Laundry Care in Western Europe

April 2021

Laundry care has been recording modest year-on-year real value growth of late in Western Europe, with this remaining the case in 2020. Growth is being primarily driven by liquid tablet detergents and concentrated liquid detergents. Coronavirus (COVID-19) did not have any major effect on the overall market, although it did help boost sales of laundry sanitiser, particularly in the UK. Laundry care is expected to continue recording modest annual growth rates over most of the forecast period.

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Key findings

Strong growth in liquid detergents

Liquid tablet detergents and concentrated liquid detergents have been driving growth in actual value sales terms over the historic period. Liquid tablet detergents are gaining popularity in France, the region’s biggest market, as consumers continue to search for greater convenience, with many of these products now incorporating laundry aids, including fabric conditioners or softeners. The tablet format finds favour with consumers who want to avoid over-dosage of the product during their wash. Liquid tablet detergents will continue to grow, supported by increasing demand for convenience, with manufacturers continuing to innovate with increasingly sophisticated concentrated formulations, which will reduce the need for consumers to buy a number of separate specific products.

Spike in laundry sanitiser sales during the pandemic

Overall sales remained at year-earlier levels during 2020, against the backdrop of the pandemic. However, standard powder detergents were enjoying something of a mini-renaissance, with consumers buying in bulk, both to reduce shopping trips to physical stores and for the better price per kg with bigger pack sizes. Laundry sanitiser was also selling well in some countries (eg the UK, Belgium) for its sanitising and disinfecting properties.

More positive growth expected in the forecast period

year of the forecast period. Liquid tablet detergents and concentrated liquid detergents will continue to drive real value growth in actual sales terms. Sustainable and environmentally-friendly products are also expected to enjoy further development and rising popularity over 2020-2025.  Laundry care will see a slight dip in sales in 2021, before returning to positive growth rates from 2022, which are slated to improve slightly with each passing


Key findings

Regional Overview

Western Europe slips back into third place in terms of sales in 2020
Modest growth expected for most of the forecast period
Turkey adds most new sales over 2015-2020
Pandemic drives dynamic growth for laundry sanitiser in 2020
Liquid tablet detergents add the most new value over 2015-2020
Continued move from powder to liquid detergents across the region
Modern grocery retailers dominate laundry care sales
Strong growth for e-commerce during the pandemic in 2020

Leading Companies and Brands

Top five players account for two thirds of laundry care value sales
Leading players adding share during the pandemic in 2020
Three biggest markets generate the highest sales share for most players
No changes at the top among the region’s leading brands

Forecast Projections

Liquid tablet detergents to add most new sales over 2015-2020…
…followed by concentrated liquid detergents
GDP growth and habit persistence will help drive forecast period sales

Country Snapshots

Austria: Market Context
Austria: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Belgium: Market Context
Belgium: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Denmark: Market Context
Denmark: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Finland: Market Context
Finland: Competitive and Retail Landscape
France: Market Context
France: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Germany: Market Context
Germany: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Greece: Market Context
Greece: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Ireland: Market Context
Ireland: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Italy: Market Context
Italy: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Netherlands: Market Context
Netherlands: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Norway: Market Context
Norway: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Portugal: Market Context
Portugal: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Spain: Market Context
Spain: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Sweden: Market Context
Sweden: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Switzerland: Market Context
Switzerland: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Turkey: Market Context
Turkey: Competitive and Retail Landscape
UK: Market Context
UK: Competitive and Retail Landscape


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