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Consumers Come Clean—About Cleaning Product Preferences
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Consumers Come Clean—About Cleaning Product Preferences

Around the globe, regardless of who is buying cleaning products or where they’re buying them, it should come as little surprise that efficacy tops the list of most important attributes sought when selecting household cleaners. In fact, 61% of global respondents say performance (it cleans well) is very important when selecting a household-cleaning product—the top attribute in every region. Value is also on the minds of shoppers worldwide, as more than half of global respondents (54%) say good price/value is very important.

Connected with efficacy are previous experience and trust. Four in 10 global respondents say previous experience is very important when selecting household-cleaning products, and 37% say a trusted brand name is very important. Once a consumer has tried the product, they know it will or won’t work, and a trusted brand name gives consumers confidence it will continue to meet their expectations.

Cleaning products must be effective, but products that combine efficacy with innovative features offer a win-win solution for consumers. So which secondary attributes are most compelling for consumers? Nearly three in 10 respondents say packaging that is easy to use or store (29%) or that comes in a size that fits their family’s needs (28%) is very important. In addition, some consumers are leaning green. Twenty-six percent of global respondents say organic/all-natural ingredients are very important, and 24% say environmentally friendly/sustainable packaging is very important.

When it comes to all-purpose cleaners, effectiveness once again tops the list of benefits consumer want, cited by 61% of global respondents. Roughly half are looking for easy-to-use (54%) products, the second-most-sought-after benefit. Both benefits are appealing worldwide, but there are some interesting regional differences to note.

Latin American respondents are significantly more likely than those in any other region to say they seek disinfectants and products with a scent/fragrance. In fact, these characteristics top the list of benefits sought in the region. Nearly two-thirds of Latin American respondents (66%) look for all-purpose cleaners that contain disinfectants, 22 percentage points above the global average (44%). Slightly fewer (62%) seek products with a scent or fragrance, double the global average (36%).

In Asia-Pacific, respondents are more inclined to say they’re looking for ecological all-purpose cleaners. Forty-six percent of respondents in the region say they seek environmentally friendly products, compared with 40% globally. North American respondents are the least likely to say they seek this benefit, but it’s still a factor in purchase decisions for nearly one-third (30%) of respondents.

“Consumers are increasingly aware of how their actions can affect the environment, and those looking for ways to minimize their carbon footprint are thinking in new ways, which includes using home remedies,” said Sarah Peters, Nielsen Global Business Partner. “While environmental considerations may be a secondary purchasing driver for many consumers, as more shoppers lean green, manufacturers that balance environmental benefits with strong performance results and cost effectiveness will be positioned well for success.”

Other findings from the global Home-Care report include:

  • 44% of global respondents say the female head of household does the majority of the cleaning in the home, compared to 17% of men.
  • One-third of North American respondents (33%) say that the male head of household is primarily responsible for purchasing the cleaning products in the household, 12 percentage points higher than the global average.
  • Two-thirds of global respondents (67%) say they do laundry at least twice per week.
  • Forty percent of respondents in Asia-Pacific say they seek laundry detergents that don’t contain harsh chemicals, compared to 35% globally.

For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Global Home-Care Report. If you would like more detailed country-level data from this survey, it is available for sale in the Nielsen Store.

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Home-Care Survey was conducted Aug. 10–Sep. 4, 2015, and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 61 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America. The sample includes Internet users who agreed to participate in this survey and has quotas based on age and sex for each country. It is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers by country. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. However, a probability sample of equivalent size would have a margin of error of ±0.6% at the global level. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behavior of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion.