Welcome to The Grocery Trader’s Spring Cleaning feature, with news and comments from the UK’s major suppliers of household cleaning products.  There’s a distinct psychological aspect to our household cleaning habit – when consumers are feeling upbeat about life, they’re more likely to go and find the right products to make their homes sparkle.  The Chancellor and others are fond of telling us the economy is looking brighter these days. So does the improved national mood translate into an urge to get sprucing up our homes? Maybe…

chazAccording to Adam Rodgers, RB UK Sales Director, one of the major Cleaning Product suppliers featured in these pages and an expert on this category, while the upturn in the economy doesn’t make cleaning any more popular, it is one of those things that just have to be done, and when the urge to ‘just do it!’ strikes.

In our rain-soaked, storm-tossed islands, most people batten down the hatches when it’s bleak and find that the first ray of sunshine on a winter’s day sends them running for the cleaning cupboard when they finally notice how dirty their windows/living room/bedroom/the entire place (delete as applicable) are looking.

The manufacturer of some of the country’s leading household brands, RB continues to invest in NPD and marketing support across its brands and remains the UKs third largest TV advertiser. When it comes to household and laundry products RB UK’s advice is that there are key times of year when household cleaning products need to ‘shine’ out:

The first one is when the Christmas celebrations are done and those decorations come down – the house looks dull and tired after the family celebrations. Here we are in February: most Brits will have taken down the ‘decs’ weeks ago, but there’s a custom in many places in the Catholic world to keep the Christmas Creche and some of the garland up in churches and homes until Candlemas on Sunday February 2…

Another big date for Spring Cleaning is when the clocks go forward. This year it falls on Sunday March 30th, the start of the traditional ‘Spring Clean’ period.  That’s when the days are getting longer and the early spring sunshine shows up the grubby windows and paintwork after the winter, and people feel they really can’t leave it a day longer to do something about it!

For working mums with school age children, keeping the house as clean as they’d like it is something of a holy grail, like keeping the kids’ rooms tidy. So another peak time for cleaning is before the schools break up for the long summer holiday – the last chance to get the house ready for when the children are at home, and time is at a premium. Perhaps the kids might like to clean their rooms? Then again perhaps not… So the next big peak is in September after the summer holidays, when mum next has access to the kids’ rooms. And bringing things full circle, in December there’s the necessary job of getting the home ready again for Christmas.

So the bottom line is, make the most of the Spring Cleaning opportunity, but keep the household products section well signposted the rest of the time to remind customers it’s there – and not just in spring!

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