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Laundry and Fabric Care - China - August 2016

“In order to develop laundry and fabric care products with appealing selling points, companies need to understand current Chinese consumers’ complex and different laundry habits.”
– Yujing Li, Senior Research Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • How can laundry and fabric care products appeal to Chinese consumers’ sense of smell?
  • How can pod/capsule detergent overcome barriers in the China market?
  • Opportunity for convenient pre-treat products

The growth of the laundry and fabric care market in China continued to slow down in 2015 due to a maturing market environment with less room to grow volume consumption. But opportunities for market development still exist as companies can encourage consumers to trade up their consumption (eg from liquid detergent to capsule/pod detergent) and try more niche products (eg scent booster and in-wash pre-treat products).

Doing the laundry may not be something everyone looks forward to, but it remains an essential regular task for every family. Chinese consumers have different laundry habits, thus, understanding Chinese consumers’ attitudes and behaviours regarding doing the laundry is essential for both international and domestic companies.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products/themes covered in this Report
          • Figure 1: Definition of low/mid/high MHI groups, by city tier
          • Figure 2: Definition of East, South, North and Mid-west consumer groups
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Figure 3: Best- and worst-case forecast of China retail value sales of laundry and fabric care products, 2011-21
          • Companies and brands
            • Figure 4: Leading companies’ market share in laundry and fabric care, by retail sales value, China, 2014-15
          • The consumer
            • More men do laundry at home
              • Figure 5: Laundry responsibilities, March 2016
            • Capsule/pod detergent faces challenges in China
              • Figure 6: Usage of laundry products, March 2016
            • Complex and different dosing behaviour
              • Figure 7: Cross analysis of whether measuring laundry detergent and using dosing system when doing the laundry, March 2016
            • Gel/liquid detergent is considered as the best product
              • Figure 8: Product perception, March 2016
            • Overlap in online and offline purchases
              • Figure 9: Purchase channel of laundry and fabric care products, March 2016
            • Time-saving, instead of price, is the biggest driver to switch online
              • Figure 10: Reasons for online purchasing, March 2016
            • What we think
            • Issues and Insights

              • How can laundry and fabric care products appeal to Chinese consumers’ sense of smell?
                • The facts
                  • The implications
                    • Figure 11: Examples of laundry and fabric care products claiming to prevent/reduce odour of sweat
                    • Figure 12: Examples of laundry and fabric care products designed for seniors
                    • Figure 13: Examples of laundry and fabric care products claim to remove odours from clothes dried indoor
                    • Figure 14: Fragrance component of laundry and fabric care products launched in China, 2013-16
                    • Figure 15: Examples of in-wash scent boosters
                    • Figure 16: Example of laundry and fabric care products claim to offer dual perfumes
                    • Figure 17: Examples of laundry and fabric care products with aromatherapy benefit
                  • How can pod/capsule detergent overcome barriers in the China market?
                    • The facts
                      • The implications
                        • Figure 18: Size of pod/capsule detergent launched in China, 2014-16
                      • Opportunity for convenient pre-treat products
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • Figure 19: Examples of in-wash pre-treat products
                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                          • Growth rate slows down
                            • Premium laundry and fabric care products need to justify their value
                              • Strongest growth from conditioner/softener segment
                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                • Slow growth as a maturing market
                                  • Figure 20: Retail market size of laundry and fabric care products in China, 2011-16
                                • Premiumisation and multi-product usage are future growth drivers
                                  • Figure 21: Best- and worst-case forecast of China retail value sales of laundry and fabric care products, 2011-21
                              • Market Drivers and Challenges

                                • Products designed for babies and children push up selling price
                                  • Figure 22: Percentage of laundry and fabric care products which highlight "can be used for baby or children's clothes", 2013-16
                                • Fabric care products are ready to take off
                                  • Opportunities for laundry detergents designed for delicate fabrics
                                    • Premium products face challenges
                                      • Volatile price of raw materials
                                        • Figure 23: Average price of petroleum, 2013-16
                                      • Concentrated detergents receive low acceptance from consumers
                                      • Market Segmentation

