Expert's Opinion

Simple Pleasures

By Karen Doskow, Industry Manager, Kline & Company | September 3, 2010

Kline’s Karen Doskow explains how consumer spending on simple pleasures fuels the home fragrance market.

Home Fragrances 2009: Market Analysis and Opportunities. New findings r
Marketers determined not to be dissuaded by gloomy consumer spending forecasts in 2009 fought back the unfavorable outlook by launching new diffusers, candles, and room sprays, all of which were supported by considerable social media buzz and beyond usual levels advertising support. Key new products were somewhat innovative and included Scentbug from Limited’s Slatkin and Company (U.S.), Jelly Belly line from Wax Lyrical (UK), and Air Wick I-Motion from Reckitt Benckiser (global). New specialty store-oriented home fragrance collections from both S.C. Johnson and Procter & Gamble graced supermarket aisles, as well as many other mass outlet shelves.

However, not all product categories performed equally in the three regions. Room sprays were the leading category in the United Kingdom and Germany, while candles took the lead in the U.S. This is partially due to the fact that electrical outlets are not permitted in UK bathrooms. Regional tastes, which were examined in the report, found that Germans prefer unscented candles to scented candles and that natural-inspired fragrances remained a favorite among scented products.

Flame-free or instant scenting options occupied the top of the bestseller list in 2009 across all three regions. The number of reed diffusers available multiplied both in the U.S. and in the UK, as multinational marketers such as Reckitt Benckiser, S.C. Johnson, and Procter & Gamble that brought out their own versions of the product. Diffusers continue to see a lot of play in 2010 as Procter & Gamble tries to expand its consumer reach, introducing a lower priced addition to its Febreze franchise—Set & Refresh. This non-electric diffuser is positioned to directly compete with Renuzit’s adjustable cone, a product that has been widely viewed as the cornerstone of the air care aisles for decades.

A strong focus on new fragrances yielded entries including the whimsical Jelly Belly scented candles from British marketer Wax Lyrical, and Laura Slatkin’s more sophisticated Nest Fragrances introduced Wasabi Pear and Moss Mint. Scents reminiscent of faraway destinations or spas were a strong element in all markets, highlighted by the expansion of Glade’s Relaxing Moments collection and Febreze’s exotic scents collection. Odor elimination remains an important trend around the globe and can be found in all major product categories. The Yankee Candle Company introduces a new line of odor-elimination candles in 2009 called Good Air.

We are already into the home stretch of 2010, and home fragrance industry sales look very optimistic despite a continued challenging retail environment for many marketers and retailers. Recent news of positive sales results throughout the first half of the year of market leader The Yankee Candle Company confirms the favorable buzz from other marketers here and across the pond.

About the Author
aren Doskow is an industry veteran with over 25 years of experience in the air care, beauty care and related markets.

Karen has served as a consultant to Kline for nearly 15 years before joining the company. In 2010, she has joined Kline as an Industry Manager for the Consumer Products practice. Currently, she is responsible for a series of continuing research reports including Home Fragrances USA, Professional Skin Care, and Beauty Retailing.

Prior to joining Kline, she worked on the marketing and advertising sides of the business on brands including Pantene, Chanel and Avon.