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The Realities of Washroom Economics

By: Diana Dodson
Posted: January 10, 2008, from the January 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 4 of 4

Outlook
With projected growth of less than 1% per year between 2006 and 2011, it seems the bath and shower category’s troubles are not over yet. In the developed markets, at least, the category is in need of some new ideas. Segmentation is one area which has scope for further development.

There are a number of products that have already sought to segment the market by targeting more narrowly defined consumers. There are also products for different rooms in the house (the kitchen, the bathroom) and times of the day (for example, Dove’s regenerating and calming nighttime body wash). However, manufacturers have largely failed to convince consumers of the benefits of a tailored solution over generic brands. Men’s bath and shower products, for example, account for just 3% of the global category, and products targeting the 1.4 billion consumers under the age of 11 attract only a marginally larger share of total sales. As global allergy rates reach epidemic proportions, hypoallergenic products and brands suitable for sensitive skin are also likely to find increased demand going forward.

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