Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the U.S Aircare market including the behaviors, preferences and habits of the consumer.

The pandemic has provided a tailwind to a previously sluggish aircare category, resulting in strong sales increases across all segments and for players both big and small. However, the challenges that plagued the category pre-pandemic have not disappeared, and may even be strengthened as consumers reevaluate the necessity of aircare as they try to economize, suggesting this sales spike will be short-lived.

Brands have the opportunity to use the current momentum to make headway on category hurdles, like broadening functionality and leaning in to new ways to appeal to consumers and their evolving lifestyle and wellness needs.

Quickly Understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the aircare market.
  • Impact of recessionary spending on mainstream aircare brands.
  • How to leverage the wellness connection of aircare.
  • How retailers and brands can reach consumers in a changing retail landscape.

Covered in this report

Products featured: Candles, tea lights, voltives, pillars, tapers, birthday candles, scented candles, home air fresheners, electric operated devices, vehicle air fresheners and more.

Brands included: Proctor & Gamble, S C Johsnon & Son Inc, Reckitt Benckiser Group, Newell Brands, Julius Sämann, Henkel Corporation and others.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Rebecca Cullen, a leading analyst in the household sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The pandemic has led to an explosion of new home behaviors, including how consumers view, use and shop for aircare. While it remains to be seen which new behaviors will stick and become a ritual and which will fade as we emerge from this health crisis and recession, brands have the opportunity to use the current momentum to make headway on category challenges that hindered growth pre-pandemic. Brands will need to market and innovate for the next generation of aircare consumers who seek alternative uses and benefits of aircare beyond merely scent and odor control.

Rebecca Cullen
Household Care Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • COVID-19: Market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Total US retail sales and forecast of aircare products, at current prices, 2015-25
    • Impact of COVID-19 on aircare
      • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on aircare, January 2021
    • Opportunities and Challenges
    • Focus shouldn’t only be on scent
    • Proving value will be a must
      • Figure 3: Select reason for using less often – cost, cost-driven candle shopping behaviors, October 2020
    • Communicate safety through transparency and local claims
      • Figure 4: Select attitudes toward aircare ingredients, October 2020
    • Change is in the air: younger adults driving shift from functional to emotional
    • A new way to shop: boost ecomm strategies
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • A return to slow, steady gains post 2020
    • Pandemic wave lifts all boats
    • Evolve or fall behind: brands need to adapt to remain relevant
    • Widen functionality and health benefits
  4. Market Size and Forecast

    • 2020 surge will be fleeting
      • Figure 5: Total US retail sales and forecast of aircare products, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 6: Total US retail sales and forecast of aircare products, at current prices, 2015-25
    • Impact of COVID-19 on aircare
      • Figure 7: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on aircare, January 2021
    • Lockdown
    • Reemergence
    • Recovery
    • COVID-19: US context
    • Learnings from the last recession
  5. Segment Performance

    • Candles maintain dominance; COVID-19 spurs growth in every segment
      • Figure 8: Total US retail sales of aircare products, by segment, at current prices, 2018 and 2020
    • Pandemic shopping lifts all channels, even drugstores
      • Figure 9: Total US retail sales of aircare products, by channel, at current prices, 2015-20
  6. Market Factors

    • Fewer kids mean fewer aircare needs
    • Consider the Identity of an increasingly diverse population
      • Figure 10: Number of households, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2013-23
      • Figure 11: Harlem candle co., September 2020
    • External competition could diminish importance of certain segments
      • Figure 12: Scent substitution within aircare, November 2019 and October 2020
  7. Market Opportunities

    • Tap into lingering effects of pandemic at-home lifestyle
    • A clean slate: embrace positive impact
      • Figure 13: Gilded Instagram page
    • Cleaning the air
      • Figure 14: Ozium Original Air Sanitizer (Oct 2020)
  8. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Scent expansion supported growth for P&G
    • Reinforce the wellbeing benefits of aircare for mind and soul
    • Premium moves into the mainstream
  9. Market Share

    • P&G leapfrogs SCJ to gain leading position
    • Sales of aircare by company
      • Figure 15: Multi-outlet sales of aircare, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
  10. Competitive Strategies

