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Top Three Drivers of Innovation in Home Paint

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The increase in hybrid work with more time spent at home made consumers value their personal space and perceive a greater need to refresh it by using efficient and value-added methods.

Home paint experienced one of the best results within home and garden globally, posting 6% growth between 2019 and 2022 in constant value terms

Source: Euromonitor International

Home paint experienced one of the best results within home and garden globally, posting 6% growth between 2019 and 2022 in constant value terms; Australasia was an extreme case, but this sector made widespread gains in true demand in many parts of the world.

This has made the paint sector more attractive, making expansion opportunities particularly more attractive geographically, and across channels, with increases in spending on both branded and private label innovation evident. Much of that innovation fits within three broad drivers coming from different consumer needs – wellness, frugality and sustainability.

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The self-care trend within wellness drives “passive hygiene” innovations

Concerns about surfaces being a disease-spreading vector at the height of the pandemic led paint players to develop solutions that proved to be a strong match for consumers with a protective mindset, with new antimicrobial and antiviral claims continuing to appear in the market.

There is also rising awareness of (and rising sensitivity to) allergies and chemical intolerances, with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) being a high-profile trigger linked to fresh paint, which is one of the top four known causes of VOCs in the home.
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Paint has existed with “low-VOC” or “no VOC” claims for some time, but this is scaling rapidly now, benefiting from a popularity boost during the pandemic and greater time spent at home with hybrid working.

Basic claims offer reduced VOC release during application and drying, and this has proliferated rapidly across the leading brands. Sherwin-Williams’ SuperPaint is one of the most advanced claims in this space so far, removing VOCs from room air flows after application, with an air purifying technology (linked to a crystalline silica additive) creating a net positive impact on home health.

Financial instability during a demand boom prompts frugal innovation

Whilst the inflation rate was not a subject with equal weight for all countries, it impacted the life of many consumers worldwide, leading to greater conscious choice driving spend priorities. With that issue in mind, home paint companies launched new products that bring a better value-for-money rise, such as dilutable/concentrated paints or private label brands, that appear as increasingly attractive options.

With Argentina recently experiencing one of the sharpest currency devaluations in the world, Akzo Nobel with a strong focus on emerging markets adapted and launched Albacryl Rinde Más, a concentrated anti-mould interior wall paint that can be diluted with up to 30% of water, formulated so that it won’t compromise the finish or create a need for additional coats.

As we have seen in multiple countries and sectors, some consumers under cost-of-living pressure manage risk by reaching for lower priced options, whilst others seek durability but still chase value more than before. We can see this in the data – for instance, our consumer and industry surveys show spikes in the shopper appeal and increased retailer investment in private label, with expanding ranges and price points, and with market share movements heading in that direction in 2022. For example, Kingfisher has expanded in paint with Naturéa from GoodHome which positions its private label offer within the previous wellness and VOC air cleaning trend, rivalling leading claims.

At the other end of the scale, premium positioning has needed defences to protect share, catering to consumers who have seen cost-effectiveness rise in their buying priorities and rewarding brands that create frugal choices.Home Paint Chart 2.svg

Increased investment in home paint as a form of insulation

Some novel aspects of sustainability have gained urgency in paint innovation, brought on by the energy crisis, with the war in Ukraine increasing awareness of energy consumption relating to the cost and waste involved in keeping buildings at particular temperatures.

Thermal paints are appearing, with different technologies that enable energy-efficient properties. Most applications are targeting industry and business properties, but some consumer examples have started to appear such as thermal paint for the home from Turkish company, Isonem.

Brands offering paint that reflects radiant heat are claiming home energy waste reductions of up to 40%

Source: Euromonitor International

Applications are happening on internal walls to save on heating bills, and external applications to save on cooling, with the efforts needed to cool properties during recent summer heatwaves made worse by climate change raising this application to new heights of interest to companies and consumers alike.

Innovation is an interesting lens to judge priorities and moving consumer appeal, and through that lens the paint sector can be seen to value self-care wellness in the home via passive hygiene technologies, solutions that provide more value across all price points as shoppers become increasingly frugal in their spending, and solutions to the wider macro challenges that are increasingly impacting the home. Particularly solutions that reduce a home’s cost and waste footprint are finding enthusiastic audiences.

Read our company profile, Akzo Nobel NV in Home and Garden (World), for more analysis on the home paint market, leading brands, and recent actions around innovation and sustainability policies.

Read our report, Self-Care at Home, for more analysis on wellness within home products driving growth, driving premium propositions, and driving emotive consumer engagement.

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