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US The Natural Household Consumer Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the The Natural Household Consumer market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report focuses on how environmental considerations influence the usage and purchase of household care products, which include:

  • Fabric care
  • Dishwashing products
  • Hard surface care
  • Toilet care
  • Air care
  • Household paper products (toilet tissue, paper towels, facial tissues)

The terms ‘environmentally friendly’ and ‘eco-friendly’ are used interchangeably to denote products that are designed to be less harmful for the environment (eg from brands such as Seventh Generation and Method).

This report also makes reference to ‘mainstream or traditional cleaning products,’ which are defined as those that do not claim to be eco-friendly

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Jamie Rosenberg, a leading analyst in the Household sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The household consumer’s motivation for buying natural products is becoming more complex. Traditional product claims around health, sustainability and social justice still drive natural purchases. However, as natural cleaning formulas become more effective, more affordable and more available; and especially as they are sold by traditionally mainstream companies; we can begin to foresee a future where consumers of all stripes take interest because the historical purchase barriers will have fallen Jamie Rosenberg
Senior Global Analyst, Household & Personal Care

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Natural consumers are evolving, complex and sometimes contradictory
          • The issues
            • Consolidation is expanding natural product distribution
              • Waste and water issues are concerning to most consumers
                • Figure 1: Limit plastic pollution – any importance (net), by repertoire of brand type purchased: (NET) Any natural product purchase, April 2019
                • Figure 2: Use as little water as possible – any importance (net), by repertoire of brand type purchased: (NET) Any natural product purchase, April 2019
              • Perception of high cost and poor performance slow natural product adoption
                • Figure 3: Attitudes toward product affordability, by repertoire of brand type purchased: (NET) Any natural product purchase, April 2019
              • The opportunities
                • Make green synonymous with convenience
                  • Figure 4: Interest in probiotic surface cleaners, by age, July 2018
                • Heavy sampling will convert skeptical mainstream consumers
                  • Figure 5: Frequency of natural household product usage compared to a year ago, by age, April 2019
                  • Figure 6: Changes in natural household usage, by repertoire of brand type purchased: (NET) Any natural product purchase, April 2019
                • What it means
                • Market Trends and Future of Green Consumerism

                  • Water scarcity is becoming a US issue
                      • Figure 7: Use as little water as possible – any importance (net), by repertoire of brand type purchased: (NET) Any natural product purchase, April 2019
                    • Plastic bans could come to the US
                        • Figure 8: Importance of plastic pollution in household care – any important (net), April 2019
                      • A refill revolution?
                          • Figure 9: Interest in home delivery refills, by repertoire of brand type purchased: (NET) Any natural product purchase, April 2019
                        • Natural is giving way to clean
                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                          • Better distribution as green brands are being acquired by mainstream brands
                            • Affordability is a new platform for natural innovation
                              • New innovations mimic nature’s germ-control methods
                              • What’s Happening?

                                • Better distribution as green brands are being acquired by mainstream brands
                                  • Affordability is a new platform for natural innovation
                                      • Figure 10: Attitudes toward affordability, April 2019
                                    • New innovations mimic nature’s germ-control methods
                                        • Figure 11: Interest in probiotic surface cleaners, by age, July 2018
                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                      • Stark differences in green/mainstream priorities but also common ground
                                        • Natural consumers show greater channel diversity for mainstream products
                                          • Consumers who try natural products come back for more
                                            • Competitive pricing is driving adoption among lower-income consumers
                                              • Consumers are somewhat aligned on the ideal natural product
                                                • Consumers are especially aligned on germ management
                                                • Household Product Purchases

                                                  • Stark differences in green/mainstream priorities but also common ground
                                                    • Figure 12: Household Product purchase, by brand type, April 2019
                                                  • Young consumers most likely to try natural products
                                                    • Figure 13: Household product purchase by brand type – fabric care, by age, April 2019
                                                • Retailers Shopped

                                                  • Retail channels differ for natural and mainstream consumers
                                                    • Figure 14: Natural/eco-friendly purchase locations, by repertoire of brand type purchased: (NET) Any natural product purchase, April 2019
                                                  • Natural consumers show greater channel diversity for mainstream products
                                                    • Figure 15: Mainstream purchase locations, by repertoire of brand type purchased: (NET) Any natural product purchase, April 2019
                                                • Usage Frequency of Natural Household Products

                                                  • Early-middle-aged consumers are most rapidly increasing natural product usage
                                                    • Figure 16: Usage frequency of natural household products compared to a year ago, by age, April 2019
                                                  • Consumers who try natural products come back for more
                                                    • Figure 17: Changes in natural household usage, by repertoire of brand type purchased: (NET) Any natural product purchase, April 2019
                                                  • Parents of young children are going natural the fastest
                                                    • Figure 18: Usage frequency of natural household products compared to a year ago, by age of child, April 2019
                                                • Reasons for Using Natural Household Products More Often

                                                  • Safety and sustainability are driving increased usage
                                                    • Figure 19: Reasons for using more natural household products than a year ago, April 2019
                                                  • Parents prioritize safety over all other benefits
                                                    • Figure 20: Reasons for using more natural household products than a year ago, by age of child, April 2019
                                                  • Competitive pricing is driving adoption among lower-income consumers
                                                    • Figure 21: Reasons for using more natural household products than a year ago, by income, April 2019
                                                • Natural Household Product Attributes and Attitudes

                                                  • Consumers are somewhat aligned on the ideal natural product
                                                      • Figure 22: Ideal eco-friendly product, by repertoire of brand type purchased: (NET) Any natural product purchase, April 2019
                                                    • Cost and perceived efficacy hinder broader adoption
                                                      • The definition of natural is still a sticking point
                                                        • Recycling and plastic waste continue to divide the natural and mainstream consumer
                                                          • Figure 23: Eco-friendly attitudes, by repertoire of brand type purchased: (NET) Any natural product purchase, April 2019
                                                      • Household Cleaning Goals

                                                        • Most consumers are motivated by saving time, money and reducing germs
                                                          • Figure 24: Goals in household cleaning the house – any important (net), April 2019
                                                        • Saving water is a lower priority, but that could change
                                                          • Figure 25: Use as little water as possible – any importance (net), by repertoire of brand type purchased: (NET) Any natural product purchase, April 2019
                                                        • Importance of sustainable sourcing has the largest mainstream/natural gap
                                                          • Figure 26: Use products from sustainable sources – any importance (net), by repertoire of brand type purchased: (NET) Any natural product purchase, April 2019
                                                        • Consumers are especially aligned on germ management
                                                          • Figure 27: Create a germ-free environment – any importance (net), by repertoire of brand type purchased: (NET) Any natural product purchase, April 2019
                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                        • Data sources
                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                • Terms