Spring clean: Why brands in the UK should maintain a long-term cleaning focus beyond COVID-19

April 15, 2020
4 min read

Cleaning is important to households even more so now than ever, as Mintel research shows that over half of UK adults with cleaning responsibilities in their home believe that a clean house is beneficial to health. However, brands in the cleaning space must still keep an eye on long-term cleaning trends, and not simply respond to the short-term health implications of COVID-19. With more time on their hands, UK households might be doing more spring cleaning and decluttering this year. To target these customers, we present the most effective strategies that brands in the UK cleaning space should consider.

Long-lasting household care products can improve cleaning experience

Products with longer-lasting cleaning actions have the potential to appeal to a wide range of consumers and households based on making the cleaning process less laborious or time-consuming. As Mintel research shows, almost half of UK adults with responsibilities for cleaning the home and/or maintaining outdoor areas agree that keeping the home clean can be stressful, while most parents with cleaning responsibilities in their home feel like cleaning is a never-ending task.

For example, the Microbe Shield Surface Sanitiser Spray by Zoono can be used after cleaning routines and is said to protect from 99.9% of bacteria for up to 30 days by forming an antibacterial coating that bonds to surfaces. 

Microbe Shield Surface Sanitiser Spray (Zoono)

Source: Zoono.co.uk

Zoono offers ongoing germ protection and is recommended to use after cleaning. The all-purpose spray compliments consumers’ existing cleaning routines, keeps surfaces germ-free and won’t wash off during the daily routine cleaning procedures.

Anxieties make consumers look for proven and powerful cleaners

After the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global health emergency in January 2020 and since the outbreak has firmly reached UK shores, we’ll undoubtedly see people developing a more attentive approach to cleaning in order to protect the physical health of themselves and their households.

As a result, at least in the short term, consumers are more likely to look for products with proven cleaning efficacy that claim to fight germs and protect from infectious diseases. Early Mintel research into changes in consumer behaviour as a result of the COVID outbreak suggests that by far the most common change has been an increase in the use of hand sanitiser, something that is reflected in stock shortages across most retailers. Similarly, people have increased their usage of household cleaners and disinfectants.

Consumers look for productivity and efficiency

As Mintel Trend Life Hacking shows, consumers are seeking tools to help them perfect their productivity. 

Responding to this consumer needs, Procter & Gamble recently launched a cleaning product collection. Named Microban 24, it includes three formats: a Sanitising Spray, a Multipurpose Cleaner, and a Bathroom Cleaner in both Fresh and Citrus fragrances. Through its long-lasting antibacterial technology, Microban 24 supports consumers in their household care routines, while also reassuring them that their cleaning efforts are effective and durable over a longer period of time.

Microban 24 Collection (P&G)

Source: Microban 24.com

Crucially, given the worldwide concerns about the spread of COVID-19, P&G says that two of the cleaning products have shown to be effective against similar coronaviruses. The launch of the products could hardly have been better-timed, even if it is entirely coincidental.

Eco-friendly product features are crucial for long-term success

Interest and demand for eco-friendly household care products have been growing and consumers are increasingly showing a willingness to embrace more sustainable cleaning routines.

Responding to these consumer demands, VEO launched an Active-Probiotics Surface Cleaner, which uses natural probiotics to offer up to three days’ surface protection.

Active-Probiotics Surface Cleaner (VEO)

Source: PRNewswire.com

Reducing its impact on the environment, VEO’s formula is 99% biodegradable and uses a removable label that helps consumers recycle the packaging. The product comes in a sustainable bottle, which uses 95% post-consumer recycled plastic.

These eco-friendly consumer needs are forming the longer-term trends within the cleaning market and are unlikely to disappear even given the recent COVID-19 outbreak. These trends should, therefore, remain a key part of brands’ strategies, even if short-term factors and events might result in different consumer priorities for a short while.

Emilia Tognacchini
Emilia Tognacchini

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

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