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Green home care products gaining popularity

20 October 2017

The largest markets for green home care products are in the UK, Germany, France, and the Benelux. Increasing distribution and growing consumer awareness of the health and environmental impacts of detergents and cleaning products are the main drivers of market growth.

These are some of the key findings from a new market analysis by Ecovia Intelligence on the European green home care products market (http://www.ecoviaint.com/1001-65).

According to the new study, Germany has the fastest growing market for green home care products in Europe, with its market expanding by 10 per cent per annum. The products are most successful in the Benelux where green products comprise 5 per cent of total home care product sales. The lowest market share is in Southern European countries partly because of limited distribution.

Ecover, considered the pioneer of ecological detergents, is the leading brand in a highly fragmented market. About 150 brands are present in the European market, however few have a presence outside their home markets. Ecover’s success is because of its early market entry and extensive distribution. Market consolidation is expected as mergers and acquisitions occur; large companies like SC Johnson and Unilever are entering the market by acquiring green brands.

Greenwashing and low consumer awareness are major challenges facing the green home care industry. Brands face competition from companies with conventional products that make natural and green claims. Low consumer awareness of contentious ingredients in detergents and home care products is also a major obstacle to market growth.

Although less than 1 per cent of home care products are certified, natural standards and sustainability certification schemes are gaining popularity. Ecocert, Ecogarantie and ICEA are the most successful standards for green home care products. As will be featured in a dedicated workshop at the Sustainable Cleaning Products Summit (www.sustainablecleaningsummit.com), the number of standards and certification schemes is increasing. The Nordic Swan and EU Eco-Flower are most popular in northern Europe, whereas other labels – such as Vegan Society – are crossing over from the food industry.

Ecovia Intelligence expects healthy growth to continue in the European market for green home care products. Distribution is expected to expand in supermarkets, hypermarkets and drugstores. More retailers are expected to launch private labels for green home care products. The market share of mainstream retailers is expected to eclipse that of specialist retailers.