Agreen ‘Method’ to the madness of laundry detergents
SAN FRANCISCO —Detergents are increasingly going green. More liquid dish and laundry detergents are making their way to the market as consumers opt for environmentally friendly home care products in these categories.
With the elimination of phosphates in detergents becoming an important legal issue in most states, retailers are responding by offering consumers phosphate-free products. “Most green brands already comply and offer efficacious products without phosphates,” said George Shumny, VP sales for Method, which makes green cleaning products including dish soap, hand soap and a recently launched laundry detergent. Method’s sales reached $100 million in 2009.
Shumny called the detergent, launched in early 2010, “the most innovative product launch in the company’s history. Method laundry detergent in 25- and 50-load sizes is incredibly concentrated, highly efficacious, 95% plant-based and very convenient, with a one-handed dispensing pump,” he said. “It’s an efficient and convenient product that allows people to free themselves of the messy, heavy plastic jugs that are terrible for the environment.”
Last year, Clorox Green Works moved into the laundry detergent category with Green Works Natural laundry detergent and Natural laundry stain remover. The detergent is available in three scents and carries the Sierra Club logo on packaging.
Market research firm Mintel credited Clorox Green Works with bringing green products into mainstream conventional supermarkets and drug stores nationwide. According to Mintel, supermarkets saw a huge spike in sales of green cleaning products and increased their market share of the category 16 percentage points from 2007 to 2008 after the brand was introduced. Method’s Shumny said green cleaning products overall are growing more than 200% versus a year ago.
Procter & Gamble recently expanded its Future Friendly environmental responsibility and educational platform, which includes the Gain, Downy and Tide brands. Future Friendly is designed to help educate consumers on how to use P&G products to achieve savings in water, waste and energy. For example, nearly 80% of the energy used in the typical load of laundry is in heating water at the consumer’s home. By washing in cold water with a detergent formula for that application, such as Tide Coldwater, consumers can conserve energy and help reduce their utility bills. So now Tide Coldwater will carry a Future Friendly seal to indicate its energy-saving capabilities.
Mintel found that while drug stores remain a small retail channel for green and natural cleaning products, they have been one of the fastest growing. “The drug channel is seeing tremendous growth in green cleaning,” Shumny said. “Not only are they stocking more green brands, but green store brands have also been introduced and are now on the shelves of chains like CVS and Duane Reade.”
Offering consumers a choice in the detergent category is increasingly important. A recent survey conducted by Braun Research found that 72% of people now say that it is important to them that ingredients in home care products are natural.
NACDS puts a new spin on Meet the Market
SAN DIEGO This year the National Association of Chain Drug Stores introduced two new features to its Meet the Market format. First, NACDS hosted a Meet the Market Presentation Template webinar twice prior to Meet the Market, in which NACDS introduced a meeting template that succinctly captured all of the information retailers typically use to evaluate a new product or company.
Also new to Meet the Market were the booths of 10 service companies — trade media and professional education, merchandising consultants and marketing/media information companies — which afforded an opportunity for new and smaller suppliers to meet with these organizations.
“New companies have a need not only to meet with retailers, obviously, they have a need for their business,” noted Jim Whitman, NACDS SVP meetings and conferences. Another ongoing improvement is the productivity within each meeting, Whitman added. “We keep refining the match, the appointments,” he said.
This year, the Meet the Market format — in which smaller and new suppliers have 10-minute meetings with their category buyers — represented more than 8,000 face-to-face pre-arranged appointments.
Retail clinic growth slowing down? Not a chance
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT The news that Target is looking to expand its retail-based clinic business this year is yet one more indicator that reports of the demise of retail clinic growth have been greatly exaggerated.
(THE NEWS: Target to expand its retail clinic presence. For the full story, click here)
As the article states, Target, which opened its first clinic in 2006, is looking to open up eight new locations this September. It already operates 28 locations in Minnesota and Maryland.
It wasn’t so long ago — April to be exact — that CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic indicated that it could double its current number of clinics in five years.
Why the growth? Well, aside from the aging population and a shortage of primary care physicians, a major catalyst is healthcare reform, which will mean that 32 million people who currently are uninsured will have healthcare coverage. With emergency rooms already overflowing, and primary care physicians already over-extended, having a retail clinic nearby where patients can receive convenient, quality and affordable health care will only become increasingly important.
Meanwhile, RediClinic, which has 22 clinics in H-E-B stores in Houston and Austin, Texas, is cranking up its marketing efforts and has tapped former Duane Reade executive Jeff Thompson as VP marketing. Thompson will be responsible for RediClinic’s consumer and partner marketing activities, including developing and implementing strategic customer acquisition/retention programs, new product delivery and brand strategy.
Thompson most recently served as VP marketing for Duane Reade.
Clearly, there continues to be significant growth opportunities for clinics — both in terms of the number of clinic locations and the scope of services offered within the clinics. As mentioned earlier, there are 32 million reasons why the growth will be quite dramatic.