This is only an excerpt of the full article that appeared in P&F Magazine. The full content is not currently available online.
In December 2008, I met Daniel Fabricant, vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Natural Products Association (NPA) at the association’s headquarters in Washington, DC, with a view to explore the practicality of developing a natural product standard for household cleaning products. The collaboration between the NPA and a team of experts in the personal care industry, and the subsequent introduction of the NPA Natural Personal Care standard (May 2008) was the hallmark of our discussion. Clearly, the question before us was, “Does the spillover effect of the natural, green sustainability movement that has so clearly impacted personal care extend to home care products—specifically, the household cleaning and laundry category?” And as research indicated, that opportunities were plenty.
Market Research Indicators
According to Chicago-based market research firm, Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), total home care products sales (see F-1) (including “green”) ending Nov. 1, 2009 were:
- Laundry detergent: $3.72 billion
- Household cleaners: $1.5 billion
- All-purpose cleaners: $393 million
- Toilet deodorizers/cleaners: $250 million
- Tub/tile cleaners: $235 million
- Spray disinfectant: $111 million
Meanwhile, according to a Progressive Grocer magazine article (April 2009), “Consumers seeking ways to ‘go green’ and protect the environment and their families by avoiding chemicals are grabbing natural all-purpose household cleaners off store shelves at a record pace.” Mintel, a market research company based in Chicago, has projected growth in the category to reach $623 million by 2013. Considering the category has already grown from $17.7 million in 2003 to a whopping $64.5 million in 2008, this increase seems attainable. Then again, a recent Associated Press report suggested that when Clorox entered the green market in December 2007, the natural category accounted for only about 1% of the $12 billion spent on cleaning products (including industrial) each year in the United States. Although only out for a little over a year, Clorox's Green Works is the market leader in natural household cleaners, with 45% of category sales, according to Mintel. Finally, a recent national survey* found that natural ingredients are important to consumers; 78% of those surveyed said there should be regulations/standards for natural home care products; 72% believed it’s important that ingredients in home care products are natural; and 73% said they are more likely to purchase a home care product if they know it is certified as natural.