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Keeping Candles Lit

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: October 2, 2007

page 3 of 6

In its report on global air care, Euromonitor reports consumers’ changing attitudes toward the home environment are a factor in the growth of the air care market, noting a movement toward creating a more relaxing and welcoming home environment, with candles playing a supporting role and riding on waves of larger trends. Within the air care category, products are impacted by several consumer categories, including fine fragrance and home decor trends.

“These trends are becoming increasingly more important to consumers, as they are interested in more than just a traditional scented candle, but also a product that can help create a pleasing environment in which they can relax,” said Martin Hettich, marketing director, global air care, P&G/Febreze.

Major players in the market have either felt directly the impact of the surge in consumer interest or have taken serious note.
The Yankee Candle Company posted total sales of $277.8 million for 2006’s fourth quarter, a 17.3% increase over the prior year quarter, and total sales for fiscal 2006 of $687.6, a 14.4% increase over fiscal 2005. Total revenue for its first quarter 2007 was $143 million, a 7% increase, and the company continues to grow its distribution channels—including approximately 17,400 store locations and more than 420 company owned and operated retail stores.

After an 87-year absence, Procter & Gamble re-entered the candle market by launching the Febreze Candle throughout the U.S. in July 2007—counting on leveraging the Febreze brand, consumer desire for improved odor elimination and the health of the candle market.

“We have identified a true and compelling consumer need for odor elimination in the candle category. Consumers have told us that they want candles [that] make [their homes] more attractive, comfortable and fresh,” said Hettich. “They also shared with us that current candle offerings were not meeting their needs in terms of controlling odors. Our candles deliver against a currently unmet consumer need, combining a classic method of scenting the home with the odor-eliminating capability of Febreze. Bringing Febreze Candles to the market celebrates innovation on our oldest product, on one of P&G’s newest and fastest-growing brands.”
P&G expects the candle category to continue to grow, both through the entry of new players in the industry and through new product introductions and innovation. First-month sales results demonstrate, according to Hettich, that the launch of Febreze Candles has had a positive influence on the size and growth of the candles category.