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Cleaning up: Why we can expect more acquisitions in the buoyant green home care sector

As news breaks of SC Johnson’s acquisition of Ecover and Method, analyst Ecovia Intelligence says we can expect more consolidation in the buoyant green home care category.

Germany has the fastest growing market for green home care products in Europe, with its market expanding by 10% per annum. Increasing distribution and growing consumer awareness of the health and  environmental impacts of detergents and cleaning products are the main drivers of market growth. These are some of the key findings from a new market analysis by Ecovia Intelligence on the European green home care products market (http://www.ecoviaint.com/1001-65).

According to the new study, the largest markets for green home care products are in the UK, Germany, France, and the Benelux. These products are most successful in the Benelux countries where green products take a 5% share of the total home care product sales. The lowest market share is in Southern European countries.

Ecover is shown to be the leading brand in a highly fragmented market – its thanks to its early market entry and extensive distribution. About 150 brands are present in the European market, however few have a presence outside their home markets.

As consumer interest grows in the green cleaning category, such successful brands are coming within the sights of major multinationals – witness SC Johnson’s takeover of Ecovia, announced this week. More mergers can be expected, says Ecovia Intelligence.

Greenwashing and low consumer awareness are major challenges facing the green home care industry. Brands face competition from companies with conventional products that make natural and green claims. Low consumer awareness of contentious ingredients in detergents & home care products is also a major obstacle to market growth.

Although less than 1% of home care products are certified, natural standards and sustainability certification schemes are gaining popularity, with Ecocert, Ecogarantie and ICEA the most successful standards for green home care products.

As will be featured in a dedicated workshop at the Sustainable Cleaning Products Summit (www.sustainablecleaningsummit.com), the number of standards and certification schemes is increasing. The Nordic Swan and EU Eco-Flower are most popular in northern Europe, whereas other labels – such as Vegan Society – are crossing over from the food industry.

Ecovia Intelligence expects healthy growth to continue in the European market for green home care products. Distribution is expected to expand in supermarkets, hypermarkets and drugstores. More retailers are expected to launch private labels for green home care products. The market share of mainstream retailers is expected to eclipse that of specialist retailers, according to the study.

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About the Author

Jim Manson

Writer & Editor
Jim Manson is editor-in-chief of Diversified Communications UK‘s natural and organic publishing portfolio. He’s written widely on environment and development issues for specialist magazines and national media, including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times, and World Bank Urban Age

Articles by Jim Manson

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