                                        • Low growth rate of laundry detergent becomes the new ‘norm’
                                          • Figure 24: Retail market value of laundry detergents, by segment, 2011-16
                                          • Figure 25: Retail market value of laundry and fabric care products, by segment, 2011-16
                                          • Figure 26: Best- and worst-case forecast of China retail value sales of laundry detergent, 2011-21
                                        • Strongest growth in conditioner/softener
                                          • Figure 27: Best- and worst-case forecast of China retail value sales of conditioner and softener, 2011-21
                                        • Laundry aids showing steady growth
                                          • Figure 28: Best- and worst-case forecast of China retail value sales of laundry aids, 2011-21
                                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                        • Further consolidation in the market
                                          • Companies tap into online retailing
                                            • Innovation highlights
                                            • Market Share

                                              • Room for small players are further squeezed
                                                • Figure 29: Leading companies’ market share in laundry and fabric care, by retail sales value, China, 2013-15
                                              • Bluemoon saw sliding market share
                                                • Kao-Jahwa alliance coming to end after 2016
                                                • Competitive Strategies

                                                  • ‘Outdoors’ is a new market niche
                                                    • Figure 30: Outdoor detergent products from Kispa
                                                  • Brands are embracing e-commerce to drive sales
                                                    • Shanghai Disney Resort signed strategic alliance with Liby
                                                      • Regional players are looking for breakthrough opportunities
                                                        • Luowa stake low tier cities and rural markets
                                                          • Back to traditional scent
                                                            • Figure 31: Sandalwood scented liquid detergent from Fan
                                                          • AXE emphasizes its advanced functions
                                                            • Figure 32: Laundry and fabric care products from AXE
                                                        • Who’s Innovating?

                                                          • General innovation trends in the China market
                                                            • Safe play by line extension
                                                              • Figure 33: Share of newly launched laundry and fabric care products, by launch type, China, 2013-16
                                                            • Hand detergents are growing in NPD
                                                              • Figure 34: Share of newly launched laundry and fabric care products, by sub-category, China, 2013-16
                                                            • Liquid detergent makes up bulk of NPD
                                                              • Figure 35: Share of newly launched laundry products, by product format, China, 2013-16
                                                            • Convenience-related claims are increasing
                                                              • Figure 36: Top claims in new laundry and fabric care products launched in China, 2013-16
                                                            • Production innovations
                                                              • New format for laundry detergent
                                                                • Figure 37: Example of laundry wipe
                                                              • Fabric care products with anti-pollution benefits
                                                                • Figure 38: Example of fabric care product with anti-pollution benefits
                                                              • Underwear detergents, to use in the shower
                                                                • Figure 39: Examples of underwear detergents
                                                              • Laundry detergents not only target babies but also pregnant women
                                                                • Figure 40: Examples of laundry detergents which target both babies and pregnant women
                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                              • Men are taking on more laundry duties
                                                                • Half of capsule detergent users dropped out after trial
                                                                  • About half of consumers measure exact amounts of laundry detergent and conditioner/softener
                                                                    • Gel/liquid detergent is perceived as best product
                                                                      • Consumers buy laundry and fabric care products both online and offline
                                                                        • Time saving is the biggest online purchase trigger
                                                                        • Who Does Laundry at Home

                                                                          • Laundry responsibilities still fall to the women
                                                                            • Figure 41: Laundry responsibilities, March 2016
                                                                          • But men are trying to take on more duties
                                                                            • Figure 42: Percentage of male respondents who claim they take the main responsibility for doing the laundry, April 2015 and March 2016
                                                                            • Figure 43: Percentage of male respondents who claim they take the main responsibility for doing the laundry, by demographics, March 2016
                                                                        • Types of Laundry and Fabric Care Products Used

