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Health and Hygiene - Fear of Germs and Bacteria - UK - September 2009

Swine flu has been at the centre of media coverage since May 2009. Now declared a pandemic with government advertising to educate people of ways to reduce the spread of the virus, it has very much entered the public consciousness. Qualitative research run by Mintel with Toluna shows that, although people claim not to have changed their hygiene habits in the wake of the swine flu publicity, they do appear to be more aware of germs. A number of respondents bought on-the-go hand sanitisers and amongst a few, there is a heightened sensitivity to others who are showing symptoms of a cold or flu. For these consumers, antibacterial products and sanitisers offer a barrier and respond to their fear of getting ill. Particularly with the backdrop of the recession, adults who are still in employment may be reluctant to take time off sick for fear of losing their jobs. Retailers such as Superdrug have reported a spike in sales of some hygiene products.

Fear is a common advertising theme amongst household cleaning products as it taps into consumer concern and fear of germs and bacteria that is invisible to the naked eye. However, promoting products based on fear may also be deterring people from buying into the antibacterial products market. This tactic may be giving rise to the perception that these days people are too obsessed with germs and that it is good to have exposure to some germs.

This report seeks to identify whether British people are genuinely scared of germs and bacteria and whether media coverage of swine flu has raised awareness or fear of bacteria. This report examines the impact of consumer fear of bacteria on the market for antibacterial products and other products that claim to kill germs.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key findings
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • The benefits of bacteria
              • No secrets
                • Insight
                  • Bothered by bacteria
                    • Over-protective parenting
                      • Insight
                      • Market in Brief

                        • Attitudes towards germs
                          • Household cleaning habits
                            • Impact of lifestyle
                              • Ailments and allergies
                                • Bacteria offering a breeding ground?
                                • Internal Market Environment

                                  • Key points
                                    • Incidence of illness and allergies
                                      • Figure 1: Illnesses suffered from in the last 12 months, 2004-08
                                    • Time spent cleaning
                                      • Figure 2: Time spent on household chores on an average weekday, 2004-08
                                    • Primary mode of transport
                                      • Figure 3: Car ownership, 2004-08
                                    • Health and fitness
                                      • Figure 4: Visits to leisure centres, gyms or health clubs in the last 12 months, 2008
                                    • The presence of pets and children
                                      • Figure 5: Trends in household pet ownership in GB, 2004-08
                                    • Food consumption and preparation
                                      • Figure 6: Trends in food consumption and preparation, 2004-08
                                  • Broader Market Environment

                                    • Key points
                                      • Age and vulnerability?
                                        • Figure 7: Structure of the UK population, by age and gender, 2004-14
                                      • Household size
                                        • Figure 8: Trends in UK household size, 2004-14
                                      • Government health initiatives
                                        • Swine flu
                                          • MRSA
                                          • Competitive Context

                                            • Key points
                                              • Antibacterial products in context
                                                • Figure 9: Antibacterial products as a percentage of new launches within each category, Q1 2006-Q2 2009
                                              • Dislike of housework
                                                • Pro-bacteria
                                                  • Cost
                                                  • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                      • Strengths
                                                        • Weaknesses
                                                        • Who’s Innovating?

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Innovation in context
                                                              • Figure 10: Innovation in antibacterial products as a proportion of beauty and personal care, healthcare and household launches, Q1 2006-Q2 2009
                                                            • Innovation has little impact on product use
                                                              • Figure 11: Comparison of new product launches and consumer purchase categories, by super category, May 2009
                                                            • Beauty and personal care dominates antibacterial launches
                                                              • Figure 12: Innovation in antibacterial products, by super category, Q1 2006-Q2 2009
                                                            • Antibacterial household products tap into all-purpose trend
                                                              • Oral hygiene dominates healthcare
                                                                • Leading innovators
                                                                  • Figure 13: Leading innovators in antibacterial products, by ultimate company, Q1 2006-Q2 2009
                                                              • Companies and Products

