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Air Care in the U.S. Market

By: Euromonitor International
Posted: January 12, 2009

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Furthermore, car air fresheners registered a growth of 2% in 2007 to reach sales of $286 million. Consumer movement to more premium formats such as Glade Car Scented Oil and Renuzit Car led to value growth, while volume sales grew by less than 1% in 2007. Continued demand for Renuzit LongLast Adjustables helped growth in gel air fresheners to reach 4% in 2007.

Decreasing Sales

Air care sales only grew by 1% in current value terms in 2007. In contrast, air care sales grew by 9% in 2006 and by a current value compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8% between 2002 and 2007. A reduction in demand for electric air fresheners led to the slowdown in growth in air fresheners in 2007. After growing by 8% in 2006, electric air fresheners grew by only 2% in 2007 to reach sales of $795 million.

Safety is key: A September 2007 National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study that found phthalates in air fresheners raised consumer concerns about safety. The environmental group analyzed 14 air fresheners and found 12 contained phthalates, chemicals that may affect hormones and reproductive development. Some studies have linked phthalates with affecting testosterone levels and reproductive abnormalities such as abnormal genitalia and reduced sperm production. In the same month, the NRDC, along with the Sierra Club, Alliance for Healthy Homes and the National Center for Healthy Housing filed a petition with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) asking the federal agencies to start testing all air fresheners for safety.

Absence of innovation: The slowdown in electric formats can be attributed to an absence of innovation in 2007. Earlier years in the review period witnessed more innovations, such as Febreze Noticeables by The Procter & Gamble Co. (2006), Glade Plug-Ins Scented Oil Light Show by S.C. Johnson (2006) and Air Wick Mobil’Air by Reckitt Benckiser Inc. (2004). In contrast, 2007’s most notable new electric air freshener launch was Glade Wisp Flameless Candle, a candle variant of Glade Wisp Battery Operated Home Fragrancer, which was launched in 2004. Demand for electric air fresheners remains strong, as many of the products offer dual benefits, such as fragrance dispensing along with lighting. In this series is S.C. Johnson’s Glade Scented Oil Light Show, targeted at teens, which creates multicolored light on the walls in addition to releasing fragrance. Procter & Gamble also launched Febreze Noticeables Nightlights, a combination of ambient light and a soothing fragrance.

Aromatic avoidance: A September 2007 NRDC study highlighted safety concerns specific to air fresheners that could substantially reduce demand for air fresheners. The NRDC found phthalates, chemicals linked with hormones and reproductive development, in air fresheners.