Research highlights gaps in toilet-care market

Consumers’ dislike of cleaning the toilet means there are opportunities for improved products within the toilet-care market.

Research highlights gaps in toilet-care market

So believes Mintel, whose latest research has found a widespread dislike of touching the toilet bowl when cleaning it. The study revealed that 17% of consumers hate toilet contact, rising to 21% of the nation’s women and 27% of those aged between 16 and 24.

The research also showed that just 20% of us clean the toilet once a day or more, while 27% only do it on a weekly basis.

“That so many people hate touching the toilet bowl, particularly among younger consumers who are newer to toilet cleaning, indicates convenient products that take away the need for touching or heavy scrubbing of the toilet bowl – such as in-bowl rim blocks or liquids or gels – will have strong appeal to a new generation of toilet cleaners,” commented Mintel’s senior household analyst Richard Caines.

“Room exists in the toilet care market to encourage more frequent toilet cleaning among the third of adults who clean the toilet only once a week or less often. With more products promoting long-lasting results in terms of keeping toilets clean and germ-free for longer, the market also needs to make sure this does not lead to a reduction in the frequency of toilet cleaning.”

Valued at £125m, the market for specialist toilet care products is essentially a stable market. The value of products grew by 3% during 2011, with sales of liquid or gel toilet cleaners proving popular and increasing 10% between 2009 and 2012 to reach £63m.

However, flush treatment products that are seen by many people as less of a necessity have proved themselves vulnerable to the tightening of household budgets, with sales of in-bowl rim blocks and liquid and gels decreasing by more than 10% over the same three-year period to reach around £40m. Specialist liquid or gel toilet cleaners face strong competition from bleach, worth £120m and the most popular choice for toilet cleaning, with 90% of people using it.

“The high importance attached to cleaning the toilet compared to other cleaning tasks provides a good basis for increased sales of toilet care products offering multiple benefits to consumers,” Mr Caines went on.

“But specialist liquid or gel toilet cleaners face strong competition from bleach, so although bleach is a mature market, many consumers see it as the best cleaning solution for the toilet. Brands of specialist toilet cleaners therefore need to convince more people about the cleaning power and multiple benefits of their products.”

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