Available 24 hours a day, Mintel's global public relations team is pleased to provide accredited journalists with access to our research, arrange interviews with our expert analysts and share the latest insights across categories and countries.

Chicago (April 7, 2011) – If it doesn’t smell good or offer the promise of moister skin – soap and shower product manufacturers can forget it! A recent Mintel survey reveals that among the top attributes consumers look for when shopping for soap, bath and shower products; scent and moisturization are cited most often as influencing purchase decisions.

Thirty-eight percent of Mintel respondents who have purchased soap say their decision is based mainly on scent, while 35% say they prefer shower products with extra moisturizers.

” although many top brands have answered demand for these qualities, there are substantial opportunities for private label brands to enter this arena during the slow economic recovery,”notes Kat Fay, senior beauty analyst at Mintel. “The US soap consumer is looking for bargains now more than ever as household budgets remain tight, therefore private label brands need to have a lower price-point and deliver lather, fragrance and significant moisturizing ingredients. “

Meanwhile, well over half of Mintel’s respondents (60%) claim that finding soap or body wash products on sale or the cheapest is important/very important to them and 18% of soap-buying consumers say they look for the least expensive brand of soap or body wash.

While this segment is often targeted towards women, men are starting to make a substantial impact in the market of bubbles… a plain old bar of soap is no longer going to cut it. Men between the ages of 18-34 report the highest usage of body wash at 58%, compared to 50% of those ages 35-54 and 42% of those who are 55+.

“Men represent a key demographic for sales of body wash products and marketers of these products should attempt to gain the attention of men to boost their sales,” adds Kat Fay. “Having said that, a whopping 74% of women buy liquid body soap or wash compared to 50% of men – so women are still the key purchasers. “

With the growing trend of body wash, it seems people need a little help lathering up, so it isn’t surprising that scrubbers and massagers grew nearly 10% in 2010 and Mintel expects this segment to continue growing by 63% between 2010 and 2015.