Adapting to Changes in the Fabric Enhancer Market Our Response

Several major trends are currently shaping the fabric enhancer market. These include the increased use of short wash cycles, a rise in clothing made from synthetic fibers, and a demand for sophisticated fragrances. Comfort’s latest product launches address these evolving consumer needs.

The scent booster market is projected to be worth €3 billion by 2028, driven primarily by consumer desire for enhanced fragrance experiences. Comfort’s newest innovations are designed to tap into this opportunity while meeting clear consumer demands.

Fabric enhancers serve multiple functions: they prolong the life of fabrics, help retain color and shape, and prevent fading and bobbling. However, the primary reason people use them is to make their clothes smell nice and feel soft.

Despite these benefits, using conditioners on synthetic clothes, such as sportswear or towels, can affect the breathability and absorption properties of the fabrics. Often, labels on such products advise against using conditioners. Additionally, scent beads used in short wash cycles often leave residue of undissolved product.

Consumers are increasingly seeking more sophisticated, authentic, and nature-inspired fragrances in their laundry products. Comfort’s new Botanicals and Elixir ranges are designed to meet these needs, presenting a significant opportunity for growth.

The global rinse conditioners category is growing at over 10%, with fragrance boosters growing at more than 21%. Enhanced fragrance experiences are a key driver, projected to be an €850 million opportunity in the global laundry market. In Europe, products like scent boosters are leading growth in the fabric enhancers category.

Synthetic fabrics are more prevalent today than ever before, with athleisurewear and high-performance sportswear becoming common. Traditional fabric conditioners can block the breathability and moisture-wicking properties of these fabrics. Comfort’s new Botanical Fabric Conditioners, developed at the Port Sunlight R&D center in the UK, use the innovative CrystalFresh transparent formula. This formula maintains the fabric’s breathability and absorbent properties while providing the benefits of a traditional conditioner. The micellar system in the product ensures ingredients are dispersed effectively, making it suitable for use on towels and sportswear.

Scent boosters typically come as solid beads, which can leave residues, especially in cold and short cycles. Comfort’s new Scent Booster Elixir range addresses these issues with a concentrated transparent elixir infused with dissolvable beads. Designed to be dosed in the final rinse cycle, this product ensures more fragrance is deposited on the clothes without leaving any residue.

The scent booster market grew at 12.5% from 2017 to 2022 and is expected to reach €3 billion by 2028, up from €1.9 billion in 2023. This segment continues to be a significant value driver, particularly in emerging markets. Both the Scent Booster Elixir and Botanical ranges cater to the growing consumer desire for authentic sensorial experiences, offering sophisticated fragrances inspired by nature and enriched with essential oils.

Fernanda Costa, Global Fabric Enhancers Marketing Lead, highlights that these launches are part of Unilever’s Growth Action Plan, leveraging strong science and technology to drive category growth. She emphasizes the focus on delivering superior, sustainable, and great-value products, aiming to attract new and lapsed shoppers to the fabric conditioner and scent booster segments.

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