                                                                  • Figure 14: Brand map of the UK antibacterial products market, 2009
                                                                • Colgate-Palmolive
                                                                  • Figure 15: Table of antibacterial launches, by company in a wider context, Q1 2006-Q2 2009
                                                                • EC De Witt & Company
                                                                  • Figure 16: Table of antibacterial launches, by company in a wider context, Q1 2006-Q2 2009
                                                                • GlaxoSmithKline
                                                                  • Figure 17: Table of antibacterial launches, by company in a wider context, Q1 2006-Q2 2009
                                                                • Kimberly-Clark
                                                                  • Figure 18: Table of antibacterial launches, by company in a wider context, Q1 2006-Q2 2009
                                                                • Mölnlycke Health Care
                                                                  • Figure 19: Table of antibacterial launches, by company in a wider context, Q1 2006-Q2 2009
                                                                • PatientPak
                                                                  • Procter & Gamble
                                                                    • Figure 20: Table of antibacterial launches, by company in a wider context, Q1 2006-Q2 2009
                                                                  • PZ Cussons
                                                                    • Figure 21: Table of antibacterial launches, by company in a wider context, Q1 2006-Q2 2009
                                                                  • Reckitt Benckiser
                                                                    • Figure 22: Table of antibacterial launches, by company in a wider context, Q1 2006-Q2 2009
                                                                  • The Mentholatum Company
                                                                    • Figure 23: Table of antibacterial launches, by company in a wider context, Q1 2006-Q2 2009
                                                                  • Unilever
                                                                    • Figure 24: Table of antibacterial launches, by company in a wider context, Q1 2006-Q2 2009
                                                                • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Summer spike
                                                                      • Figure 25: Above-the-line adspend on products with ‘antibacterial’ in the brand name, by month, January-July 2009
                                                                    • Swine flu
                                                                      • Kills 99.9% of germs
                                                                      • Exposure to Germs: Consumer Lifestyles

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Interest in cleaning
                                                                            • Figure 26: Lifestyle statements on attitudes towards home and cleaning, 2004-08
                                                                          • Consumer lifestyles
                                                                              • Figure 27: Lifestyle factors that affect exposure to and concern over germs, May 2009
                                                                            • Kitchen hygiene
                                                                              • Hygiene outside of the home
                                                                                • Susceptibility to illness
                                                                                  • Figure 28: Comparison of attitudes towards germs, by suffering of allergies and minor illnesses, May 2009
                                                                              • Use of Products that Help Kill Germs

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Use and frequency of antibacterial products
                                                                                    • Figure 29: Trends in frequency of using products that help kill germs or prevent the spread of germs, by type, 2004-08
                                                                                  • Cleaning trends impact on usage habits
                                                                                    • Impact of swine flu on use of tissues and hand wash
                                                                                      • Figure 30: Use of liquid soap, boxed tissues and hand pack tissues, by gender and age, 2008
                                                                                  • Purchase of Antibacterial Products

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Antibacterial product purchase by category
                                                                                        • Figure 31: Purchase of antibacterial products in the last 12 months, by category, May 2009
                                                                                      • Hand wash in the household
                                                                                        • Family hygiene
                                                                                          • Children drive demand for first aid
                                                                                            • Cleaning up
                                                                                              • Repertoire analysis
                                                                                                • Figure 32: Number of types of antibacterial products purchased in the last 12 months, May 2009
                                                                                              • No germs here
                                                                                                • Figure 33: Percentage point deviance of attitudes amongst adults who have purchased seven or more antibacterial products in the 12 months to May 2009 compared to ‘all’ adults, May 2009
                                                                                              • Bacteria’s not so bad
                                                                                              • Attitudes Towards Bacteria

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • General lifestyle
                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Attitudes towards germs and bacteria, May 2009
                                                                                                  • House of hygiene
                                                                                                    • The domestic agend-er
                                                                                                      • Parents caught between bacteria and boosting immunity
                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Deviation in percentage points of attitudes towards bacteria amongst adults with children in the household compared to adults without children in the household, May 2009
                                                                                                    • Further Analysis

                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Positive and negative attitudes towards germs, May 2009
                                                                                                      • Responsibility for others elevates concern over germs
                                                                                                        • Age of opportunity
                                                                                                          • A few germs won’t harm you
                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Difference in selected atttiudes towards bacteria, by consumer groups, May 2009
                                                                                                        • Appendix

