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Air Care Innovations

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.

On the other end of the spectrum, SC Johnson offers visual appeal for kids and teens with its Glade Plug Ins Scented Oil Light Show. Boasting a bold and brilliant light show with varied colors that show up on the wall, the product allows kids and teens to freshen their space while enjoying color and design. They can change the speed of the light show or even turn it off if desired. Glade Plug Ins Scented Oil Light Show comes in Vanilla & Cream and Berry Blast scents.

Customization is the name of the game in air care today and leading manufacturers strive constantly to meet the unique wants and needs of specific consumers. With products marketed for certain problems, areas and fragrance needs—rather than being presented as general air fresheners—major brands currently work hard to give the customer more control over air-scenting options. Febreze NOTICEables Clean Citrus and Citrus Spray contains a dual-scented oil refill that automatically alternates, so the user does not have to experience just one scent all day long. The product also eliminates odors in the air.

Location-specific air fresheners have taken over as the way of the future in air care. Consumers don’t want one spray, plug-in or gel for all areas of their lives; they want multiple products to give each unique area its own exciting scent. SC Johnson attempts fill this need with multiple Glade products, including Glade Car Scented Oil, which clips onto car vents to spread a Tropical Moment scent throughout the vehicle.

Renuzit aims for customized bathroom freshness with its Super Odor Neutralizer Roller Scents Bathroom Air Freshener. Replacing the toilet paper holder unit on the wall, the product releases a burst of fragrance when it rolls. Available in a Pure Breeze scent and easy to use, Super Odor Neutralizer Roller Scents claims to simultaneously eliminate odors and freshen the air.

The Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) tracks new product launches, trends and innovations internationally. For additional information regarding GNPD, visit or call Mintel International at 1-312-932-0600.