Aunt Fannies cleaning vinegar

Green Cleaning for Spring

By Jill Failla


While the weather may not feel like spring in much of the U.S. right now, this is the time of year when many consumers are sprucing up their homes in anticipation of warmer weather by clearing out the clutter and deep-cleaning what remains. In honor of Earth Day right around the corner, we’ve complied some green cleaning trends that are freshening up retail shelves and homes alike this spring – without harming the environment.

SPINS data shows that consumers are increasingly seeking out natural cleaning products over their conventional counterparts. Layering SPINS Positioning Group attribute over the HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS & SUPPLIES category reveals that natural products saw sales grow 11.7% over last year, to a $689.2 million annual market, while conventional ones* experienced just 1.1% sales growth in the same time frame, maintaining a $24.2 billion annual market.

Organics on the Rise

Free of environmental contaminants in product and production, household cleaners and liquid laundry products that are Labeled Organic (≥95%) saw steady sales growth in the past year – 4.4% and 19.4%, respectively. In comparison, their non-organic counterparts saw a sales decline of 3.2% and 6.0%.

One green cleaning brand we have our eye on for liquid laundry products is Wisconsin-based Rebel Green. This brand’s plant-based, USDA Organic lineup of creatively packaged laundry detergents launched in late 2016 and has continued to gain distribution since. To reduce the environmental impact caused by transportation, Rebel Green works with as many local manufacturers as possible and only with those who share its same eco-friendly ethos. It also gives a percentage of sales to clean water and air initiatives.

Balancing Bacteria

Wiping out bacteria with strong chemical cleaners may not be the effective strategy it was once thought to be; harmful bacteria have an incredible way of adapting and coming back stronger than before. Some green-cleaning brands are taking another approach: introducing specific bacteria to help balance a home’s microbiome, nurturing certain bacteria to counteract others. SPINS is tracking this new probiotic trend in household cleaners. In particular, we have our eye on probiotic drain cleaners, which have grown 3.8% over the past year to a $2.1 million annual market.

In SPINS recent Expo West Recap, we featured two brands bringing in good bugs around the house to balance out the bad ones. Counter Culture uses organic ingredients like brown sugar, essential oils, and mineral powder with purified water, sea salt, and 13 probiotic cultures. The line includes all-purpose cleaners, hand soaps, and fabric and air fresheners. And Aunt Fannie’s microbiomic cleaning vinegar sprays and wipes all received A-grades from the Environmental Working Group. This brand also offers kid-safe insect repellants and pest control solutions.

More Mindful Packaging

Since it’s just as important to consider eco-friendly packaging as product ingredients and production methods, here are a few green packaging trends we see developing in household products right now. Items sold in bulk or larger formats tend to require less packaging overall than those sold in smaller containers or single-serve format. Using SPINS Form attribute, data reveals an 18.1% year-over-year sales drop among single-use household cleaners and supplies – an annual market that still sits at $1.5 billion despite this decline.

Some brands like the Arizona-based Truce are also now omitting water from their cleaning supplies to cut down on the fossil fuels and carbon footprint required to transport water. Instead, they’re shipping several of their cleaning products with just the concentrate and asking consumers to add the water themselves. What’s another bonus passed onto consumers as a result? Lower shipping costs.

Going Lighter on the Landfill

At Expo West, we found Amala’s Magic Sponge Cloth, which is made from renewable resources: it’s a blend of cellulose, an organic polymer; non-GMO unbleached cotton; and mirabilite, a natural mineral salt. A single cloth replaces up to 15 rolls of paper towels and can be reused and washed hundreds of times, reducing a household’s load on the landfill over the course of everyday cleaning, then fully biodegrading after disposal.

Only SPINS’ Product Library’s proprietary attribution can provide you with a granular look at the evolving and nuanced health & wellness trends transforming retail today. Want to know more? Contact your SPINS rep or email [email protected] to dig deeper into data on green cleaners and other hot retail topics affecting your business.

*The terms natural and conventional in this context come from SPINS Positioning Group attribute.

SPINSscan Natural and Specialty Gourmet (proprietary), SPINSscan Conventional Multi Outlet (powered by IRI), 13 Quads End 2018-Mar-25.