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More Men Are Cleaning Up Around The House

August 11, 2011

More Men Are Cleaning Up Around The House

More Men Are Cleaning Up Around The House

• Forget the phrase “women’s work.” While many television commercials for household cleaning products would have you believe that women are the only ones who pick up a mop or a broom in the household, new research from Mintel suggests that this is more myth than reality. In fact, the number of men cleaning is on the rise, noted the market research firm, which has offices in Chicago, New York and London.

The percentage of men who say they do most of the household cleaning has risen from 17% in 2006 to 31% in 2011. This increase is in line with Mintel Inspire’s Men Shopping Badly trend, noted the market research firm.

“The next generation of men is coming of age in an era when gender roles are less rigidly defined and men are set to become only more domestic,” said Alexandra Smith, managing editor, Mintel Inspire.
“The assumption of men relying upon partners to shop—or even having partners in the first place—is in need of revision. Brands that have long assumed their target audience to be women may need to take a second look at who’s pushing the grocery cart.”

Additionally, 55% of men who do household cleaning say cleaning the house gives them a sense of accomplishment (compared to 62% of women) and 26% describe it as a thankless chore.

Marketers should be working on speeding up the process too. Regardless of what gender is squeezing the spray bottle trigger, nearly half (42%) would be willing to pay extra for any product that makes cleaning faster, according to Mintel.

“Retailers either haven’t tried, or haven’t figured out how to communicate with men—who like to clean as much as women do,” said David Lockwood, senior analyst at Mintel. “Of course, they aren’t as likely to clean, but the percentage of men who really enjoy cleaning is just as high as it is for women. These facts reveal that men remain an underexploited household cleaning target and the barriers to men’s increased involvement in household cleaning are not great.”

Mintel research also found that moms and dads have specific cleaning preferences. Almost 60% of parents with a child 18 or younger in the household are willing to pay more for child-safe cleaning products. Meanwhile, 20% say child-safe products don’t clean as effectively as other cleansers.

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Recovery in North AmericanNatural/Organic Personal Care Marketplace

• The North American market for natural and organic personal care products is recovering from the financial crisis, with sales exceeding $5 billion for the first time last year. And while market growth stagnated in 2009, healthy growth rates are resuming once again as consumer demand for natural products strengthens, according to market analysis from Organic Monitor.

According to Organic Monitor forecasts, North American revenues will reach $8 billion by 2017, driven by widening distribution and new product launches. Penetration of natural and organic personal care products is increasing in supermarkets, drugstores, mass merchandisers and club stores.

New product launches are stimulating market growth. The entry of large multinationals—including Johnson & Johnson and Estée Lauder—is making natural products more accessible and visible to consumers. However, retailer private labels are expected to have the most success, noted Organic Monitor.

Two leading supermarket chains have introduced private labels for natural personal care products in the past 18 months, with more expected to follow suit. As such, Organic Monitor expects demand for private label products to emulate that for organic foods. All leading mainstream retailers are marketing organic foods under their private labels; they have become so successful that O Organics (Safeway) and PC Organics (Loblaw) are the leading organic food brands in the US and Canada, respectively.

As new entrants continue, the supply-side for natural personal care products continues to fragment. According to Organic Monitor, more than 600 brands are present in the North American market; however, very few have significant market share. A two-tier market has developed, whereby large brands are occupying the first tier and small-medium size firms are in the second tier. The gap between the tiers is widening as large brands—such as Burt’s Bees and Bare Escentuals—use capital inflows to expand market share.

And Organic Monitor still contends that consumer confusion remains an industry concern even as standards have a major impact. Organic Monitor finds the adoption rate of standards rising; about 8% of natural and organic personal care products were certified in 2010, up from 4% in 2007.

High growth is expected to raise the marketshare of natural and organic products to 10% in many categories. More mergers, acquisitions and investments are predicted as firms are attracted by the high growth potential.

Successful brands are those with strong distribution and product differentiation in an increasingly crowded marketplace. As has happened in the organic food market, growth opportunities are likely to become more scarce as the market matures.

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