Sales: $756 million
Note: $756 million (estimated) for home fragrance products. Corporate sales: $9.7 billion
Key personnel: Ravi Saligram, president and chief executive officer; Christopher Peterson, chief financial officer and president, business operations
Major products: Home Fragrance: Chesapeake Bay, WoodWick and Yankee Candle
New products: WoodWick: Spill-Proof diffusers, and new scents including Golden Milk, Hemp & Ivy, Oat Flower, Solar Ylang and Tamarind & Stonefruit. Yankee Candle: Pre-fragranced Reed Diffusers, Awaken scent
Comments: Corporate sales fell more than 4% and home fragrance sales fell an estimated 3% at Newell Brands last year. Home fragrance sales were hampered by the closing of 75 underperforming Yankee Candle retail stores. These declines were partially offset by home fragrance growth in North America and EMEA.
Last year, the Newell Brands Home Fragrance Division, of which Yankee Candle is a part, opened a 20,300-sq. ft. R&D lab in South Deerfield, MA. The new R&D lab increases capability and capacity to develop, prototype, and test new innovations across the entire range of Yankee Candle, WoodWick and Chesapeake Bay Candle branded products. The new lab is nearly triple the size of the original R&D facility located in the division’s factory in Whately, MA and allows for product development and testing in candles, as well as adjacent home fragrance and auto freshener categories, areas that the division has been investing behind in recent years. At the time of the opening, the R&D function employed 65 people—up from five R&D employees three years ago.
Elsewhere, the company formed a partnership with TerraCycle to recycle its WoodWick candle collections.
As the new year got underway, Yankee introduced its second annual Scent of the Year—Awaken.
“We’ve learned through our research for Scent of the Year that there is a significant cultural shift away from always wanting more: more options, more communication, more material clutter.
Increasingly, people want to simplify their lives, unplug from the constant chatter of technology, and reconnect with themselves and with those they care about,” said Anna Whitton, vice president of marketing, The Yankee Candle Company. “Consumers are seeking out meaningful experiences that bring them a greater sense of self.”
Maybe, but by the end of March, many of Yankee’s customers were hoping the new year was just a bad dream. Corporate sales declined 7.6% to $1.9 billion in Q1 2020, with the home & outdoor living group (which includes candles) reporting a 10% decline. Of its 135 manufacturing and distribution facilities, nearly 20 were or are temporarily closed, the most significant of which are its South Deerfield, MA, home fragrance plant.