The market for janitorial cleaning products in Europe is affected by several EU regulations, most prominently Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), aimed at improving the protection of human health and the environment by clearly communicating to workers and consumers the hazards of chemicals.
The Italian and Spanish markets are similar in that they have both been among the hardest hit in EU by the recession, relying heavily on travel and tourism to boost their economies. For industrial and institutional (I&I) cleaning products, the Italian and Spanish markets also have similar implications and trends as both are subject to EU regulations and affected by the globalized market.
The pressure from EU authorities for cleaning products to be eco-sustainable, as well as the growing demand for such products from end users, results in several major manufacturers offering more environmentally-friendly cleaning products. End users are becoming increasingly sensitive to environmental issues and safety, with demand for eco-friendly products increasing in both Italy and Spain.
At the same time, there is growing demand for universally recognized green labels, most prominently the Ecolabel, and the ICEA (Istituto per la Certificazione Etica ed Ambientale) within Italy. Most leading suppliers, including Sealed Air/Diversey, Werner & Mertz, Kemika, Sutter Professional, Proquimia, Proder, and Quimsa ITW among several others, carry Ecolabel-certified product lines.
The costs involved with approval and registration at the EU level are often not affordable or justified for small to medium-sized manufacturers with modest sales. In most cases, certificates related to eco-friendliness of products are not formally required, but can be an added value for end users in the public sector, including hospitals, schools, and universities, due to the green public procurement schemes in place. Regardless, the challenge for manufacturers is to develop janitorial cleaning products that are highly effective, but also meet the latest environmental requirements.
The Italian market, which is slightly larger than the Spanish one, is slowly recovering after years of negative trends, partially counterbalanced by increasing exports. Sales of janitorial cleaning products in Italy in 2014 increase an estimated 0.9% from 2013. In Spain, sales of these products are up by 1% over the same timeframe.
Contract cleaners are the leading end users of janitorial cleaning chemicals, which are nearly 34% in Spain and 45% in Italy. The other major end user in Italy and Spain is the lodging segment, which is particularly prominent as tourism is a major driver of these economies. The recovery of the tourism industry is expected to be a major driver for future growth of the market for I&I cleaning chemicals in these countries.
To date, the border between the professional and retail cleaning markets is not clearly defined in Italy and Spain. Manufacturers are affected by the lack of regulation specific for professional cleaning products, limiting the number of substances available and hampering the development of formulations specific for the professional market. The professional cleaning segment in these countries would benefit from the establishment of clearly and universally expressed policies on which active ingredients, formulations, distribution channels, etc. are suitable for the professional market, and which ones are suitable for the retail market.
Learn more about the remaining major markets in Europe from our upcoming analysis of the janitorial cleaning products market in Europe.