Where Consumers Shop for Home Care

October 2021

This report examines retailing shifts in the home care industry between 2015 and 2020 including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on industry performance and on sales across non-store and store-based retailing.

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Key findings

Global slowdown, but rising incomes in Asia Pacific drive value sales growth

The home care industry has seen value sales growth slow down overall, with the increasing penetration of discounters pushing down overall unit prices, despite their accounting for only 5% of global sales. Asia Pacific remains the key growth region, with rising incomes being the core driver.

Supermarkets dominate in developed regions but traditional grocery retailers still key channel for emerging markets

Home care remains a traditional sector in many respects in terms of purchasing behaviour, with grocery channels commanding the leading share in all regions and accounting for 74% of global value sales. However, modern grocery channels are most common in Europe, North America and Australasia whereas traditional channels prevail in Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa.

Subscription models and voice commerce offer routes to accelerating online growth

Online sales remain a niche channel, despite strong growth, with internet retailing’s share standing at 4% in 2018 – significantly lower than in other fmcg industries. However, growth is expected to accelerate in the forecast period, as the popularity of subscription models rises and voice commerce becomes a viable way for home care brands to engage directly with consumers.

Private label underdeveloped outside Western Europe, with opportunities in North America and Australasia

Private label accounts for less than 8% of value sales in all regions except Western Europe, where it has an 18% share. Private label is more accepted by consumers in Western Europe owing in part to the popularity of discounters, where private label dominates product SKUs. Consumer perception of private label is shifting in North America and Australasia, which could threaten the growth of brands.


Key findings

Industry Snapshot

Home care expenditure surges globally due to health threat
Hygiene-related categories see unprecedented value growth
Emerging markets have driven home care growth

Impact of Coronavirus

Four basic drivers of COVID-19 home care consumption
The 5-step consumer progression of COVID-19 for home care
Preventative health as future growth driver in home care
New hygiene routines acquired during COVID-19 will support growth
Hygiene and home seclusion drives growth of home care

Channel Shifts

Despite growing rapidly in 2020, e-commerce stays at a modest level
Asia Pacific continues to lead the shift towards non-store retailing...
… due to strong culture in online shopping and developed e-commerce in China

Store-Based Channels

Supermarkets and hypermarkets remain the largest channel in 2020
Discounters' growth supported by economic uncertainty
Health and beauty specialist retailers remains small but growing steady
Modern grocery retailers continue to be vital to the home care industry
Walmart strengthens its position through wider “green” brands assortment
Surface care offers the most opportunities for private label

Non-Store Channels

E-commerce drives the growth of non-store retailing across most regions
E-commerce leads the way in non-store retailing
E-commerce witnesses double-digit growth across all categories in 2020…
… but remains at modest level
Asia Pacific dominates home care e-commerce retailing
Alibaba holds its leading position as Amazon continues to struggle in China

Future Developments

After uptake in 2020, relative slowdown but the industry will benefit
Post-COVID-19: growth shifting back to normal


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