Emilia Tognacchini
Emilia researches and writes UK Reports, focusing on Household, BPC and Brands.

COVID-19 has put the notion of health and wellness in the spotlight and stressed the importance of a safe and clean home environment, as explored in Mintel 2021 Global Household Care Trend Safe Home, Serene Home. Mintel’s research from 2020, for example, shows that over half of Canadian consumers who clean the home do so to prevent the spread of the illness, while most Brazilian consumers will keep deep cleaning the entire house more often even when the COVID-19 outbreak ends. There’s also been an increased focus on healtha third of UK consumers have taken part in more home workouts since the COVID-19 outbreak, according to Mintel research from 2020.

At the same time, as Mintel 2021 Global Household Care Trend Humanity Begins at Home outlines, the higher consumer engagement with homecare triggered by the pandemic has put household care brands in a unique position of trust and authority, and increased consumers’ curiosity around the household care industry. 

While local vaccine rollouts will aid the gradual relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions and something of a return to pre-pandemic lifestyles over the coming months, homecare brands are already disrupting their category with health-focused launches and promoting associations with wellness and beyond home hygiene.

Upgrade homecare routines and promote associations with health and wellbeing

As health and wellness become key elements in consumer thinking, homecare products with nature-inspired formulas and that are designed to preserve skin health or other body parts will become even more appealing. This will help position brands as cross-industry players between household and beauty and personal care (BPC) categories.

O Green Tea Premium Toilet Paper, for example, is formulated with certified organic green tea from the Boseong Green Tea Plantation of South Korea and is packed with Vitamin A and carotene to feed and nourish the skin. The product is particularly indicated for sensitive skin as it is unbleached and undergoes high temperature sterilisation to keep skin clean and healthy.

O Green Premium Toilet Paper

Source: Instagram, @ogreenteatoiletpaper

YUCO is a new washing up liquid brand launched at the beginning of 2021 and specially developed to provide soft and smooth hands. YUCO washing up liquid features a layer of natural coconut oil, which is clearly visible at the top of the formula, and needs to be shaken before use to ensure maximum performance and skin protection from chemicals. YUCO washing up liquid is indicated for sensitive skin and promises to offer perfectly clean dishes and healthy hands. Dry and irritated hands will become a distant memory. 

YUCO washing up liquid

Source: Instagram, @yuco

Educate consumers around themes that matter to them for a greener and healthier tomorrow

Mintel Trend Driver Rights highlights how, now more than ever, consumers need to feel respected, protected and supported. Homecare brands can move beyond sustainability and empower consumers to make better decisions for themselves and future generations.

Eco Planet Kaffir & Lemon Dishwasher Cleaner is formulated with plant and mineral based ingredients to provide a gentler choice for the family and the natural environment. The product retails in a turtle-shaped packaging design that perfectly taps into the educative aspect of Mintel 2021 Global Household Care Trend Humanity Begins at Home. As turtles represent a powerful symbol of marine and plastic pollution, the unique packaging design helps create environmental awareness, catching the eye not only of people already familiar with such topics but also of consumers less engaged with ideas around sustainability. 

Eco Planet Kaffir & Lemon Dishwasher Cleaner

Source: Mintel GNPD

Unilever’s homecare brand Sieben Generationen – also known as Seven Generation – launched a special liquid laundry detergent bottle made of 100% recycled plastic from Hamburg, Germany. The product offers a unique interpretation of Mintel Localism Trend Pillar, as it is available on shop shelves of the city of Hamburg and has been created in collaboration with local waste partner Veolia. The New Product Development (NPD) offers also an illustration of how homecare brands can become drivers of social change and promote eco-conscious behaviours – most German consumers  agree that it is more appealing to act in a more environmentally friendly way when they can see the results of the actions.

Unilever Seventh Generation Free & Clean Liquid Laundry Detergent

Source: Mintel GNPD

What we think

As consumers become more curious and pay greater attention to their household care routines and purchases, homecare brands have the chance to transition from home cleanliness and hygiene labels to lifestyle brands. NPD designed to support physical and mental wellbeing in addition to homecare efforts will promote associations with self-care and holistic health. At the same time, products and initiatives aimed at empowering consumers to make better and more knowledgeable decisions will help brands to create a stronger connection with consumers and play a far more influential role in their lives.

Acting now is key to fully leverage the extraordinary focus on household care practices and companies generated by the pandemic and related hygiene anxieties.