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Laundry Detergents - UK - October 2016

“Brand loyalty is powerful in the laundry detergents category, contributing to the popularity of sales promotions and subscription services and undermining value sales. Interest in innovations that add convenience or a touch of the expert to products is strong, and could be used to invigorate interest and increase spend. The category could also benefit from educating consumers over the differences between biological and non-biological formulas to help ensure they are getting the best results from their detergents.”
– Lucy Cornford, Head of UK Household Care Research

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • A category in need of disruption
  • Raising ethical interests
  • Building a USP can translate into sales

Value is the keyword in the category, exemplified by the continued popularity of powder despite strong negative perceptions of the cheaper format. Consumers show greatest interest in products that save time or money, or that have a more expert proposition, which could be leveraged to increase spend on laundry detergents in coming years.

This Report examines the retail market for the following laundry detergent products:

  • Main wash laundry detergents offered to the consumer in a range of product formats, including: powders, liquids, gels, tablets and capsules/liquid tablets. This includes standard and concentrated, biological, non-biological, two-in-one and ‘colour’ products.
  • Special wash detergents, which includes detergents for hand washing and delicate fabrics.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • A market under threat
            • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of laundry detergents, 2011-21
          • Liquid formulas dominate NPD
            • Figure 2: New product launches in the automatic detergents sub-category, % share by format type, January 2013-August 2016
          • Leading companies could be stifling innovation
            • Figure 3: New product launches in the UK laundry detergents category, % by ultimate company (top seven and other), 2015
          • Women have more laundry responsibilities than men
            • Figure 4: Any responsibility for buying laundry detergents or doing the laundry, by gender, August 2016
          • Powder and liquid fight it out for category dominance
            • Figure 5: Frequency of using laundry detergents, August 2016
          • Overall understanding of the laundry sector is high…
            • Figure 6: Behaviours towards doing the laundry, August 2016
          • …but there is confusion between bio vs non-bio
            • Figure 7: Attitudes towards laundry detergents, August 2016
          • Liquids and gels enjoy positive associations
            • Figure 8: Correspondence analysis – Laundry detergents, August 2016
          • Innovations that add value are most likely to be of interest
            • Figure 9: Interest in innovation for laundry detergents, August 2016
          • What we think
          • Issues and Insights

            • A category in need of disruption
              • The facts
                • The implications
                  • Raising ethical interests
                    • The facts
                      • The implications
                        • Building a USP can translate into sales
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                            • The Market – What You Need to Know

                              • A market in decline
                                • The biological battle
                                  • Amazon initiatives boost online sales
                                    • Growth in population and households unlikely to be beneficial for sales
                                    • Market Size and Forecast

                                      • Discounting and competitive pricing erode value sales
                                        • Figure 10: UK retail value sales and forecast of laundry detergents, at current and constant prices, 2011-21
                                      • Value sales look likely to fall further
                                        • Figure 11: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of laundry detergents, 2011-21
                                      • The impact of the EU referendum vote
                                          • Figure 12: Alternative market scenarios for the post-Brexit laundry detergents market, at current prices, 2016-21
                                          • Figure 13: Detailed Post-Brexit scenarios for the laundry detergents market, at current prices, 2016-21
                                        • A market already defined by savvy shopping
                                        • Segment Performance

                                          • Biological detergents struggle
                                            • Figure 14: UK retail value sales of laundry detergents, by formulation, years ending June, 2015 and 2016
                                          • Higher cost of liquid-based formulas insulates sales
                                            • Figure 15: UK retail value sales of laundry detergents, by format, years ending June, 2015 and 2016
                                        • Channels to Market

                                          • Heavy discounting and special offers send market into decline
                                            • Figure 16: UK retail value sales of laundry detergents, by outlet type, 2014-16
                                          • Amazon initiatives boost online sales
                                          • Market Drivers

                                            • Declining birth rate detrimental to future sales
                                              • Figure 17: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2011-21
                                              • Figure 18: Attitudes towards babies’ and children’s BPC products, by age of child, December 2015
                                            • Raising the safety profile of capsule detergents
                                              • Average household spend decreases
                                                • Figure 19: UK households, by size, 2011-21
                                              • Discounters continue to prove popular
                                                • Figure 20: Frequency of shopping at discounters, June 2016
                                              • The impact of home working
                                                • Figure 21: UK workers, by main place of work, January to March 2015
                                              • Washing machine ownership almost universal
                                                • Figure 22: Ownership of laundry appliances, January 2015 and February 2016
                                                • Figure 23: Interest in innovation for washers and dryers, February 2016
                                              • The LOHAS effect
                                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                • Leading brands sit pretty
                                                  • Health and environmental positioning can boost sales
                                                    • Capsule NPD on the decline
                                                      • Unilever overhauls advertising approach
                                                      • Market Share

