“Hygiene category growth will hinge on convenience, efficacy, and sustainability,” says Sagentia Innovation

The evolution of cleaning products needs to focus on three factors to enable growth and foster loyalty: transparency (safety and sustainability), convenience, and evidencing effectiveness.

This is the view of experts at Sagentia Innovation as branded cleaning products feel the effects of the cost-of-living crisis and changing consumer habits post-pandemic. However, the consultancy says companies that harness key innovation drivers could enhance differentiation and boost product appeal despite the challenging economic climate.

Cleaning remains an undesirable chore, so improving convenience by reducing its frequency or duration without compromising efficacy is one way to win consumers over. Another interconnected factor is the need for transparency surrounding products’ potential impact on human health and the environment. Closely linked to this is the substantiation of product claims with robust laboratory or consumer trials, especially where minimal quantities of formulated products or lower temperatures are involved. 

Cesar Vargas-Razo, Principal Consultant at Sagentia Innovation, recently authored a whitepaper focused on the home hygiene category. He says products aligned with ‘just enough’ or ‘just in time’ approaches to cleaning can satisfy multiple consumer needs, while also improving cost effectiveness.

“The need for convenience and efficacy is not new, but it’s important to note how consumer expectations linked to these factors are evolving, especially as sustainability

moves up the order of priorities,” Vargas-Razo explains. “While the Covid-driven spike in hygiene product sales has tailed off, ongoing growth is still expected in the category. Companies can gain new ground and increase market share if they identify unmet needs and innovate around them effectively.”

The whitepaper explores issues such as natural versus synthetic ingredients in cleaning products, the ’99.99% effective’ phenomenon, and the rise of devices to complement or replace the use of chemical formulations. It also considers how the rapidly expanding air quality category might address consumer needs surrounding convenient, effective, and sustainable cleaning.

“There are significant opportunities to adapt, improve, and reimagine traditional hygiene sub-categories like laundry care and hard surface cleaning,” says Vargas-Razo. “Alongside this, innovations in air quality could transform the way people clean.”

The whitepaper, Home and Hygiene: three innovation drivers and the air care opportunity is available to download free of charge here.

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