The Market for Home Fragrances

The Market for Home Fragrances: Status Quo or Raising the Bar?

Ever feel like a quick pick-me-up? Needing something to help you sleep more soundly? A fragrance that triggers your favorite childhood memory? Home fragrance marketers are banking on generating emotion from memories of good times with new fragrance collections ranging from Febreze’s Sleep Serenity Collection of bedtime diffusers to Air Wick’s Familiar Favorites collection featuring Baby Magic, Snuggles, and Cinnabon scents. In 2013 scent preferences underline the classic appeal of nature-themed, and subtle fragrances, like “water,” “beach,” “air,” and “linen” are emerging as the most popular home fragrances, overtaking “floral,” “fruity,” “seasonal,” “spices,” and “masculine” fragrances.1Since home fragrances products are not “necessity items,” positioned more in the realm of feel-good indulgence, the core value expected of them is sensorial delight. Alas, consumers are easily bored. As a result, home fragrance marketers are forced to compete not only with each other, but also with their own last collection. While the U.S. home fragrances market grows by a slightly reduced pace in 2013, there are various forces driving the market that are interesting to note. Although challenged by new product types such as diffusers and wax melts, the candles category is seeing growth in sales for the fourth consecutive year. With their strong cultural associations such as holidays, festivals, and special occasions, as well as perception of greater value for the money, candles are still on top of consumers’ preference. Despite their high price-tags, 2013 sees luxury candles continue to be popular among consumers. Companies like Virginia Candles Co., with their innovative WoodWick and RibbonWick candles, enjoy great success due to their novel designs and sophisticated appearance. At the same time, there is enough room for mass brands, as consumers are also looking for practical, everyday use of scented candles.

2 Perceived as safe due to the absence of an exposed flame and popular for their unique capability to create personalized fragrance combinations, wax melts have been enjoying double-digit growth since 2007.In 2013, the category was primarily driven by new entries from mass S.C. Johnson who recorded sales of nearly $20 million, Procter & Gamble who extended Febreze into wax melts, and several smaller marketers who joined the category. From a distribution standpoint, Internet sales are continuing to gain share with double-digit growth and nearly 15% of the total market in 2013; this trend is set to continue in the future. Social networking, discount banners, reviews, store locaters, loyalty programs, photo-sharing options, and video-streaming are just some of the features that websites are already using to attract consumers. On the other hand, two other retail channels at a very fertile stage are mass merchandisers and specialty stores.

3Would you like to find out more about the challenging home fragrances market? Kline’s imminent Home Fragrances: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities–a comprehensive assessment of the U.S. market for home fragrances–focuses on market size and growth, key trends, challenges, and business opportunities. For consumer insights and a glimpse into the latest fragrance trends, get Kline & Company’s Shopper Insights Tracking Service for the U.S. Home Fragrances Market, an annual independent shopper research that studies consumers’ preferences in scented home fragrance/air care products, focusing on women who shop for scented merchandise in mass market outlets, as well as those who frequent specialty stores of premium brands and products.

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