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Smells like Green Spirit

Posted: May 19, 2010

Global household product introductions have experienced vast transformations in recent years—particularly in the United States. As more consumers become concerned with the state of the environment, the health of their families and the safety of household products (actual or perceived), manufacturers have responded by introducing more eco-friendly formulations. In fact, global household products making eco-friendly product claims jumped 330% between 2007 and 2010, while eco-friendly packaging claims rose tenfold for the same time period, making these claims the most prevalent in the category. Innovation, however, has not stopped at simply creating cleaner, greener formulations; as the market becomes increasingly crowded, more manufacturers are introducing household products that incorporate added benefits and creativity through scent. Inspiration from beauty and personal care, and food and beverage categories has helped further differentiate natural formulations in the crowded category.

Herbal Inspirations
The Mrs. Meyers brand paved the way several years ago for herbal and botanical formulations in home care with the introduction of its basil-scented, eco-conscious cleaning line. This brand was ahead of its time and has since inspired unique and unexpected fragrances in the category. Herbs, spices and botanicals, which are staples in the kitchen, have emerged as complementary components in the home care category. Naturally derived scents from familiar categories such as edible spices and herbs may evoke a nostalgic, familiar sentiment from consumers in a category frequently associated with largely synthetic scents and formulas.

In the United Kingdom, private label retailer Marks & Spencer recently introduced Sparkling Shower and Tile Shine Cleaner in a mint tea fragrance. The premium product features a fresh fragrance with notes of rosemary, cool mint, camphor, menthol and white lily. The “cruelty-free” spray retails in a 500-mL recyclable bottle. Meanwhile, in the United States, Williams-Sonoma has introduced Lemongrass Ginger Countertop Spray. The biodegradable product is free from ammonia, phosphate, chlorine and parabens, is not tested on animals and contains active ingredients derived from natural sources. The spray is made with essential oils and retails in a bottle made from 25% postconsumer plastic.

Familiarity through Food
Consumers are increasingly seeking out ways to quickly understand and demystify product formulations. Ultimately, consumers want to know what’s contained in the products they purchase and whether or not those ingredients are healthy and safe for their families while also being effective. Familiar ingredients can instill high levels of trust into a range of products. Although this trend first emerged in beauty and personal categories, it has quickly gained traction in home care as manufacturers work to improve eco-friendly formulations and consumer acceptance.

In Mexico, Fruits & Passion Cucina Dish Detergent features zucchini flower and truffle scent. The concentrated detergent is biodegradable and free from chlorine and phosphate. It contains cleaning agents derived from coconut oil and cornstarch, replacing the petroleum ingredients used in convectional detergent. Similarly in the United States, Caldrea Rose Pomegranate Dish Soap Liquid is biodegradable and made with essential oils of rose, cassis and pomegranate extract.