In 2020, retail sales of laundry care continued to fall slightly in volume terms, while a move to liquid tablet detergents exerted upward pressure on the average retail current unit price and helped to foster positive current value growth. The outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) had contradictory effects on the performance of the category overall.
In the years preceding the COVID-19 crisis, the trend in laundry care in the Netherlands was towards washing clothes, bed line, etc, at lower temperatures. While there are clear environmental and economic gains to be had from washing at cool temperatures, there remain concerns about the effectiveness of cold washes.
Fabric softeners performed better than laundry detergents in terms of retail volume and current value growth in 2020. While, on the one hand, home seclusion lessened the need to ensure soft and fresh clothes for the workplace, school or evening out, long hours in the home increased the desire to ensure a pleasant and clean scent for clothes and bed linen to maintain a congenial home environment.
Laundry care is projected to see a flat retail volume performance over the forecast period, with very marginal dips in 2021 and 2022, before a small rebound up to 2025. However, as in 2020, the growing preference for liquid tablet detergents and use of fabric softeners and laundry aids will exert upward pressure on the average retail unit price (at constant 2020 prices).
Liquid tablet detergents is projected to drive laundry detergents in the Netherlands, with further strong retail volume and value (at constant 2020 prices) growth anticipated through the forecast period. Liquid tablet detergents is well placed to become the dominant format for laundry detergents over the next decade, while concentrated liquid detergents is set to remain strong at the expense of powder alternatives.
While liquid tablet detergents is projected to see further strong sales growth, some categories are expected to be more affected by the COVID-19 experience. For example, spot and stain removers is predicted to see modest retail volume and value (at constant 2020 prices) growth in the forecast period.
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This report originates from Passport, our Laundry Care research and analysis database.
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