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Keeping Candles Lit

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: August 26, 2008, from the October 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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“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.

Scent and the Retail Connection

The National Candle Association estimates that 80% of all candles sold in the U.S. are scented, and fragrance itself is following broader trends, becoming bolder and more complex. (See the sidebars Popular Scents and Trends for Fall/Winter 2007–2008.)

The gourmand trend inspires food-related scents, including exotic combinations of novel foods and beverages—Er’go, for example, launched green tea, mint tea and chai tea scented candles.

Consumers have also trended toward hard-to-describe but distinctive fragrances; the NCA has labelled this relatively new candle fragrance category “fantasy.”