With the Easter break putting its usual focus on spring cleaning for many householders, new research suggests that there are still big opportunities in cleaning products that protect and care for the home.
Fear about germs is a particular factor, says Mintel, which found that 14% of people are more concerned about them than they used to be.
Mintel’s research highlights a real desire to keep away from germs by nearly half – 46% – of those surveyed, who regularly use antibacterial hand wash, and by 16% who regularly carry hand sanitizer with them.
Richard Caines, Mintel’s senior household care analyst, said: “A clean home environment improves people’s sense of wellbeing and reduces anxiety – even more so at a time when incomes are being squeezed and less money is available for going out.
“Although some people think that as a nation we’re becoming too obsessed about hygiene, manufacturers still have a big opportunity to market cleaning products focused on protecting and caring for the home and family, something that has resonance with consumers.”
Britain’s concerns about germs are also reflected in the wide use of disinfectant products, and the desire for disinfectants that are powerful germ killers has increased by 9% in just one year.
Not surprisingly, new product development is capitalising on germ phobias, according to Mintel, and last year the UK was the most active country, with 13% of household products carrying an antibacterial claim.
Helping to drive the trend is new technology, with growing hygiene concerns surrounding mobiles, touch-screen smartphones, laptops and tablets.