The National Candle Association recently conducted a consumer survey to gauge candle shopping habits, and found that scent is the most important factor influencing purchasing behavior—even more important than price. According to Kathy LaVanier, president, the National Candle Association, Washington, DC, shoppers are choosing candles based on what candle colors are perceived to smell good, with blue, purple, and pink being the most popular picks.
“We also found that consumers still prefer single wick candles over newer, multi-wick varieties and gravitate toward jar candles over other formats,” she said.
Shoppers are going to mass merchandise stores and specialty candle stores for new purchases. The top factors driving retailer preferences are a wide selection of scents, high-quality products, sales or specials, and low prices. Fall (October–December) and winter (January–March) are the seasons where candles are purchased more often, with holiday gift giving, seasonal promotions and more frequent use of candles during this time of year driving the category’s seasonality profile, said LaVanier.
“Presentation of the candle is particularly important for gift-giving,” she told Happi. “Shoppers look for a high-quality candle, name brand, a nice image, or decorative container when selecting candles to give as a gift.”
In the mass market, sales of air fresheners rose 2.7% to $2.98 billion, according to data from Information Resources Inc. (IRI) for total US multi-outlet (supermarkets, drugstores, mass market retailers, military commissaries and select club and dollar retail chains) for the 52 weeks ended June 16, 2019. Home air fresheners rose 2.3% to $2.1 billion and candle sales jumped 7.2% to $1.36 billion. Sales of potpourri/sachets leaped 6.8% to $462.1 million, but automobile air freshener sales were essentially flat, rising 0.5% to $414.3 million.
Candles & More
With more than 1,600 doors, primarily in malls, and with average square footage that’s double the size of most of its competitors, Bath & Body Works’ overall sales rose nearly 10% last year, helped along by gains in home sales.
Bath & Body Works is amping up its Fall 2019 offerings with a variety of new seasonal scents. Shoppers will covet the new candle collection featuring Honeycrisp Apple, Marshmallow Pumpkin and Pumpkin Apple, to name a few blends.
Also noteworthy, no pun intended, in the candle category is Los Angeles-based Soothe. This on-demand massage service delivers a licensed, insured massage therapist to one’s home, office, or hotel within 60 minutes complete with a Soothe Blackberry Forest Candle, which lights up the room with a beautiful, warm glow that sets a relaxing mood and releases delicate notes of citrus, blackberry and strawberry, combined with touches of patchouli, amber, and sandalwood. Hand-poured in Los Angeles, the vegan candle is made of premium grade soy wax, and allows for 50 hours of burn time using all-natural cotton wicks which allow for a clean, non-polluting burn. It comes in a sleek matte black glass jar with lid and a weighted bottom which keeps it from easily sliding across surfaces. It is sold at spas to connect the massage experience to the home. Soothe recently celebrated its fifth anniversary this August.
Meanwhile, at Nest, the prestige home fragrance company, new candles and a reed diffuser will debut for the holidays. Spiced Orange & Clove is a festive spice offering the aroma of an orange pomander blended with the essence of spiced brandy, Saigon cinnamon, hints of star anise and gingered honey.
Indie home care brand Hillhouse Naturals is already celebrating everyone’s favorite season with scents that are said to be luscious, inviting and warm. Out now, new offerings include three fragrance collections: Harvest, Fig & Fir and Winter Plum in candles, diffusers and other home scent formats. The Harvest collection fills the home with a classic blend of hot spiced cider, cinnamon and apple notes. Standouts from the Harvest Collection include wax melts, and sparkling new mercury glass candles. Fig & Fir is a fragrant blend of fresh fig notes rapped in a cocoon of warm woods, cedar and pine. Winter Plum is described as deep and warm with notes of black plum, amber, patchouli and tonka bean. Hemp flower adds a unique and earthy touch to this scent which is balanced by the addition of sparkling citrus and cassis, said the company.
At Procter & Gamble, Febreze is thinking big with its Small Spaces collection. The air fresheners, available in Linen & Sky, Hawaiian Aloha, Wild Berries and Gain Original, prevent odors from lingering in intimate spaces of the home to keep it smelling fresh for 45 days. Products are in mass market stores now. The new formulation contains “breakthrough” reactive aldehydes to help prevent odors from lingering, and stopping the odor cycle in the home. A new disposable device design enables maximum air flow and room fill while sleek new packaging is “leave-out-worthy” too!
Also new in the mass market is Air Wick’s update of Pure Automatic Spray collection, which is said to provide 24/7 odor neutralization throughout the home and eliminates offensive odors. The company reformulated its Pure fragrance collection using less carbon and water for a greener formula that’s gentler on the planet than the previous formula. Each scent is inspired by nature and provides more concentrated fragrance than previous Air Wick automatic sprayers, said the company.
“We know Moms are always on the job for their families, which includes facing the challenges of keeping the household fresh through life’s busiest occasions. We want to take that stress off Mom’s plate with a simple solution,” said Stuart Witherby, Air Wick marketing director for North America. “That’s why we’ve refreshed our Pure Automatic Spray collection to provide an authentic fragrance experience in the home while delivering superior odor neutralization around the clock to support our 24/7 Moms.”
Air Wick also partnered with author and motivational speaker Gabby Bernstein to develop a tailored meditation routine in tune with the products.
Create Zen-like moments no matter what the day brings with indie brand Mio’s Liquid Yoga Space Spray. Infused with essential oils like lemon, cypress and lavandin, this relaxation spray quells feelings of anxiety, stress and nervousness, said the company.
A new year calls for a new scent. In January 2020, Yankee Candle will unveil its Scent of the Year, a program that debuted in 2019 to great acclaim, according to the company.
“Yankee Candle has been a leader in the home fragrance category for 50 years, and each year we conduct extensive research and take great care to curate fragrances that our consumers will love. This year, we took this process to the next level,” said Anna Whitton, vice president of brand marketing, Yankee Candle Company. “We identified an overarching theme and built a candle to perfectly portray it. The resulting fragrance is beautiful, compelling and embodies the desire we have as individuals to connect with the world around us while still being accepted for who we are.”
The scent for 2019 has been One Together. The fragrance was created with rare Miracle Flower, a scent never before used at Yankee Candle. This luscious floral wrapped with soft woods, suede, and amber is combined with mandarin, nectarine, and sandalwood. The resulting fragrance is beautifully nuanced, harmonious, and all together intoxicating, said the company.
“Our goal is to create scents that transform a home into a place where you can relax, be yourself and provide a warm welcome for your loved ones. In collaboration with trend, fashion and fragrance experts, we developed a singular scent to inspire you throughout the coming year,” said Whitton.
One Together is available in a large two-wick tumbler and large classic jar candle for $30 exclusively at Yankee Candle retail locations and online.