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Household Care Packaging Trends - UK - January 2014

“Packaging is central to both how household care products are used and how they communicate their benefits to consumers, and the latter includes the promotion of technologies and solutions that encourage greener behaviour. Younger people are particularly likely to voice green or ethical sentiments but not act upon these beliefs, so more initiatives are needed from manufacturers to reduce confusion about recycling and increase the purchasing of more environmentally friendly packaging formats.”

– Richard Caines, Senior Household Care Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • How important is the packaging of products within the context of other factors influencing the choice of household care products?
  • What lessons can be learned from consumer attitudes towards ease of use and dosing in home laundry and household cleaning?
  • How much does size matter in terms of economising and getting better value when purchasing household care products?
  • In what ways can manufacturers help to reduce household packaging waste and how committed are consumers to green initiatives?
  • How much attention do shoppers pay to packaging labelling and how can it be used to increase brand engagement?


Packaging is a central component of products in the household care market and has a number of functions, most importantly safely storing and protecting products on the journey from manufacturer to end user. Beyond this primary function, packaging also has a role to play in making products easier and more convenient to use, and through labelling giving consumers the product information they need.

While most consumers do not think packaging influences their choice of product, much of the information on packaging relates to the key factors that do influence their decision on whether to buy. In only a few cases will product packaging design alone trigger product purchasing, but packaging is closely linked to branding, so new packaging launches are crucial for maintaining brand engagement.

As new product development continues apace, brands need to communicate the key benefits of packaging, take the initiative in encouraging recycling and other ways of reducing packaging waste, and use packaging design and labelling to help their products stand out in a crowded marketplace.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Hypothesis of report:
        • Definitions
          • Abbreviations
          • Executive Summary

              • Market factors
                • Plateauing of UK household waste recycling rate
                  • Figure 1: Household waste recycling rate in England, 2000/01-2012/13
                • Ageing population and more smaller households
                  • Innovation in the market
                    • New packaging taking greater share of launch activity
                      • Figure 2: Trends in household care new product development, % by launch type, 2009-13
                      • Figure 3: Proportion of product launch activity accounted for by new packaging, by category, 2012 and 2013
                    • Recyclable plastics increase environmentally friendly packaging claims
                      • The consumer
                        • Packaging linked to functionality and communicating product benefits
                          • Figure 4: Factors most important when choosing household care products, November 2013
                        • Control of self-dosing versus the convenience of pre-measured products
                          • Figure 5: Format preferences for laundry detergents, November 2013
                          • Figure 6: Format preferences for household cleaners, November 2013
                        • Majority buy standard-sized packs
                          • Figure 7: Reasons for buying standard-sized packs, November 2013
                        • New initiatives needed in recycling
                          • Figure 8: Agreement with statements on packaging and the environment, November 2013
                        • Limited attention paid to labelling before buying
                          • Figure 9: Attention paid to labelling on household care products, November 2013
                        • What we think
                        • Issues in the Market

                            • How important is the packaging of products within the context of other factors influencing the choice of household care products?
                              • What lessons can be learned from consumer attitudes towards ease of use and dosing in home laundry and household cleaning?
                                • How much does size matter in terms of economising and getting better value when purchasing household care products?
                                  • In what ways can manufacturers help to reduce household packaging waste and how committed are consumers to green initiatives?
                                    • How much attention do shoppers pay to packaging labelling and how can it be used to increase brand engagement?
                                    • Trend Application

                                        • Trend: Make It Mine
                                          • Trend: Minimize Me
                                            • Mintel Futures: Brand Intervention
                                            • Market Drivers

                                              • Key points
                                                • Plateauing of household recycling and recovery rates
                                                  • Figure 10: Household waste recycling rate in England, 2000/01-2012/13
                                                • Packaging recycling targets by material
                                                  • Figure 11: Business recovery and recycling targets for Great Britain, 2012-17
                                                • On-pack pictogram changes
                                                  • More products awarded EU Ecolabel
                                                    • Moving into Phase three of the Courtauld Commitment
                                                      • Ageing population creates opportunity for targeted innovation
                                                        • Figure 12: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2008-18
                                                      • Increasing the appeal of household care packaging to men
                                                        • Need for packaging to emphasise value
                                                          • Figure 13: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2008-18
                                                        • One-person households continue to grow in number
                                                          • Figure 14: UK households, by size, 2008-18
                                                        • UK economy returns to growth
                                                          • Figure 15: GDP quarterly percentage change, Q1 2004-Q3 2013
                                                        • Rise in number of people with healthy finances
                                                          • Figure 16: Trends in how respondents would describe their financial situation, February 2009-September 2013
                                                          • Figure 17: Trends in consumer sentiment for the coming year, February 2009-September 2013
                                                      • Overview of Household Care Packaging Trends

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • New packaging takes a larger share of 2013 launch activity
                                                            • Figure 18: Trends in household care new product development, % by launch type, 2009-13
                                                            • Figure 19: Proportion of product launch activity accounted for by new packaging, by category, 2012 and 2013
                                                            • Figure 20: Share of all new packaging launches in household care, by category, 2009-13
                                                          • Increase in environmentally friendly packaging claims
                                                            • Figure 21: Growth index of new product launches in household care carrying ethical/environmentally friendly packaging claim, 2009-13
                                                          • Deep sea packaging
                                                            • Plastic packaging continues to dominate
                                                              • Figure 22: New product launches in the household care market, % share of launches, by packaging material, 2009-13
                                                            • Social media logos increasingly a feature
                                                              • Products positioned to appeal to families with younger children
                                                                • Event merchandising gets Olympic boost
                                                                  • Convenient packaging an increasingly important claim
                                                                    • Figure 23: ‘Convenient packaging’ claims on new product launches in the household care market, 2009-13
                                                                  • Ease of use linked to product format/packaging
                                                                    • Figure 24: New product launches in the automatic laundry detergents market, by format type, 2009-13
                                                                  • Opportunity for more refills
                                                                    • Figure 25: ‘Refill’ claims on new product launches in the household care market, 2009-13
                                                                • Manufacturer Initiatives

