Welcome to The Grocery Trader’s Spring Cleaning feature. We’ve had flu and the Norovirus – now here comes spring clean fever. It’s hard to imagine, sitting surrounded by snow, but the coming spring promises sparkling sales for cleaning products. First of all there’s our traditional British spring-cleaning frenzy – a few minutes’ sunshine as winter draws to a close is enough to send rain-soaked Brits on a cleaning blitz. And then there’s the fear of sunlight showing up the state of our homes, which four in ten Brits surveyed said ‘sometimes embarrasses’ them when people come round!

According to Mintel, four companies account for over half of UK cleaning product sales: Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever, SC Johnson and Procter & Gamble, each with heavyweight NPD and marketing support.  RB continues to innovate, as the stories in this feature from Cillit Bang, Harpic and Vanish demonstrate.

With the drier and warmer weather Spring’s the perfect time to clean areas of the home not normally done every week. That’s the message from leading household cleaning brand Spontex, who are on hand with its full range of Microfibre cloths to help consumers make light work of their Spring Cleaning in 2013.

There’s always room for new spring cleaning products and initiatives. As we report, America’s oldest cleaning brand, Bar Keepers Friend is set to impact the UK’s niche cleaning market with a new distribution agreement with Kilrock Products, the cleaning and household products supplier, a new design and two new products that will broaden its appeal and usage occasions.

So what’s driving all this? Mintel’s recent ‘Cleaning the House’ report shows 75% of Brits get satisfaction from seeing their home clean and tidy. Over half prefer it like that all the time, but as mentioned four in ten admit they are sometimes embarrassed by the state of their home. We make the excuse that cleaning gets neglected due to our busy lifestyles – hence the strong appeal of high-power cleaning products that get jobs done quickly.

And then there are those canny consumers who spring clean as an investment in their property. According to Mintel, in the current economic environment, with incomes squeezed consumers are reluctant to splash out money on their homes. They see spring cleaning as a way to revitalise the home without too much expense.

Finally, the trend to stay in and ?entertain at home is also making? us do more cleaning ?before guests arrive. Based on that, the cleaning bug is unlikely?to go away over the next few?months. The Easter break at the end of March, the various Bank Holidays and the (please God) good spring and summer weather are all good reasons to have friends and family in, which means some cleaning first. It adds up to great news all round for household cleaning fixture sales.

The Grocery Trader

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