Healthy Spring Cleaning With the GMDC

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Healthy Spring Cleaning With the GMDC

What are health-conscious consumers looking for in their home cleaning products? The answer to this and more is addressed in the recently released preliminary topline findings from the GMDC’s — the Global Market Development Center — qualitative Research Study on Consumer Shopping Habits for Wellness and Environmentally Conscious Lifestyles.

For the purpose of the study, consumers were grouped into three major segments: Periphery, Mid-Level or Core. Core consumers represent those most committed to the H+W (health & wellness) lifestyle. Mid-level consumers are not as devoted to H+W as Core consumers, but they have made some level of H+W lifestyle change. And Periphery consumers are “entry level” H+W consumers.

Home cleaning products have a fairly direct relationship with consumers’ notions of H+W, says the GMDC, as this category serves to some degree as a gateway or entry-level category, with consumers adopting some level of more natural cleaning products relatively early in their H+W evolution.

The GMDC found that consumers base product decision on the following criteria:

1. At the Periphery, ideas of effectiveness, along with price, form key drivers. In some cases, there may be concern with product ingredients if someone in the household has had an apparent reaction to a cleaning product.

2. At times, such reactions will act as “launching points” for increasing interest in other more natural cleaning products other than the subcategory that initiated the issue.

3. At the Mid-level, effectiveness and price still form key considerations, but the more Core concerns of lack of negative ingredients (“chemicals,” often fragrance), lack of animal testing, and environmental impact begin to arise. At the Core, the considerations are these latter three, with price and, to some degree, effectiveness dropping off as key drivers.

4. This category essentially suffers from the same retail issues as hair and skin care, says the GMDC. In other words, there is a fairly wide range of SKUs across the H+W continuum available in many mainstream channels; however, the more wellness-oriented end of that spectrum is often located in low-visibility/traffic areas.

The GMDC will release additional results throughout the year and into 2010. In addition, presentations of the research on the “Consumer Shopping Habits for Wellness and Environmentally Conscious Lifestyles” will be made at GMDC’s June General Merchandise Marketing Conference and at their September Health Beauty Wellness Marketing Conference, which will be co-located with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Supermarket Pharmacy Conference this Sept. 11-14, 2009, at the Marriott Grand Lakes in Orlando, Fla. For more information, visit