                                                                  • Unilever
                                                                    • Procter & Gamble
                                                                      • Ecover
                                                                        • Reckitt Benckiser
                                                                          • SCA Hygiene
                                                                            • SC Johnson
                                                                            • Household Care Packaging in Context

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Packaging less important than other factors
                                                                                  • Figure 26: Factors most important when choosing household care products, November 2013
                                                                                • Packaging and product functionality
                                                                                  • Recycling packaging not a deal clincher
                                                                                    • Looks alone not enough to drive product sales
                                                                                        • Figure 27: Packaging-related factors considered among five most important factors when choosing household hard surface cleaners, by age, November 2013
                                                                                    • Dosing in Laundry and Hard Surface Cleaning

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Stronger preference for self-dosing laundry products
                                                                                          • Figure 28: Format preferences for laundry detergents, November 2013
                                                                                        • Availability of different sizes could boost capsules/tablets
                                                                                          • Pre-measured dosing with more control
                                                                                              • Figure 29: Interest in product features in the laundry detergents market, by age, November 2013
                                                                                            • Difficulty gauging most cost-effective format
                                                                                              • Strong interest in cleaning solution dispensers
                                                                                                • Figure 30: Format preferences for household cleaners, November 2013
                                                                                                • Figure 31: Agreement with statement ‘Cleaning solution dispensers that sit out on countertops make it easier to keep the kitchen or bathroom clean’, by age and socio-economic group, November 2013
                                                                                              • On-the-go cleaning wipes have limited appeal
                                                                                              • Importance of Pack Size in Household Care Products

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Standard-sized packs most popular
                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Size of pack last bought when buying household care products, November 2013
                                                                                                  • Standard packs last long enough for most people
                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Reasons for buying standard-sized packs, November 2013
                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Reasons for buying standard-sized packs of laundry detergent, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                  • Saving money and lasting longer drive purchases of large packs
                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Reasons for buying large packs, November 2013
                                                                                                • Green Issues and Packaging of Household Care Products

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Enthusiasm for recycling waning
                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Agreement with statements on packaging and the environment, November 2013
                                                                                                    • Promoting recycled materials in household care
                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Agreement with statements on recycling and use of recycled materials in household care packaging, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                    • Refills seen as good way to save money
                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Agreement with statements on the availability of refills in the household care products market, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Less interest in concentrated cleaning products
                                                                                                      • Attention to Labelling on Household Care Products

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Checking product suitability biggest focus
                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Attention paid to labelling on household care products, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Comparing volume of product and price
                                                                                                            • Little attention paid to environmental claims or design of labelling
                                                                                                              • A fifth of people pay no attention to labelling
                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Number of elements of labelling on household care products paid attention to before buying, November 2013
                                                                                                            • Appendix – Household Care Packaging in Context

                                                                                                                • Figure 41: Factors most important when choosing laundry detergent, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 42: Factors most important when choosing laundry detergent, by demographics, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Factors most important when choosing household hard surface cleaners, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Factors most important when choosing household hard surface cleaners, by demographics, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Factors most important when choosing dishwashing products, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Factors most important when choosing dishwashing products, by demographics, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                            • Appendix – Dosing in Laundry and Hard Surface Cleaning

                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Format preferences for laundry detergents, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 48: Format preferences for laundry detergents, by demographics, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Format preferences for household cleaners, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                            • Appendix – Importance of Pack Size in Household Care Products

                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Size of pack last bought when buying laundry detergent, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Size of pack last bought when buying household hard surface cleaners, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Size of pack last bought when buying dishwashing products, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Reasons for buying laundry detergents in standard-sized packs, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Reasons for buying household hard surface cleaners in standard-sized packs, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 55: Reasons for buying dishwashing products in standard-sized packs, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Reasons for buying laundry detergents in large packs, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Reasons for buying household hard surface cleaners in large packs, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 58: Reasons for buying dishwashing products in large packs, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                            • Appendix – Green Issues and Packaging of Household Care Products

                                                                                                                • Figure 59: Agreement with statements on packaging and the environment, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Agreement with statements on packaging and the environment, by demographics, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Agreement with statements on packaging and the environment, by demographics, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                            • Appendix – Attention to Labelling on Household Care Products

                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Attention paid to labelling on household care products, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Attention paid to labelling on household care products, by demographics, November 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Number of different elements of labelling on household care products paid attention to, by demographics, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Attention paid to labelling on household care products, by number of different elements of labelling on household care products paid attention to, November 2013

                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                            • Ambi Pur
                                                                                                            • Ecover UK
                                                                                                            • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                            • Forest Stewardship Council
                                                                                                            • Method Products, Inc.
                                                                                                            • Procter & Gamble UK & Ireland
                                                                                                            • Reckitt Benckiser (UK)
                                                                                                            • Reckitt Benckiser plc
                                                                                                            • S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
                                                                                                            • SC Johnson UK
                                                                                                            • SCA Hygiene Products UK Ltd
                                                                                                            • Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget SCA (publ)
                                                                                                            • Tempo
                                                                                                            • Unilever Plc
                                                                                                            • World Wildlife Fund

                                                                                                            Household Care Packaging Trends - UK - January 2014

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