Maybe these campaigns can reignite the green marketplace.
As consumers gripped tighter to their purse strings, sales of many
eco-based cleaning products dipped at FDMx outlets.
For example, Seventh Generation’s all-purpose cleaner/disinfectant sales slid 10% and glass cleaner sales fell 25.22%, according to SymphonyIRI. Clorox Green Works has had tough go of
it too; sales of Green Works all-purpose cleaner/disinfectant fell
21.97% and its glass cleaner took a bigger hit, with sales dropping 27%.
Interestingly, online retailer Alice.com recently held a Green
Works cleaners flash sale—something shoppers have come to associate with pilates classes and designer pocketbooks, not household cleaning products.
“Typically, social deals have focused on bigger ticket items
such as yoga classes or fine dining,” said Brian Wiegand, CEO
and co-founder of Alice.com.“We’re thrilled to help Green Works
lead the way in offering consumers deep discounts on their fa-
vorite CPG products through the industry’s first-of-its-kind flash
sale on Facebook.”
The promotion bundled four Green Works products (a 32oz all
purpose cleaner spray, a 30-count pack of compostable cleaning
wipes, a 22oz dishwashing liquid and liquid laundry detergent) for
$10—a savings of more than 50%, according to Alice.com.
“As social media transforms and extends into every corner of
our lives, we saw an opportunity to innovate the shopping experience for our Green Works consumers,” Amy Hsiao, brand
manager of Green Works cleaners, said in a release.“This ground-breaking flash sale on Facebook is an exciting way for us to provide an exclusive deal to our fans.”
The Green Clean Scene
When it comes to buying a“green” cleaner versus a conventional
offering, cash-strapped consumers continue to grapple with a raft
of issues ranging from price to efficacy to safety to the product’s
overall environmental impact.
According to Sue Perry, deputy editor of ShopSmart magazine,
(which comes from Consumer Reports), homeowners are looking
to reduce their exposure to nasty chemicals yet they still want
Seventh Generation is banking on the suc- cess of “The Lorax,” a movie based on the Dr. Seuss classic.
cleaners that get the job done. But are green brands up to the
According to Perry, “sometimes the greener cleaners aren’t up
to the task of the big guns.”Yet she said“two greener all-purpose
cleaners, Nature’s Source and Seventh Generation, aced our
tough mess tests.”
“The marketplace is seeing a spike in natural offerings, but if
the product doesn’t work, then consumers aren’t going to be repeat
buyers. We pride ourselves on proving authentic natural products
that are highly effective,”said J.R. Rigley, vice president of sales and
marketing at J.R. Watkins, which offers natural home care products
such as window and bathroom cleaners and room sprays as well as
personal care items and edible SKUs like vanilla extract; the latter
of which it has been selling for more than 140 years.
“It really boils down to efficacy,” he insisted.
Perry insists it comes down to personal preferences.
“If someone feels safer choosing the greener cleaner because
they think it’s less harsh and they value that, then it might be
worth it to them,” she said.
While SC Johnson’s Nature’s Source scored well with ShopSmart,
the company continues make its mainstream chemical specialties more eco-friendly as well. For example, SCJ has recently
expanded its mini refill pilot program from Windex to Fantastik,
Pledge, Scrubbing Bubbles and Shout. The move builds on a pilot
program rolled out last July in which Windex concentrated refills
were sold online at scjgreenchoices.com.
“We wanted to start a national discussion on concentrates
and with the Windex Mini launch, we did just that. We got very
positive feedback on the product as well. But this wasn’t simply
about sales–it was about dialogue,” said Semrau. “We wanted SC
Johnson to be a leader in helping consumers have and under-
stand green options, and make more environmental choices. And
while the Windex Mini launch was a really good step in learning
what consumers wanted in concentrated cleaners, we are hoping
this new expanded line will take it further.”
In addition, the refills have been tweaked based on feedback