2018 was yet another year of value erosion for French home care. On the one hand, categories such as laundry care, dishwashing and surface care are already into their volume maturity phases.
Among the diverse factors negatively affecting home care product lines, perhaps the two most important in 2018 were the surge in demand for traditional-vintage ingredients, namely white vinegar, Marseilles and black soap, sodium bicarbonate and citric acid, and the uptrend in DIY alternatives. While these trends were at emerging stages in previous years, they have become more significant, to the point that the demand for these loose ingredients is surging, consumers are readily considering and adopting recipes for DIY alternatives and manufacturers are actively changing their product formulas to integrate them.
In declining home care, ecological manufacturers are still growing and gaining share – they largely outperform conventional manufacturers. The three most important green players – Novamex SA, Werner & Mertz France SA and Swania SAS – captured bullish year-on value progression rates in 2018 while the five biggest traditional home care players all saw their value sales contract.
Compared to previous years, the pace of new product development in 2018 seemed to slow down in home care. At product level, novelties launched in 2018 were either retaliations to other innovations or simple add-ons to an existing offer.
Over the forecast period, maturity and saturation will remain the biggest challenges for the home care industry. In volume terms, categories such as laundry care and surface care already have a saturated demand level with little room for organic growth.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Home Care market research database.