    • Start the fire: support wellbeing and change
      • Figure 16: Anecdote candles, October 2020
    • Premiumization: novel and premium scents migrate to mass market
      • Figure 17: MULO sales of premium candles, by companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
      • Figure 18: Private and mass brands with premium fragrances, US, 2020
    • How local can communicate safety and trust
      • Figure 19: US launches of aircare products, by top five claim categories, 2015-20*
      • Figure 20: Illume Gardenia Luxury Soy Candle, Illume Instagram
  11. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Profile of heaviest aircare users
    • Slightly more than one third claim to be using aircare more often
    • eCommerce poised to disrupt retail landscape
    • The need to innovate beyond scent grows
    • Support wellbeing interests: both physical and mental
  12. Aircare Usage

    • Most stick to long-established formats; pandemic impacts repertoires
      • Figure 21: Repertoire of aircare usage, October 2020
      • Figure 22: Aircare usage, December 2016, October 2018, November 2019, and October 2020
    • Usage continues to be driven by young consumers
      • Figure 23: Repertoire of aircare product usage – five or more products, by generation, parental status, Hispanic generation, October 2020
  13. Aircare Usage Frequency and Motivators

    • One third of Americans are using aircare more often
      • Figure 24: Aircare usage frequency, October 2020
    • Disrupted routines fuel move from functional power to emotional value
      • Figure 25: Motivators for using aircare more often, October 2020
      • Figure 26: Select motivators for using aircare more often, by generation, parental status (presence of children under 18) by gender, October 2020
    • Pandemic-driven lifestyle shifts also negatively impact usage
      • Figure 27: Motivators for using aircare less often, October 2020
  14. Aircare Purchase Locations

    • Air freshener and essential oil shopping driven by convenience
      • Figure 28: Retailers shopped for air fresheners and essential oils, October 2020
    • Adjust to an online candle shopping experience
      • Figure 29: Retailers shopped for candles, November 2019 and October 2020
    • Younger and multicultural adults shop around, gravitate toward local
      • Figure 30: Select aircare purchase location, by age, October 2020
      • Figure 31: Select aircare purchase location, by race and Hispanic origin, October 2020
  15. Candle Shopping Attitudes and Behaviors

    • Scent development and experimentation remain key
      • Figure 32: Candle shopping attitudes and behaviors, October 2020
    • Online an important part of product discovery among younger gens
      • Figure 33: Select candle shopping behaviors, by generation, parental status, and living location, October 2020
  16. Attitudes toward Aircare

    • Conscious consumerism fuels natural, local preferences
      • Figure 34: Attitudes toward aircare, October 2020
    • Increasing access to natural and premium scent can drive usage
      • Figure 35: Select attitudes toward aircare, by repertoire of aircare product usage, October 2020
    • Providing benefits beyond scent will ward off external threats
      • Figure 36: Aircare scent substitution, by generation, race and Hispanic origin, parental status, October 2020
  17. Interest in Aircare Innovations

    • A focus on health and wellbeing fuels innovation areas
      • Figure 37: Interest in aircare innovations, October 2020
    • Create unique scent experiences to reach younger audiences
      • Figure 38: TikTok, November 2020
      • Figure 39: Interest in select aircare innovations, by generation, parental status, October 2020
  18. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
  19. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 40: Total US retail sales and forecast of aircare products, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 41: Total US retail sales and forecast of aircare products, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
  20. Appendix – Companies and Brands

      • Figure 42: Multi-outlet sales of candles, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
      • Figure 43: Multi-outlet sales of vehicle air freshners, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
      • Figure 44: Multi-outlet sales of home air fresheners, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020

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 tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

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

Click to show report

Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Also, our reports come in PDF, Powerpoint, Word and Excel Databook formats.

Trusted by companies. Big and small.

Bell Logo - Mintel client
Boots Logo - Mintel Client
Kelloggs Logo - Mintel client
Samsung Logo - Mintel client
Nike Logo - Mintel client
Walgreens Logo - Mintel client

Want to speak to us directly?

Contact us on via phone or fill out a form with your enquiry.

Contact Us