                                                                                                            • ACORN
                                                                                                              • Advertising data
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Illnesses suffered from in the last 12 months, by demographics, 2008
                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Food consumption and preparation, by demographics, 2008
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Innovation in antibacterial products as a proportion of launches within each super category, by quarter, Q1 2006-Q2 2009
                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Innovation in antibacterial products, by super category and sub-category, Q1 2006-Q2 2009
                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Top 20 innovators in antibacterial products, by category of innovation over the period Q1 2006-Q2 2009
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Exposure to Germs: Consumer Lifestyles

                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Lifestyle factors that affect exposure to and concern over germs, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Lifestyle factors that affect exposure to and concern over germs, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                • Lifestyle by attitudes towards bacteria
                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Attitudes towards germs, by lifestyle factors, May 2009
                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Attitudes towards germs, by lifestyle factors, May 2009
                                                                                                                • Lifestyle by purchase repertoire
                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Lifestyle factors that affect exposure to and concern over germs, by number of antibacterial products purchased in the last 12 months, May 2009
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Use of Products that Help Kill Germs

                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Trends in frequency of using products that help kill germs or prevent the spread of germs, by type, 2004-08
                                                                                                                • Household disinfectants
                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Use household disinfectants/antiseptics, by demographics, 2008
                                                                                                                • Liquid soap
                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Use household liquid soap, by demographics, 2008
                                                                                                                • Boxed tissues/paper handkerchief
                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Use box of tissues (paper handkerchiefs), by demographics, 2008
                                                                                                                • Tissue handy packs
                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Use box of tissues (paper handkerchiefs), by demographics, 2008
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Purchase of Antibacterial Products

                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Purchase of antibacterial products in the last 12 months, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Purchase of antibacterial products in the last 12 months, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                • Repertoire of products purchased
                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Number of antibacterial products purchased in the last 12 months, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Number of antibacterial products purchased in the last 12 months, by antibacterial products purchased, May 2009
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Attitudes Towards Bacteria

                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Attitudes towards germs and bacteria, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Attitudes towards germs and bacteria, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                • Attitudes towards germs by purchase repertoire
                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Attitudes towards germs and bacteria, by number of antibacterial products purchased in the last 12 months, May 2009
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Further Analysis

                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Positive and negative attitudes towards germs, by demographics, May 2009
                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Attitudes towards germs and bacteria, by positive and negative attitudes towards gems, May 2009
                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Lifestyle factors that affect exposure to and concern over germs, by positive and negative attitudes towards gems, May 2009
                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Antibacterial products bought in last 12 months, by positive and negative attitudes towards gems, May 2009

                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                              • Advertising Standards Authority
                                                                                                              • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                              • Alliance Boots
                                                                                                              • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                              • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                              • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                              • Colgate-Palmolive UK Ltd
                                                                                                              • Combe International Limited
                                                                                                              • Coty UK Ltd
                                                                                                              • Daily Express
                                                                                                              • Daily Mail
                                                                                                              • Daily Star (The)
                                                                                                              • Department of Health
                                                                                                              • EC De Witt & Co Ltd
                                                                                                              • GlaxoSmithKline Plc
                                                                                                              • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                              • Johnson & Johnson Ltd
                                                                                                              • Keyline Brands Ltd
                                                                                                              • Kimberly-Clark (UK)
                                                                                                              • L'Oréal (UK)
                                                                                                              • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                              • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                              • McDonald's Restaurants Limited (UK)
                                                                                                              • National Audit Office
                                                                                                              • Outdoor Advertising Association of Great Britain
                                                                                                              • Powder and Liquid Products Ltd
                                                                                                              • Pret A Manger
                                                                                                              • PZ Cussons
                                                                                                              • Reckitt Benckiser (UK)
                                                                                                              • Somerfield
                                                                                                              • SSL International Plc
                                                                                                              • Superdrug Stores Plc
                                                                                                              • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                              • Unilever Plc
                                                                                                              • Waitrose
                                                                                                              • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                                                              • World Health Organization

                                                                                                              Health and Hygiene - Fear of Germs and Bacteria - UK - September 2009

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