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Friday, September 14, 2012

Green Cleaners: Not Mopping Up, But Outperforming in Growth

 "Green"  (eco-friendly) cleaners, once used primarily by hard-core green consumers, have expanded their appeal to mainstream consumers who typically use non-green cleaners.   Initiatives over the last five years by both marketers and retailers served to broaden the base of green cleaners.   Mass retailers including supermarkets and general merchandisers such as Walmart and Target significantly expanded their selection of green cleaning products in response to consumer demand.   Sales grew rapidly in these channels, such that they displaced health and natural product stores as the leading venue for green cleaning product sales.   To a degree, a sort of caste system developed:  mass marketers such as Clorox, Dial, and Church & Dwight entered the green market with a flurry of new products that competed at lower price points against venerable green leaders such as Seventh Generation with natural products channel cred.   Increased competition grew the overall market, and reinvigorated new product and marketing activities of green marketers. 

Consumers do say they want green cleaning products.   In an online Packaged Facts consumer survey conducted in August 2012, 41% of respondents indicated that they had purchased or used natural, organic, or eco-friendly household cleaning/laundry products within the previous 12 months, up from 38% in February 2009.    Nonetheless, many consumers find green cleaners too expensive and question whether they work as well as traditional products.   Price has become ever more important during difficult economic times.  It’s a challenge marketers must face in the coming years.  What’s the value of green cleaners to mainstream consumers?   Hard-core green consumers are already sold, and have their trusted brands.   Yet they are a relatively small niche.   Mainstream consumers must be convinced, or continue being convinced, that a green cleaning product, whether from a mass marketer or an "alternative" green marketer, is a good value and the right solution.

In the long-term, green cleaning products are poised to continue outperforming conventional cleaners in sales growth, given the slowly but steadily coming-to-a-boil consumer interest in sustainability,  loyal usage by core and converted consumers, and higher price points.  Growth will accelerate if and when economic conditions improve.

1 comment:

  1. I have read your blog and found that the information about green cleaners is very helpful information for me. Thanks for shearing such useful information with us.

    Green Cleaners