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Air Care Innovations

Posted: November 13, 2007

No longer confined to just aerosol sprays that reside under people’s bathroom sinks, the US air care market has grown rapidly in recent years. Manufacturers of key brands—Febreze, Glade, Air Wick and Renuzit—continually innovate new and exciting products to freshen and scent the air around us. Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) shows these brands creatively expanding into new formats, purposes and functions as they attempt to stand out in the sweet-smelling, yet cluttered air care market.

Air care brands well known for spray and plug-in fresheners have strongly and successfully moved into the candle market. Once the domain of candle-specific brands and luxury products, the US candle market is now infiltrated with air care brands offering maximum scent appeal with increasingly refined visual appeal and compelling tweaks on delivery systems. SC Johnson takes an artsy, seasonal angle with its Glade Thomas Kinkade Painter of Light Candle Collection. Featuring the art of Thomas Kinkade on the outside of the candles, the products come in seasonally attractive scents such as Pumpkin Pie, Apple Cinnamon, Glistening Snow and French Vanilla.

Another Glade product, Glade Wisp, takes away the fire hazard associated with burning candles, but maintains the warming, mood-setting fragrance benefits. The Glade Wisp “candle” contains no wick or flame; rather, it combines continuous puffs of fragrance with a warm, flickering glow to mimic a burning candle. Packaged in a decorative glass jar with a soft flickering light that looks just like a real candle flame, the product comes in scents including Clean Linen, Rain Shower, Apple Cinnamon and Hawaiian Breeze.

Procter & Gamble promises more than the standard candle by featuring an odor-eliminating core in its Febreze Candle. It claims the candle can remove unpleasant odors from the air—not just cover them up—while simultaneously scenting the room with an appealing fragrance. The Febreze Candle comes in five different scents, including Spring & Renewal and Meadows & Rain.

With air fresheners traditionally associated with functional-looking aluminum cans and, more recently, awkward white plug-ins, visual appeal has become a driving factor in new product development. Many consumers want a strong, effective air freshener that fits into their sense of style and design, so top manufacturers have responded by creating new devices and formats that fulfill this desire. Reckitt Benckiser recently released a miniature version of its Air Wick Fresh Matic automatic spray product, appealing to consumers who want reliable fragrance coverage in an unobtrusive format. Sold in a Lavender scent, the Mini Automatic Spray gives a boost of freshness with X-press technology and is said to last up to 60 days.