The Impact of COVID-19 on Household Care in the UK
[{"name":"Household and Home","url":"https:\/\/store.mintel.com\/industries\/household-home"}]
“2020 will prove to be a remarkable year for most household care categories, as they benefit from hygiene concerns and long periods of social distancing. While these concerns will linger…

The Impact of COVID-19 on Household Care in the UK

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)


“2020 will prove to be a remarkable year for most household care categories, as they benefit from hygiene concerns and long periods of social distancing. While these concerns will linger into 2021, offering opportunities in the short term to promote efficacy, the next step is to safely navigate a recession. Brands will need to focus on their longer-term value proposition by leveraging qualities such as heritage, expertise and transparency to protect themselves against a drift to own-label alternatives.”
– Richard Hopping, Senior Household Analyst, 24 June 2020

This Report covers the following areas:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumers.
  • How COVID-19 has already affected household care.
  • The shift in consumer behaviours in household care in the short, medium and long term.
  • Lessons from the last economic recession.
  • Lessons from other markets outside the UK.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • Short, medium and long-term impact
      • Figure 1: Expected impact of COVID-19 on the household care market, short, medium and long-term, 24th June 2020
    • Opportunities and Threats
    • Focus on health and hygiene in the short term
      • Figure 2: HYC+LIN Antiviral Surface Cleaner from Aldi, April 2020
    • Prepare for a renewed focus on the environment
      • Figure 3: China: % placing higher priority since the COVID-19 outbreak, 26 April-2 June 2020
    • Leverage the return to faith in science
    • Highlight localism and act as part of the community
    • Impact on the market
    • Household care category receives a boost
      • Figure 4: UK central forecast value sales of the household care market, 2015-2025
    • A residual increase in demand in coming years
    • A recession will have a limited impact
    • The own-label vs brand battle will pick up
      • Figure 5: UK value sales of the household care market, 2015-2025
    • How the crisis will affect key consumer segments
    • Older consumers will maintain hygiene focus for longer
    • Parents will drive the return to holistic health approach
    • Younger people hit by recession will lead to a lack of experimentation
    • Impact on the marketing mix
    • Don’t rely on price reductions
    • Tap into affordable luxury
    • Promote efficacy and signpost it
      • Figure 6: Procter & Gamble Microban 24 launches, 2020
    • Online retailing will experience growth
      • Figure 7: Lever Direct Facebook post, may 2020
    • COVID-19: UK context
  3. The Impact of COVID-19 on Consumers

    • Anxiety levels align with case curve…
      • Figure 8: Mintel COVID-19 exposure anxiety index, 28 February – 3 June 2020
    • … but consumers remain anxious about their health
      • Figure 9: People’s level of concerns about the risk of being exposed to the coronavirus, 28 February – 3 June 2020
    • COVID-19 concerns by demographics
      • Figure 10: Proportion of consumers showing the highest degree of concern (4 or 5 out of 5) regarding the risk of being exposed to the coronavirus, by age, 28 February – 3 June 2020
    • UK begins to soften lockdown measures
      • Figure 11: Government COVID-19 lockdown exit strategy, published 11 May 2020
    • Lockdown fears moderate
      • Figure 12: People’s level of concerns about how the outbreak might affect their lifestyle, 28 February – 3 June
    • A bleak outlook for the economy
      • Figure 13: Consumer views on the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the UK economy and their own finances, 28 May – 3 June 2020
    • Consumers cut back outgoings, and add to savings
      • Figure 14: How consumers have been affected or changed their behaviour as a result of the outbreak, 21-28 May 2020
    • Household finances hold steady for most
      • Figure 15: changes in financial situation since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, 21-28 May 2020
    • COVID-19 is yet to meaningfully affect most households’ well-being…
      • Figure 16: The financial well-being index, January 2015-May 2020
    • …but confidence for the year ahead plummets
      • Figure 17: Consumers’ financial confidence for the coming year, May 2020
    • Middle age groups feel particularly vulnerable…
    • …and self-employed respondents show the importance of the COVID-19 support package
  4. How COVID-19 Has Already Affected Household Care

    • COVID-19 leads to an increase in cleaning product usage
      • Figure 18: Increase in the use of disinfectant and cleaning products since the outbreak of COVID-19, 28 February-16 April 2020
    • Parents have more time at home with kids
    • Shoppers empty the household care shelves
      • Figure 19: Tesco household paper aisle, 5 March 2020
    • Companies up production to meet demand
    • Delphis Eco shines light on packaging shortage
  5. Which Behaviours Will Change in the Short-term?

