Laundry Consumer, as many as eight in ten people take main or shared responsibility for doing the laundry but women are most likely to assume responsibility for laundry chores in the home, with 77% taking on the main responsibility for doing the laundry compared with 41% of men.
While laundry detergents account for two thirds of sales of home laundry products, it is fabric conditioners and washtreatment products that have driven recent growth. Fabric conditioners have benefited from new premium products, including in-wash scent boosters, while Vanish Gold stain removers and Dettol laundry cleansers have added value to the category.
Although usage of powders and liquids is broadly spread by age, laundry gels are less likely to be used by over-55s and capsules and tablets are used more by 25-34-year-olds.
Laundry detergent gels and single-dose capsules and tablets can both appeal for taking up less space, while the latter also appeals to people placing a higher value on convenience and easy dosing.
Super-concentrated laundry detergents that require smaller doses interest 32% of buyers of laundry products, but are of more interest to over-55s. This suggests that a higher proportion of the older population might be persuaded to use concentrated laundry gels, especially as they would find it easier to transport smaller packs home from the shops.
Laundry products other than detergent all have room to increase penetration. The repertoire of products most people use is small, and men are more likely to use just one or two products (62% vs 44% of women). More men therefore need convincing of the value of using a wider range of fabric care products in addition to laundry detergent.
And to the future, the research highlights strong interest in smart technology, including appliances that make the best use of energy, those that automatically adjust the wash to the best temperature or washing machines that can be controlled remotely using a phone.
Features linked to messaging and smartphones generally have greater appeal to 16-24-year-olds, so as these younger consumers become more involved with buying white goods, uptake of more ‘intelligent’ functionality will increase.
Smart technology could also appeal to the sandwich generation though; 23% of adults aged 30+ who support both children and parents are interested in home technology that makes it easier for elderly parents to be more independent.