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Like hundreds of thousands of others, earlier this year I jumped on the bandwagon and joined a rapidly growing army of Hinchers. Like most other millennials, cleaning has always been a chore in my household and I’ll openly admit I’m far too lazy to clean on a regular basis. Before this year, I’d never thought twice about cleaning and only ever bought the same brands I’d seen in my mum’s cupboard under the sink.

Yet after only a week of following Mrs. Hinch on Instagram I find myself enthusiastically filling my trolley with soda crystals, new cleaning cloths, Zoflora and a raft of other cleaning products I’d never previously noticed in the supermarket before now. My boyfriend does not look impressed when I proudly present the bag of soda crystals on the kitchen counter on my return from Tesco. I spend the whole weekend on a cleaning marathon and by the end of the weekend, the house is spotless and I feel rather pleased with myself.

Whilst this story will no doubt ring true for thousands of others too, working in FMCG I can’t help but wonder what this revolution means for industry players.  A previously dull and unengaging category has suddenly undergone a revolution, prompting a major shift in consumer behaviours.

So what can we expect going forward? 

If this category growth is to be sustained, brands and manufacturers will need to up the pace on innovation to keep consumers engaged and excited. Innovation will need to go beyond new fragrance alone. We expect brands to venture into new formats, with an increased focus on functionality and increasingly clever cleaning tools.

We also expect to see the competition hotting up between brands as they fight for custom, particularly amongst the big players and lesser known, smaller brands. Marketing claims and consumer endorsement will play an increasingly important role here.

At the other end of the spectrum is the growth of green and eco-friendly brands such as Method. Whilst Method’s green credentials stand them in good stead amongst increasingly environmentally conscious consumers, does work still need to be done to convince shoppers that they are as effective as better known brands? However, this is no doubt an area with potential for future growth.

And what does it all mean for retailers?

Whilst shoppers would have previously stocked up on cleaning supplies as part of their weekly shop, consumers are now venturing into new territories and stepping foot into the likes of Home Bargains, B&M and Poundstretcher in search of Hinch recommended brands such as The Pink Stuff.  This new shopping experience only adds to the excitement of this new era. Do the Big 4 feel threatened by this? No doubt yes, given that sales in Household are down for Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda1. Again, we see an all-familiar situation as witnessed with the discounters: shoppers are loyal no more and willing to try new brands and stores.

If you’d like to know more about this category and how we can help with brand strategy or marketing claims, please get in touch. Alternatively, if you’re interested in knowing what consumers think of your product, our unique Neighbourhood Network enables us to place products with consumers for testing in their own homes, up and down the UK.  Products can be benchmarked against category norms from our Foodfax Database which extends across 9 specific household and personal care categories.

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1[Kantar 52 w/e 7 October 2018].

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