The market for fabric care products other than laundry detergents and fabric conditioners has suffered a significant decline in sales since it peaked in 2010, suggesting those with laundry responsibilities have been cutting back on non-essential purchases to save money and putting their faith in detergents and conditioners to meet their laundry needs. This makes it even more important for brands in wash treatment products to prove their worth in boosting wash results.
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Table of Content
Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK sales of fabric care products*, 2008-18
Slump in sales continues for another year
Consumers cut spending on stain removers
Figure 2: UK retail value sales of fabric care products, % share by sector, 2013
A third of people run four or more wash loads a week
Population growth but incomes still under pressure
Companies, brands and innovation
Figure 3: Breakdown of wash treatment market*, by manufacturers’ value sales, year to May 2013
Majority of new launches seen in stain removers
Figure 4: Breakdown of number of new product launches in the UK fabric care market, by sub-category, 2012-13
Vanish dominates advertising in sector
Low frequency of product usage
Figure 5: Usage of fabric care products in the last six months or at least once a week, May 2013
Power and versatility most important
Figure 6: Factors influencing choice of stain removers, May 2013
Strong interest in removal of invisible stains
Figure 7: Interest in particular product benefits and services for improving wash results, May 2013
Main focus on emergency stain removal
Figure 8: Attitudes towards removing stains and maintaining colour and brightness of clothing, May 2013
Low interest in ironing enhancers
Figure 9: Agreement with statements on fabric fresheners and ironing aids, May 2013
What we think
Issues in the Market
What is needed to reverse the decline in fabric care sales?
What factors have the biggest influence on choice of stain remover?
How much can stain removers go beyond removing visible stains?
Can the development of new products help drive incremental sales?
How can interest in scent help improve the prospects for fresheners?
Trend: Guiding Choice
Mintel Futures: Generation Next
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Ownership of washing machines virtually universal
Figure 10: Penetration of laundry appliances in UK households, May 2013
Frequency of washing important for sales
Figure 11: Frequency of doing laundry tasks at home, September 2012
Manufacturers put bigger focus on environmental issues
Population growth means more clothes to wash
Figure 12: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2008-18
Figure 13: UK households, by size, 2008-18
Pressure on incomes puts emphasis on saving money
Figure 14: GDP quarterly percentage change, Q1 2004-Q4 2012
Figure 15: Trends in how respondents would describe their financial situation, February 2009-April 2013
Attitudes towards clothes buying also important
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