Consumers want their air fresheners to do more than just smell good

By Dr. Benjamin Punchard in Household Products on April 06, 2014

Consumers have become more aware about the ingredients that are being used in their household products, with concerns over phthalates, allergies and asthma detrimental to the air care market. Growth opportunities exist for more brands to expand into other household categories or even household appliances, as between 60 and 80 percent of U.S. consumers are interested in new products that offer added benefits beyond odor removal.

U.S. air freshener sales grew by 12 percent during 2011-2013 and we expect growth will continue at about 2 to 3 percent a year into 2018. Plug-in/battery-operated was the only segment in the U.S. to see sales decline (2 percent) during 2011-2013, likely linked to its more expensive nature. Between 2011 and 2013, sales growth was seen across the other segments, the strongest for in-car fresheners (105 percent), followed by aerosols (12 percent) and slow-release (7 percent).

Products that offer improved air quality, the ability to repel bugs and antibacterial properties command the most interest but new product development here is niche. There is strong interest in products that emphasize holistic/relaxing attributes, with room for brands to tap into the popularity of particular lifestyle/exercise choices (such as yoga and visiting spas).

An example of the multi-functional trend in air care is the Aura Cacia Grapefruit & Lavandin Awakening Yoga Mist. It’s an organic mist for yoga mats, rooms and the body. It is said to create a more mindful yoga session with organic, 100 percent pure essential oils of refreshing grapefruit and balancing lavandin. The mist has not been tested on animals, is tested and verified for purity and is free from synthetic ingredients, paraben as well as petroleum. The manufacturer gives back 1 percent of the sales to organic farmers and their communities. The product is certified organic by OAI and retails in a 4-fl oz pack.

Another product catering to consumers’ desire for multiple benefits hails from Japan. The Kao Resesh Healing Aroma Refreshing Shower Deodorizer is a deodorizer that can be sprayed in the air and on fabric. It contains a blend of 13 natural essential fragrances and 100 percent natural aroma, including cedarwood, guaiacwood and eucalyptus. This product retails in a 325ml bottle, and launched on Sept. 28, 2013, open-priced. Also available is a Relaxing Shower fragrance variant, in a 325ml bottle. Refills in 400ml packs are also available.

And out of Canada, Febreze Sleep Serenity Quiet Jasmine Bedside Diffuser Air Freshener is said to have a fragrance that promotes sleep. This product requires no electrical plug, peeling or cutting and retails in a 5.5ml pack comprising one reusable unit base and one scent cartridge.

— Dr. Benjamin Punchard, Global Packaging Insights Director, Mintel

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