Mintel: Households Embracing Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products


Claims that Americans are suffering from a sense of environmental malaise may be valid. However, increased allergies and safety concerns over conventional cleaners is leading Mintel to project that green household cleaners will, well, clean up over the next half decade.

A $17.7 million business in 2003, the Chicago-based market research company says the green cleaning category quadrupled sales to $64.5 million by 2008. By 2013, Mintel anticipates eco-friendly cleaners will do an astounding $623 million in business and account for 30 percent of the household cleaners market by then (compared with 3 percent last year).

Now it would be one thing if America were on some wild spree to spruce up, but green cleaning is showing this growth at a time when the conventional cleaning market is stagnant. The broader category grew only 7 percent--which is actually a decline of 7 percent when you factor in inflation--from 2002-07.

The surge in sales of the supplies reflects both macro and micro trends. Four in 10 people surveyed for the Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products--US--January 2009 Market Size and Forecast report said they were more concerned with the environment now than they were one year ago. Worries about the health and safety effects of toxic chemicals in traditional household cleaning products on one’s family have swayed consumers to a category that was once led by independent brands such as Simple Green, Seventh Generation and Method. Seven in 10 Mintel respondents said they worried about chemicals in household cleaners and four in 10 cited allergies as a reason for buying eco-friendly cleaning products. Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from some form of allergy, according to the report.  

In terms of demographics, the consumers who are most likely to buy green cleaners are young (ages 18-35) and multi-ethnic (Hispanic and Asian consumer index is especially high).

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