The environmentally-friendly household cleaner concept goes mainstream as major
players such as S.C. Johnson, Clorox and Church & Dwight roll out new green lines.
ATCH OUT, METHOD. Heads up, Seventh
Generation. Multinational household cleaning product companies have taken note of
your success and a page from your playbook
to roll out their own versions of environmentally-friendly hard surface cleaners, floor
cleaners and the like. For years, niche players had the green cleaning category to themselves, but now mainstream companies have
discovered the category and industry experts predict that
green cleaning sales are set to soar.
“There is continued interest in environmental products and
a growing understanding on the part of the consumer about
maintaining a healthy home,” said Elizabeth McDonaugh,
director of product management, Seventh Generation.
In fact, Mintel International, a Chicago-based research
firm, predicts sales of green household cleaners will grow 19%
to $623 million by 2013—an unprecedented growth rate for
the cleaning category.
“It’s an extremely bold forecast,” admitted David Lockwood,
a senior analyst for Mintel. “Right now, green cleaners have a
3% share of the market, but they could hold a 30% share in
Mr. Lockwood credits that incredible gain to the fact that
multinational marketers such as S.C. Johnson, Clorox and
Church & Dwight have entered the green cleaning segment
with a vengeance and are marketing effective cleaners that
cost little more than conventional products.
That’s good news for a category that has been limping along
in terms of sales growth for a number of years. For example,
according to Information Resources, Inc., Chicago, sales of all-purpose cleaners and disinfectants declined 2% to $416.3 million in supermarkets, drugstores and mass merchandisers
(excluding Wal-Mart and for the 52 weeks ending Jan. 25,
(see chart at right).