The health and beauty industry is one which is both interesting and complex. For this month’s research report we decided to pair this with asking questions on household cleaning goods. The aim was to try and discover if there are any similarities or differences between the decisions you make on what cleans you vs what cleans your home!
To delve into this topic we surveyed 1000 nationally representative, working-age consumers across the Republic of Ireland to find out their opinions on this ever-changing industry. The results have been explained below.
Our findings revealed that consumers have changed how they make buying decisions most notably with a division between those who favour natural products and those who favour sustainable products. Certain cohorts of consumers have strong feelings towards the ingredients that are in their products whereas, for some, it is not on their radar at all. Factors such as Covid-19 have also played a part in this. For a full breakdown, read below.
First analysing the frequency of purchase, 34% of respondents purchase health and beauty products at least once per month. The next common time frame was once every 2 weeks where 21.80% of people purchase. Most notably, 36% of people who buy health and beauty products every 6 months are 35-44 and 36% are 25-34. Examining in terms of gender, of those who never purchase health and beauty products, 92.31% are male.
76% of respondents purchase toiletries, deodorants and body spray most often. Oral care and haircare were also popular products that are purchased often. The top three categories females purchase are feminine care, haircare and beauty and skincare.
Examining ingredients, only 32.80% of participants sometimes think about ingredients in their health and beauty products. A mere 12.69% of people very often think about the ingredients in their health and beauty products. Out of the participants who claim they think about the ingredients in their health and beauty products, only 18.75% are 18-24. Out of those who state they never think about the ingredients in their health and beauty products, 67.83% of those are male.
When asked how often respondents purchase household cleaning goods, 30.62% of people said they purchase the goods at least once per month. The second to this was once every 2 weeks and the third was once per week. 100% of the respondents who claim they ‘never’ purchase household cleaning goods are 18-24. Out of the people who purchase household cleaning goods a few times per week, 34.21% of them are 35-44.
When participants were asked which household goods they purchase most often – washing up liquid and laundry detergent were the most common, over 79% claimed these were the most common for them. Kitchen cleaners and bathroom cleaners were the second most common products to purchase. When asked how often they purchase household cleaning goods, out of those who said never, 80% are male. The most common types of cleaners for males to buy are carpet cleaners and window cleaners.
Unsurprisingly, price was the most important factor for respondents when purchasing household cleaning goods. Second to this was the elimination of germs with 25.60% of people claiming this. Out of the respondents that listed sustainable packaging as the most important factor 39.58% were 35-44. Also interesting was that out of the respondents that listed natural ingredients as are most important, 25.71% were aged 55+.
32.31% of respondents sometimes think about the ingredients in their household cleaning products. 22.70% seldom think about ingredients and 15.56% never think about ingredients in their household cleaning products. Of those who never think about the ingredients in their household cleaning products, 59.87% of those are male.
The question of sustainability vs natural ingredients was posed in two contexts during this study. Both are topical subjects and ones which different people but different weights on. We, therefore, decided to see if there is a difference between the purchase decision of personal health and beauty products and the purchase decision of cleaning products.
In terms of health/beauty purchasing, interestingly, 37.89% of respondents are likely to pay more for a health/beauty product with natural ingredients (ie. containing pure ingredients that have been derived from nature). In huge contrast to those who are very likely to pay more for a health/beauty product with natural ingredients, 59.73% are female and of those who are very unlikely, 67.27% are male.
Interestingly, there is an even split between people who are likely to pay more for a health/beauty product made with sustainable packaging and people who are neither likely/unlikely to pay more – both had selections made by 34.49%. Of those who are very unlikely to pay more for a health/beauty product made with sustainable packaging, 58.21% of those are male.
Out of the respondents who were either likely to pay more for a product with natural ingredients or a product with sustainable packaging (633 respondents) – 66.72% considered natural ingredients the most important. A mere 22.43% considered sustainable packaging to be the most important. Out of the people who chose sustainable packaging as more important to them than natural ingredients, 27.46% were 25-34. Interestingly, when choosing between sustainable packaging and natural ingredients – of those who chose natural ingredients, 59.31% were female and of those who sustainable packaging, 57.04% are male.
There is a vast difference to the responses on health and beauty products – many participants see no difference in the importance between sustainability and natural ingredients (44.40%) when purchasing household cleaning goods. 27.55% of respondents see sustainability as somewhat more important than natural ingredients. 21.31% of respondents that claim sustainability is much more important to them than natural ingredients are 18-24. With household cleaning products, males have a preference for sustainability whereas females have a preference towards natural ingredients.
Linking Covid-19 to this added extra depth to the research and also due to the increased prevalence it is having on our lives, we asked participants of the survey if the Covid-19 Pandemic had changed their purchasing of health, beauty or household cleaning goods.
38.16% of respondents agreed that their purchasing habits had changed. Second to this was 29.14% of people who neither agree/disagree that the Covid-19 Pandemic has changed their purchasing habits of health, beauty or household goods. There was a staggering statistic that 40.29% of 35-44 year-olds strongly agreed that ‘The Covid-19 Pandemic had changed their purchasing habits of health, beauty or household cleaning goods. 71.11% of those who strongly disagreed that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed their purchasing of health, beauty or household cleaning goods were men.
Of those who agreed that Covid-19 has changed their purchasing habits, 64.31% claimed that they now ‘Purchase products that eliminate germs better. When asked about the main change that the Covid-19 Pandemic has had on their purchasing, 31.48% of those that purchase products that are available locally to them are 35-44. Interestingly also, out of the people who purchase products with sustainable packaging, 31.11% of those are 25-34. Of those who claim that Covid-19 has meant they purchase products that eliminate germs better, 61.42% of those are female.
Taking this into account, it is difficult to predict if Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the drives towards sustainability and natural ingredients. However, it is important for brands to keep this in mind, always considering the next topical subject affecting consumers. It is clear there are vastly different consumer segments with each group demanding something different from their products. Brands must be aware of these, constantly analysing and targeting these groups and continuing to ask, ‘What is important to you right now?’.
This research was conducted by Bounce Insights on 28 October 2022. 1000 nationally representative participants were surveyed
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