                                                        • Persil and Ariel retain market dominance
                                                          • Figure 24: Brands’ value shares in laundry detergents, years ending August 2015 and 2016
                                                        • A focus on health and the environment can buck downward trends
                                                          • Own-label threatened by growth of discount grocers
                                                          • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                            • Capsules fall from favour
                                                              • Figure 25: New product launches in the automatic detergents sub-category, % share by format type, January 2013-August 2016
                                                              • Figure 26: Examples of NPD for super-concentrated automatic liquid detergents, 2015-16
                                                            • Updates outperform true innovation…
                                                              • Figure 27: New product launches in the laundry detergents category, % by launch type, January 2013-August 2016
                                                              • Figure 28: Examples of repackaged laundry detergents, 2016
                                                            • …as leading companies dominate launch activity
                                                              • Figure 29: New product launches in the UK laundry detergents category, % by ultimate company (based on top 10 for 2015) and other, January 2013-August 2016
                                                              • Figure 30: New product launches in the UK laundry detergents category, branded vs own-label, January 2013-August 2016
                                                            • Environmental claims almost universal
                                                              • Figure 31: Leading claims in the laundry detergents category, based on top claims for 2015, January 2015-August 2016
                                                            • A touch of fragrance
                                                              • Figure 32: New liquid detergent launches under the Surf (Unilever) brand, 2015-16
                                                          • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                            • Adspend falls
                                                              • Figure 33: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on laundry detergents*, January 2013-August 2016
                                                            • Procter & Gamble tops advertising spend
                                                              • Figure 34: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on laundry detergents*, by top advertisers for 2015, January 2014-August 2016
                                                              • Figure 35: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on laundry detergents*, by media type, January 2013-August 2016
                                                            • Unilever ups the advertising ante
                                                              • Figure 36: ZipJet app featuring Persil service, 2016
                                                            • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                              • Women show greater engagement
                                                                • Bringing more men into the category
                                                                  • Liquid increasingly challenges powder formats
                                                                    • Biological/non-biological understanding is low
                                                                      • Brand loyalty could be a double-edged sword
                                                                        • Added value propositions most popular
                                                                        • Responsibility for Buying and Using Laundry Detergents

                                                                          • Women take on the main responsibility for buying laundry detergents…
                                                                            • Figure 37: Responsibility for buying laundry detergents, by gender, August 2016
                                                                          • …and also take on the main responsibility for doing the laundry
                                                                            • Figure 38: Responsibility for doing the laundry, by gender, August 2016
                                                                        • Frequency of Using Laundry Detergents

                                                                          • Powder and liquid are the two most frequently used formats
                                                                            • Figure 39: Frequency of using laundry detergents, August 2016
                                                                          • Men stick to powder
                                                                            • Figure 40: Frequency of using powder and liquid/gel detergents, by gender, August 2016
                                                                          • Young people are less experimental
                                                                            • Figure 41: Frequency of using powder and liquid/gel detergents, by age, August 2016
                                                                          • Three quarters use multiple detergent formats
                                                                            • Figure 42: Repertoire of any detergents used, August 2016
                                                                        • Behaviours towards Doing the Laundry

                                                                          • Overall understanding of the laundry sector is high
                                                                            • Figure 43: Behaviours towards doing the laundry, August 2016
                                                                          • Boosting men’s engagement
                                                                            • Figure 44: Behaviours towards doing the laundry (‘yes’ responses only), by gender, August 2016
                                                                          • Innovation opportunities for young men
                                                                            • Young adults tend to have set washing routines…
                                                                              • Figure 45: Behaviours towards doing the laundry (‘yes’ responses only), by age, August 2016
                                                                            • …as well as washing new clothes before using them
                                                                            • Attitudes towards Laundry Detergents

                                                                              • To bio or not to bio?
                                                                                • Figure 46: Attitudes towards laundry detergents, August 2016
                                                                              • Brand loyalty a double-edged sword
                                                                                • Environmentally-friendly products not trusted to perform
                                                                                  • Figure 47: Attitudes towards laundry detergents (‘agree’ responses only), by age, August 2016
                                                                              • Perceptions of Laundry Detergent Formats

                                                                                • Liquids and gels enjoy positive associations
                                                                                  • Figure 48: Correspondence analysis – laundry detergents, August 2016
                                                                                • Powder benefits from cheaper profile
                                                                                  • Figure 49: Perceptions of laundry detergent formats, August 2016
                                                                              • Interest in Innovation

                                                                                • Added value innovations garner most interest
                                                                                  • Figure 50: Interest in innovation for laundry detergents, August 2016
                                                                                • A focus on scent
                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                      • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                        • Forecast methodology
                                                                                          • Correspondence analysis methodology
                                                                                          • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                              • Figure 51: New product launches in the laundry detergents category, by sub-category, January 2013-August 2016
                                                                                              • Figure 52: NPD index for super/ultra-concentrated automatic liquid detergents, January 2013-August 2016
                                                                                              • Figure 53: Reformulated, repackaged or relaunched laundry detergent launches, by top 6 ultimate companies and other, 2015
                                                                                              • Figure 54: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on laundry detergents*, with NPD index, January 2013-August 2016

                                                                                          Companies Covered

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

                                                                                          Laundry Detergents - UK - October 2016

                                                                                          US $2,583.33 (Excl.Tax)