In 2018, the UK experienced a relatively wet spring, followed by an extremely hot and long summer that provided ideal conditions for insect populations to increase significantly. Horseflies were among the insects that benefitted most from the hot weather, especially in rural areas, while climate changes have also fuelled the migration of moth species from southern Europe to the UK.
Spray/aerosol insecticides saw the strongest current value growth in 2018, remaining the most preferred insecticide product among consumers in the UK. This popularity can be attributed to the ease of use of such products and their ability to kill or repel different insect types, including wasps and cockroaches.
Home insecticides, along with pesticides, have been blamed for the disappearance of various insect species from the UK countryside, with the EU ban on bee-harming neonicotinoids in pesticides expected to be followed by further regulations against the use of harsh chemical ingredients in insecticide products. Tighter ingredient requirements, combined with increased consumer awareness of health and environmental issues associated with the use of harmful chemicals, have compelled manufacturers to undertake costly research in order to develop new safer ingredients and biological products.
Raid remained the most popular home insecticide brand in 2018, followed by Rentokil Initial from Rentokil and Vitax’s Nippon. SC Johnson owes its leading position to its recognisability and extensive distribution network, which covers retailers, specialist and convenience stores, whereas most of Rentokil’s and Vitax’s products are sold through specialised retailing stores.
Private label sales remain strong within home insecticides, largely owing to the absence of top brands from non-grocery retailing stores. Private label sales share in insecticide baits increased in 2018, with sales being boosted by the small number of players in the area and low consumer loyalty to specific brands.
Leading home insecticide manufacturers such as SC Johnson and Rentokil Initial are better suited to coping with future regulatory issues and development costs due to their financial strength and regulatory experience. Therefore, these companies are expected to continue dominating sales and increasing their shares at the expense of smaller players over the coming years.
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