                                                                          • Half of capsule detergent users dropped out after trial
                                                                            • Figure 44: Usage of laundry products, March 2016
                                                                          • 59% of people using both powder and gel/liquid detergent products
                                                                            • More using soap bar than powder
                                                                              • Germicide liquid shows strong performance
                                                                                • Figure 45: Usage of fabric care products, March 2016
                                                                              • Consumers aged 30-39 are multi-product users
                                                                                • Figure 46: Usage of laundry and fabric care products, by age, March 2016
                                                                            • Laundry Habits

                                                                              • Consumers in China prefer running small loads
                                                                                • Figure 47: Waiting for a full wash load vs running small loads, March 2016
                                                                              • Separate lights and darks most common
                                                                                • Figure 48: Separating lights and darks laundry vs mixed loads, March 2016
                                                                              • The way consumers dose detergent explains the dynamic market environment
                                                                                  • Figure 49: Laundry detergent dosing behaviour, March 2016
                                                                                • Less than half of consumers measure exact amounts of laundry products
                                                                                  • Figure 50: Ways of measuring product amount to use, March 2016
                                                                                  • Figure 51: Cross analysis of whether measuring laundry detergent and using a dosing system when doing the laundry, March 2016
                                                                                • Similar usage pattern when it comes to fabric conditioner/softener
                                                                                  • Figure 52: Whether measuring fabric conditioner/softener and using dosing devices when doing the laundry, March 2016
                                                                                  • Figure 53: Cross analysis of whether measuring fabric conditioner/softener and using dosing devices when doing the laundry, March 2016
                                                                                  • Figure 54: Conditioner/softener products with rinse-free claim
                                                                              • Product Perception

                                                                                • Gel/liquid detergent is perceived as better than others
                                                                                  • Opportunities for soap bar
                                                                                    • Capsule/pod detergent struggles in the China market
                                                                                      • Figure 55: Product perception, March 2016
                                                                                    • How can capsule/pod detergent products attract non-users?
                                                                                      • Figure 56: Product perception of capsule/pod detergent, by user and non-user, March 2016
                                                                                  • Purchase Channel

                                                                                    • Consumers buy from both online and offline
                                                                                      • Figure 57: Purchase channel of laundry and fabric care products, March 2016
                                                                                      • Figure 58: Cross analysis of purchase channel of laundry and fabric care products, March 2016
                                                                                  • Reasons for Online Purchasing

                                                                                    • Time saving is the biggest driver, but closely followed by varieties and low price
                                                                                      • Figure 59: Reasons for online purchasing, March 2016
                                                                                    • Low price works better than sales promotions and free samples
                                                                                      • Consumer reviews are more important than volume sales
                                                                                        • High earners are looking for choices
                                                                                          • Figure 60: Reasons for online purchasing, by monthly household income level, March 2016
                                                                                        • Those who only buy online are driven by home delivery services
                                                                                          • Figure 61: Reasons for online purchasing, by purchase channel, March 2016
                                                                                      • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                                        • Mintropolitans leap at niche laundry and fabric care products
                                                                                          • Figure 62: Usage of laundry products, by consumer classification, March 2016
                                                                                        • More likely to follow usage instructions
                                                                                          • Figure 63: Laundry detergent dosing behaviour, by consumer classification, March 2016
                                                                                          • Figure 64: Conditioner/softener dosing behaviour, by consumer classification, March 2016
                                                                                        • Online shoppers looking for convenience, variety and product reviews
                                                                                          • Figure 65: Reasons for online purchasing, by consumer classification, March 2016
                                                                                      • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                          • Figure 66: China laundry and fabric care market, by value, 2011-21
                                                                                      • Appendix – Market Segmentation

                                                                                          • Figure 67: China laundry and fabric care market, by segment, 2011-21
                                                                                      • Appendix – Methodology and Definitions

                                                                                        • Methodology
                                                                                          • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                            • Abbreviations

                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                            To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                            Laundry and Fabric Care - China - August 2016

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