“If I can get it done
fast, then I don’t mind it
too much,” she told HAPPI.
“When things get too te-
dious, I start to get impa-
tient. And I start to feel the
clock ticking because I really
can’t give much time to it.”
cleaning schedule, which included mopping the kitchen floor
once a week and shining everyone’s shoes every night.
One of P&G’s most recent Swiffer SKUs.
Affection for Disinfection
In addition to reduced cleaning time, Mintel’s data found that
disinfection—the key reason for cleaning in the first place—is
becoming more important both in and out of the home. Quite
possibly fueled by the fear of pandemics and illness, ranging from
SARS to seasonal flu, more than 70% of consumers agree at least
somewhat that disinfection has become more important to them
and 27% agree strongly, according to Mintel.
Companies like Clorox are there for those homeowners. This
venerable firm is also celebrating a major milestone: its 100th anniversary. On May 3, 1913, five entrepreneurs invested $100 each
to convert brine from salt ponds in San Francisco Bay into bleach
via electrolysis, creating America’s first commercial liquid bleach
factory (then known as the Electro-Alkaline Company).
Over the years, Clorox has worked to innovate this storied
disinfectant product—it was even used in 1969 to disinfect the
Apollo space capsule upon its return to Earth! Among the most
recent advances are a concentrated version sold in a smaller bottle that is easier to handle, and Smart Tube Technology, which
Clorox contends supports megatrends of affordability and value.
The Smart Tube will be available in Clorox products but also in
the company’s other cleaning lines, including Formula 409, Tilex
and Green Works.
Another brand synonymous with disinfection is Reckitt
Benckiser’s Lysol, which has been available for more than a century and still resonates with consumers. Earlier this year, Lysol
All-Purpose Cleaner was named cleaner brand of the year in a
Harris Poll Equi Trend study.
The Lysol brand name can be found on products in surface
disinfection, air and fabric care, multi-purpose cleaning and
kitchen and bathroom products, and RB continues to expand its
reach. Most recently, Lysol entered the hand cleanser sector.
“The Lysol brand has a mission for health,” Gary Rizzo, brand
manager for innovation for Europe and North America, told
HAPPI last month (April 2013, p. 77).
Speaking of health, today’s American consumer is more
focused than ever before on the ingredients used in everything from the food she eats to household cleaners she uses
in her home.
During the past decade, this focus on health has helped propel green brands from the niches to the mainstream. The highest profile players in the natural cleaner sectors include Seventh
Generation and Method, both of which were on HAPPI’S annual
Top 50 Report (see our July 2012 issue for more details).
Yet even while these firms and their green cleaning products
enjoy a loyal following, green household cleaners still battle for
acceptance. A recent Mintel survey found that just 13% of respondents agree strongly that environmentally friendly surface
cleaners are as effective as conventional cleaners.
Lured by the power to make green, “traditional” cleaning
product companies stepped into the green space over the years,
developing new brands or acquiring established eco lines. Clorox,
for example, rolled out Green Works and SC Johnson created
Nature’s Source. Success, however, has varied, affected by a mix
of economics and waning consumer sentiment.
SCJ—which also owns natural cleaning brand Mrs. Meyers—
has been a leader in other eco aspects, such as packaging reduction, concentrated formulas,
(wind, for instance) and ingredient disclosure.
Among its most recent
sustainability efforts was the
unveiling of the Smart Twist
Cleaning System, which uses
less packaging and helps reduce
waste with three concentrated cleaners used in one hand-held sprayer.
Each concentrated cartridge requires
63% less plastic than a new standard
spray bottle, avoids transporting
up to 22.7fl.oz. of water, depending on the formula, and is
recyclable in most community programs, according to
the company. Concentrated
cartridges—which are offered only online for the
time being—include Fantasik
Kitchen, Pledge Furniture,
Shout Carpet and of course,
A concentrated cartridge
of cleaner that’s been around
since the 1930s?
“We’re light years away
from where we were 50 years
Multi-surface products have helped
consumers cut down on the
number of products they need.