Canadian Retailers Sweep Up Nearly $2.3B in Household Product Sales Each Year

Canadian Retailers Sweep Up Nearly $2.3B in Household Product Sales Each Year

Warmer temperatures in Canada usher in reminders that it’s time to break out the brooms and cleaning products and get ready for spring. Cleaning can feel like a thankless job, but there is a wide array of cleaning products to freshen homes as the season changes, ranging from standard cleaners to eco-friendly and organics products, to fit consumer preferences. And turning over a cleaner leaf is no small affair, as consumers in Canada spend nearly $2.3 billion on household products each year.

Across the variety of products in the household product arena, it should come as little surprise that laundry products are top sales drivers, with three different product variants appearing in the top 10 selling household products. Laundry detergents lead sales in the household product category with $634 million in sales in the last year, with fabric softeners at $238 million and laundry care accompaniments at $77 million.

But clothes aren’t the only thing consumers are keeping clean. Household cleaners have annual sales of $167 million and boasted the largest dollar volume increase over the past year (+7%) in the top 10. Along with household cleaners, laundry care accompaniments (+6%) and air care (+4%) round out the top three products by dollar growth.

Growth, however, isn’t evident across all products. Sales of bathroom cleaners, for example, have dipped 8% over the past year. For marketers, distinguishing the benefits of bathroom specific cleaners over standard household cleaners may help expand sales in the category.

So what factors are affecting sales? As we’ve seen across the store, consumers are growing increasingly conscious about their health and the environment when it comes to product selection, and household cleaning products are no exception. In fact, 45% of consumers in Canada say that environmentally friendly cleaning products are important to them.

Additionally, 37% of consumers say they actively read product labels, while 40% of consumers indicate they purchase products that contain no harsh chemicals and say they prefer products that are green/eco-friendly (38%). It is worth noting, however, that only 58% of consumers know where to find eco-friendly products in the store. But shelf location isn’t the only hurdle for greener cleaning products. Just under one-third (29%) of consumers feel that green/eco-friendly products are not as good as standard products, and only 15% of consumers are willing to sacrifice effectiveness for a green/eco-friendly option.

Only 58% of Canadian consumers know where to find eco-friendly cleaning products in the store

As consumers weigh the benefits of going green with product effectiveness, they’re also minding their wallets. Notably, 70% of consumers say they perceive organic cleaning supplies to be more expensive, and only 20% say they’re willing to pay more for green/eco-friendly choices. To help offset consumer perceptions and raise product awareness, marketers and retailers can develop improved in-store signage and marketing campaigns that demonstrate green/eco-friendly effectiveness.

With the overall household product category seeing increased sales of 2% in the year-ended March 3, 2018, cleaning is still top of mind for consumers, even as recent consumer confidence research highlights that many consumers (52%) have changed their spending to decrease household expenses. In the fiercely competitive fast-moving consumer goods market, successful retailers and manufacturers may benefit from marketing campaigns that distinguish their products benefits over the competition.


Insights in this article were derived from:

  • Nielsen MarketTrack National (excluding Newfoundland) all channels , 52 weeks ending March 3, 2018
  • Nielsen’s Happy Healthy Home 2018 online survey of 5,810 Canadian consumers on healthy matters influencing their purchases, conducted in March 2018.
  • Fourth-quarter 2017 Conference Board® Global Consumer Confidence Survey, produced in collaboration with Nielsen.