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Sales Pick Up for Home Fragrance

June 30, 2016

Kline reports biggest gain since 2010

The US home fragrances market is on fire. After several years of lackluster results, the category registered the strongest growth since 2010, growing more than 3% in 2015. Accounting for over 50% of total market sales, the luxury segment registered an even stronger 5% increase, according to the just-published Home Fragrances: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities report by global market research and management consulting firm Kline
According to Kline, while Bath & Body Works is one of the largest and fastest growing brands among prestige candles, smaller brands, such as Nest, RibbonWick, Dyptique and Illume, among several others, are the ones igniting the market with the strongest, double-digit growth. Driven by a strong portfolio of seasonal or limited edition scents and vibrant new product activity, growth for luxury brands outpaces the overall category. Attractive packaging continues to play a strong role in product presentation, and candles offered in all types of eye-catching containers, shapes, and sizes are the driving force behind the category's growth, according to Kline executives. 
“As many new candle introductions feature new shapes of filled glass and tin containers, such as those from luxury marketers Seda France and VoluSpa, the category is swiftly transcending from being a mere tool to scent homes or provide lighting ambiance,” commented Karen Doskow, director at Kline’s Consumer Products Practice. “The containers with various hand-painted gold accents or high shine metallics are becoming unforgettable home design elements attainable at affordable prices, even at the luxury level, which certainly contributes to the market’s success.” 
While the candles category maintains its leading position, wax melts post the highest compound annual growth rate since 2010, again growing at double-digit rates in 2015Due to the continued demand and focus on wax melts, all other product types in the category, such as fragrance lamps, fragrance oils, and simmerings, continue to register sales declines in 2015. As wax melts continue its successful journey, many new specialty and mass marketers are entering this segment or expanding their portfolios. However, Scentsy remains the category’s market leader.
The diffusers category continues to post healthy growth, primarily driven by active diffusers, which includes Bath & Body Works’ Wallflowers and S.C. Johnson’s Glade plug-ins. Within this segment, both mass and luxury brands have performed well. 
Double-digit growth on the market also occurs on the distribution level. The direct sales channel, which accounts for approximately 16% of total home fragrance market sales, grows at nearly 20%, which is an impressive gain for a market this mature.  
The impact of the Internet is most prevalent in the prestige candles market in which e‐commerce sales account for an estimated 15% of overall sales. Select examples of prestige candle brands with their own elaborate websites include Yankee Candle, Bath & Body Works, LAFCO, Dyptique, and Archipelago. Mass candle brand sales through the Internet are estimated to be less than 10%; however, sales are expected to keep pace with the overall increase in Internet sales. While online sales for mass brands, such as Glade and Air Wick, are small, each brand has a strong presence on the internet through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.

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