While stories about the threat posed by bacteria or viruses appearing in the media may have played a role in increasing consumer fear over hygiene, new research from Mintel finds that Asia Pacific is the global market leader in Anti-bacterial household development. Indeed, some 30% of new product launches in the APAC region carried the claim, driving market opportunities for disinfectant products in the household sector.
According to latest research from Mintel on household trends, it seems manufacturers in the region are capitalizing on the fear of germs, with Malaysia posting 40% new product development (NPD) in the Antibacterial household segment, while other big countries, such as China and India posted 32% and 31% NPD respectively.
While APAC sees the highest number of anti-bacterial household launches globally, this compares to 18% of new product development with Anti-bacterial claims in Latin America, and 9% in Europe.
When it comes to the most dynamic sub-categories, innovation in products carrying antibacterial properties has been particularly active in dishwasher and laundry detergents, with Automatic Detergents (various types of laundry detergents for use with machines) registering 17% NPD, followed by Toilet Cleaners with 14%, and Hand Dishwashing with 13%.
Mr. David Jago, Director of Innovation and Insights at Mintel, said: “With laundry detergent manufacturers actively promoting low temperature products, and consumers keen to adopt low temperature for reasons of economy as well as ecology, there may be potential in Europe for the type of disinfecting fabric care products more commonly seen in the Asia Pacific region. This means current manufacturers of fabric care products sold in Europe have the opportunity to develop such products for the European consumer or Asia Pacific entrants could introduce their versions into Europe.”
And while consumers worldwide may agree that household chores are one of the least desirable activities, the household market is deeply driven by regional differences in product innovation, reflecting local consumer concerns and preferences.
Another factor that distinguishes the household market in APAC is the issue of odor neutralizing, those products that claim to remove or neutralize odors or kill the germs that cause bad odors. New launches carrying the claim registered 21% of total new product activity in the past twelve months in the region, compared to 11% in North America, 7% in Europe and 6% in Latin America.
On the other hand, Ethical and Environmental claims are high in European household product development, accounting for 50% of NPD in Europe, while green issues are currently lower in the APAC region, being recorded as on-pack claims on 36% of all new products in the analyzed period.
Moreover, “Natural” positioning is growing in APAC – with Natural claims seen in nearly one in five (17%) new products in the last twelve months, up from just 13% in 2008. For the most part this reflects the promotion on-pack of plant-based actives, as well as increasing numbers of products labeled as being free from additives such as colors or fragrance. In particular, Botanical and Herbal claims represented 17% of new introductions during the reviewed period, No Additives/Preservatives and Aromatherapy 3% respectively for the same period.
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