If there is one rather unfortunate, buzzed-about common bond for everyone in this fast-paced, constantly changing world, it’s stress. Finances, kids, jobs…even the things that bring us joy seem to stress us out. Survey results released by the American Psychological Association in early 2013 find that 35% of Americans say that their stress increased in the past year. This rate is higher among Millennials, with some 39% saying that their stress has increased in the past year. In addition, some 52% of Millennials say that their stress has kept them awake at night in the past month.

One product category that could help consumers to tackle stress head on is the air freshener category. Consumers can currently purchase air freshener products with aromatherapy benefits, but there is an opportunity to expand upon current aromatherapy offerings and offer products that are specifically designed to deliver stress-relief to consumers through the use of calming ingredients. Some ingredients that are well-known to deliver calming benefits include chamomile, lavender, and valerian. Mintel’s Air Fresheners—US 2013 report finds that some 66% of air freshener users are interested in products that deliver relaxation/aromatherapy benefits.

One brand that has sought to help consumers achieve greater relaxation in the home, with the purpose of helping consumers to improve their sleep, is Febreze with the Sleep Serenity line. Febreze’s positioning for this product is that Sleep Serenity products help consumers to relax and unwind in the evening before they go to sleep. This type of added functional benefit is becoming more common in the air freshener category and putting a stronger emphasis on combating stress could be a strong opportunity for brands in the air freshener market.

Delivering stress-relief benefits could help attract new users to the air freshener category, especially younger generations like Millennials who are struggling to manage their stress. Stress-relief and calming benefits could also influence consumers to use air fresheners more frequently in their homes.

Brands could partner with organizations like the American Psychological Foundation that are known for their expertise and study of stress to design and promote products. Partnering with this type of organization could help improve consumers’ perception that stress-relief air freshener products would really work. And that’s one less thing to stress out about.

Gaby is the team’s home and personal care expert, leveraging her knowledge across the home and personal care series of reports, as well as related household, consumer packaged goods, and beauty reports. Her most recent topics include Food Storage and Children’s Personal Care.