SOURCE: Packaged Facts

Packaged Facts

October 06, 2009 13:17 ET

Household Cleaners and Sustainability: A Market Update

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - October 6, 2009) - Market research firms Packaged Facts and The Hartman Group have joined forces to publish a series of reports tracking current consumer attitudes and shopping behaviors in relation to "sustainable" consumer packaged goods.

The third volume in the just-completed series, Consumers and Sustainability: Household Cleaners, reports that household cleaning products with a sustainable side have begun to enter the American mainstream. Formerly, the act of cleaning was a form of "germ warfare," and entailed a combative relationship between consumers and their environment.

Recently, however, more and more consumers talk about the idea of working with nature, not against it, to naturally restore balance to their home environment. As with the food and beverage and personal care categories, consumers have become increasingly aware of the potentially harmful effects of artificial and chemical-based products on personal health as well as environmental safety.

According to Consumers and Sustainability: Household Cleaners, sustainability means different things to different people. Asked to identify what the term means to them, consumers most frequently respond "the ability to last over time" and "the ability to support oneself." Sustainability is also strongly associated with environmental concerns, whereby consumers are being challenged to develop and express an "eco-consciousness" in their daily habits and purchases. But using "eco-conscious" or "green" as synonymous with sustainability unduly limits the frame of reference; these older terms fail to acknowledge the variety of social, economic and environmental issues that real-world individuals believe to be important to sustaining themselves, their communities, and society at large.

Many consumers have, of course, modified their purchasing of higher-priced sustainable products in response to the current economic downturn. Even so, tradeoffs and cutbacks are less likely for product categories that sustainability consumers view as important to their quality of life, including household cleaners. "Purchasing rates for natural or organic household cleaners remain robust," indicates Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts, "with 38% of respondents to a Packaged Facts survey indicating that they use these products."

The Consumers and Sustainability series draws on an online survey of 1,856 U.S. adult consumers conducted in September 2008 by The Hartman Group, as well as qualitative research on sustainability in three markets (Seattle, Dallas, and Columbus) during August 2008. Packaged Facts provides a market update based on a Packaged Facts February 2009 online consumer poll and Experian Simmons national consumer surveys fielded November 2008 through June 2009. In addition to Household Cleaners, the consumer markets covered by the Consumers and Sustainability series are Food and Beverage, Personal Care, and OTC Medications and Supplements.

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About Packaged Facts -- Packaged Facts, a division of, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet products and services, and financial products. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. To learn more, visit: Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

About The Hartman Group -- The Hartman Group, located in Bellevue, Washington, blends leading-edge customized research and consulting to understand the subtle complexities of consumer behavior. Since 1989, Hartman Group has been listening loudly to the underlying motivations and behaviors that move the needle for our clients. To learn more about how Hartman Group stays sharply focused on how consumers live, shop and use brands and products visit:

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