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Home Care in France

France home care market: Unilever increases market share despite concentrated industry

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2014-02-05 07:50:05 - Home Care in France - a new market research report on

Unilever, the leading player in the France home care market, was again able to gain more ground in a rather concentrated competitive landscape in 2012. It is present in several home care categories and has a strong position in a few, such as laundry care and dishwashing products. Its value sales strongly increased in laundry care, where it was the first player to launch the super-concentrated formula of its liquid concentrated detergent and in dishwashing products, the most dynamic category in 2012. Other players experience disparate results whilst private label surprisingly does not benefit from the growing price sensitivity of consumers.

French consumers are turning away from gadgets and mainly too task-specific products such as bathroom cleaners, oven cleaners, polishes and



most laundry aids, and are increasingly willing to pay more for the most convenient and efficient home care products. Thus, they are accepting the super-concentrated variants of liquid detergents that manufacturers pushed into the market towards the end of the historic period, although many consumers continue to overdose. Consumers also welcomed liquid tablet detergents and all-in-one products in automatic liquid dishwashing and surface care. However, after years of impressive growth, the trend towards eco-friendly products weakened in 2012 with consumers perceiving the products as having less efficacy due to their eco credentials.

Hypermarkets is the dominant grocery retail channel in France, and its strength is also applicable in home care as it continues to be a vital part of consumer´s scheduled shopping trips to stock up on home care products. Whilst hypermarkets led value share up to 2012, supermarkets also have high value share and both channels very much control the retail sales of home care due to the planned nature of the product purchases. An emerging channel towards 2012 was unsurprisingly internet retailing. French consumers are increasingly attracted by internet shopping for home care due to the convenience offered – especially in the delivery of the products, which is especially appealing for bulky items.

Home care constant value sales are expected to decline over the forecast period. Apart from dishwashing products, all categories are likely to post declining constant value sales towards 2017. Product maturity will be the key deterrent for growth. In addition, for key categories such as laundry care, the switch to super-concentrated formulae will trigger decline in absolute volume sales, whilst the higher prices of these products will not be significant enough to offset the volume sales decline.

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Mike King
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