Consumers have increasingly embraced eco-friendly household care products in recent years, largely due to growing concerns over the toxicity of regular products and their consequential impact on both the environment and health. However, the typically higher price of eco-friendly products and concerns over how effective they are compared to regular products remain major obstacles for the market.
Indeed, consumer research finds as many as 57% of adults who do not use eco-friendly cleaning products when carrying out household chores cite the typically higher price of eco-friendly cleaning products as a barrier for doing so. Furthermore, just 15% of those who clean agree that eco-friendly cleaning products are worth the extra cost.
Additionally, a third of over-45s cite efficacy doubts as a barrier to usage of eco-friendly products vs just 19% of 16-24-year-olds.
However, 31% of adults who participate in chores worry about the impact of household cleaning products on the environment, whilst 24% are concerned about the impact ingredients in regular cleaners have on their/their family’s health.
Price and product efficacy remain powerful barriers to using eco-friendly household care products, with many consumers still perceiving eco-products as more expensive and less effective than regular household care products, providing little incentive to trade up.
Premium scents have been emerging within the household care sector in recent years, such as the Comfort Creations fabric conditioner line, offering fragrances designed by perfume experts. In conjunction with eye-catching, stylish packaging designs, the use of natural perfume oils in eco-friendly products could add value and encourage shoppers to make the switch.
Trialling campaigns could also help brands to challenge the common perception that eco-friendly products are less effective than regular ones, offering people free samples and money-off coupons to encourage future purchases.
Brands could also emphasise the science behind products, with eco-brands taking a similar approach to that seen by natural beauty brands such as Aveda and Origins, which have featured scientific claims on their haircare products. Similarly, use of technology-inspired terminology, eg Method’s “smartclean technology” positioning, could also help to underline the product’s efficacy.
Finally, focusing on health could encourage more adults to trade-up, with eco-brands tapping into the significant proportion of adults with cleaning responsibilities who indicate concern over the impact chemicals in regular cleaning products have on their own health or that of their family.
Overall, consumers are largely keen to pass the buck when it comes to the environment, preferring to hold brands and manufacturers responsible rather than taking responsibility themselves. On the flip side, only a very small proportion of consumers believe that they have no role to play in protecting the environment, highlighting the significant opportunity that remains open for eco-friendly brands.