    • Health and hygiene will remain priority number one in the short term
      • Figure 20: expected spend on household care over the next month, 26 March – 18 June 2020
    • Price will begin to grow even more in importance
      • Figure 21: Purchase drivers of hard surface and toilet cleaning products, December 2019
    • Functional products will see greatest growth
      • Figure 22: Retail value sales of selected hard surface cleaning segments, 2019
    • A potential second spike for germ-killing products
      • Figure 23: Procter & Gamble Microban 24 launches, 2020
    • Tap into new consumer knowledge around viruses
      • Figure 24: HYC+LIN Antiviral Surface Cleaner from Aldi, April 2020
    • Hygiene focus opens up opportunity in other homecare categories
      • Figure 25: Share of household care launches carrying antibacterial claims, June 2019-June 2020
    • Rise of in-store refills likely to slow in the intervening period
    • A time to prove environmental credentials
      • Figure 26: Ecover Tweet promoting its Fertilise the Future campaign, June 2020
  6. Which Behaviours Will Change in the Medium-term?

    • Hygiene focus will slow, but consumers will remain cautious
      • Figure 27: Attitudes towards germs, August 2017
    • A financial slowdown will lead to more discerning buying
    • Prepare for more streamlining of fabric care purchases
      • Figure 28: Examples of fabric care products that carry protection claims, 2019-20
    • Innovate to stay ahead
      • Figure 29: Market shares for Fairy and own-label in the hand dishwashing segment, 2010-2019
      • Figure 30: Examples of Fairy launches, 2014-20
    • An opportunity for own-label to push into new areas
  7. Which Behaviours Will Change in the Long-term?

    • Working at home will create more homecare occasions
    • Air quality in the home will come under scrutiny
      • Figure 31: Examples of no- or low-VOC formulations in household care launches, 2019-20
    • More people will be accustomed to online retail
      • Figure 32: Where people shop for household care products, June 2019
    • Adjust online offering to allow for experimentation
    • Brands may require special online packaging
      • Figure 33: Seventh Generation EasyDose Tropical Grove Scented Laundry Detergent, 2020
    • A potential boom for direct-to-consumer channels
      • Figure 34: Lever Direct Facebook post, may 2020
    • Leverage the return to faith in science
      • Figure 35: Household care products launches that leverage science, 2018-2019
    • The environment will return to a main focus
    • Highlight localism on product launches
      • Figure 36: Household care launches with “Made in the UK” claims, 2016-2019
    • Act as part of the community
    • Use the unique position in the home to aid stress relief
      • Figure 37: facebook post from Fairy, 2020
    • The rate of technological advancement will quicken
  8. What Can We Learn from Previous Slowdowns?

    • Household care is a steadfast sector
      • Figure 38: UK household care market value, 2007-18
    • Savvy shopping will impact upon growth
    • Own-label will thrive
      • Figure 39: Types of household care products chosen most often, July 2018
    • Tap into affordable luxury
      • Figure 40: Examples of household care product launches with mood-based claims, 2019
  9. Lessons from Other Markets

    • Anxieties have weakened in China
      • Figure 41: China: worries about being exposed to COVID-19, 28 February-3 June 2020
    • Household care spend remains high in China
      • Figure 42: China: % of consumers who have spent more money on household care compared to last month, 28 February-3 June 2020
    • The environment is growing in importance since lockdown ends
      • Figure 43: China: % placing higher priority since the COVID-19 outbreak, 26 April-2 June 2020
    • Take inspiration from hygiene focus in Latin America and APAC
      • Figure 44: China: interest in laundry detergent functions, April 2019
      • Figure 45: Global: proportion of leading claims on household care launches, by region, 2019
    • Hygiene-focussed fabric and dish care is a particular opportunity
      • Figure 46: Examples of products from APAC and Latin America with antibacterial claims, 2019

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our databooks* are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

*databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

Below is a sample report, understand what you are buying.

Click to show report
2024 Sample Consumer Cover

Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Our reports are available to download in PDF and PPT formats.

Trusted by companies. Big and small.

Want to speak to us directly?

Contact us with your enquiry and our expert global team can help.

Get in touch