%.

Richard Hopping, Household and Brand Analyst at Mintel, said:

“That Londoners are the most likely to be concerned about the quality of outdoor air where they live and the air in their home is a contributing factor towards their greater use of air care products. Awareness of air pollution has been on the increase in recent years and this has impacted the way that people live their lives. For those looking to freshen their homes in built-up areas, the option to open a window for extended periods of time may be diminished because of pollution concerns, increasing the need for air care products to do the job for them.”

According to Mintel research, the future of air care products smells sweet, as UK consumers are estimated to spend £502 million on these products in 2017, up from £499 million in 2016, marking a 1% increase. What’s more, Mintel predicts the market will increase to £563 million by 2022. As many as half (51%) of Brits have used sprays and aerosols in the past 12 months, followed by scented candles (43%) and reed diffusers and scented oils (26%).

But it seems that candles are lighting the way for the future of the air care market. While just one in four (24%) air care products launched in the UK in 2014 were candles, so far this year* over two in five (43%) air care launches have been in this category.

Mintel research highlights that most are likely to hold a flame for candles as a result of their style as much as their scent. Of those who have lit scented candles in the last 12 months, 60% have used them to create a cosy atmosphere, 33% to get into the spirit of a season, such as Valentine’s Day and Christmas, while 24% used them because they felt stressed. On the other hand, just one in three (34%) used them as they noticed a bad odour.

“The most common trigger of candle usage is the desire to set an overall atmosphere, highlighting the ability of candles to go beyond simple odour removal. As life moves at a faster pace, there is a greater need for consumers to take time out and step back. That one in four scented candle users light a candle when they feel stressed or tense suggests that brands could benefit from more emphatically highlighting fragrances that are designed to help destress.” Richard adds.

However, there are some factors that get on the wick of many when it comes to the air care market. Over one in four (28%) Brits say they are discouraged from using air care products as they are too expensive, while 14% say they are worried about the ingredients in them and 13% say they give them, or others, a headache.

Finally, Mintel research reveals that when it comes to bad smells, it really is the fault of other people. One in four (25%) Brits who live on their own say that they are discouraged from using air care products as they don’t feel they are necessary, compared to 14% of those who live in households of four people.

“People living on their own tend to be less likely to see the need for air fresheners, with the impact of malodours on other people often a driver of usage. Targeting people living on their own at times when they are likely to be expecting guests may be crucial in terms of attracting new shoppers to the category for future use.” Richard concludes.

*Jan-July 2017

Press review copies of Mintel’s Air Care 2017 market report and interviews with Richard Hopping, Household and Brand Analyst at Mintel, are available on request from the press office.

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