“This market, especially the candles category, continues to perform well as consumers remain attracted to these products for their beautiful designs, sensory experiences, and giftable aesthetic,” comments Dana Kreutzer, senior analyst in Kline’s Consumer Products Practice. “Moreover, e-commerce and technology are transforming this segment with new user experiences, where luxury brands and small start-ups alike are racing to embrace e-commerce, making this channel even stronger.”
In terms of retail distribution, the market continues to see a dynamic shift among brands. Yankee Candle further penetrates the mass market throughout the year, entering Walmart’s doors in the spring, and the brand’s parent company, Newell Brands, opens it first ever experiential pop-up shop during the holiday season as consumers increasingly crave unique and exclusive shopping experiences.
Candles remain the largest product category in 2017, contributing more than 41% to overall market sales. Driven by luxury candle marketers that record double the category growth, candles are also the fastest growing product form in the market. Several new luxury marketers enter the segment in 2017, such as Gibson & Dehn and HomeWorx by Harry Slatkin, selling its products through another popular direct-selling retailer - home shopping network – QVC. Despite new entrants and strong growth of several prestige brands, Yankee Candle remains the category’s market leader.
Another segment enjoying consumers’ favor is the diffusers category. This category is particularly innovative with the fragrance meeting technology and new smart scent diffusers from brands like Moodo and Aera, giving consumers the ability to control and customize their home scent experiences. New formats, such as the launch of liquidless reed diffusers by Nest and Diptyque, add additional attractivity to the segment; however, active diffusers particularly drive the segment as marketers focus on bringing consumers new ways to experience fragrance.
The competition among the large market players and emerging brands continues to strengthen in 2017. Newell Brands quickly becomes the market giant, adding WoodWick and Chesapeake Bay Candle brands to its home fragrance portfolio in 2017, and Bath & Body Works, one of the largest prestige brands, continues to see excellent performance. However, the smaller, luxury players are the market movers, according to Kline.