The household aisles in the supermarkets are under fire, with discounters and pound shops rounding on the sector.

Instead of slashing prices, many retailers are putting their faith in big brands, like Fairy Liquid, up 0.4% on volumes down 1.1%. Not a bad performance, given hand dishwash volumes are down 4.9% and closest rival Persil is looking all washed up (see right).

“Grocers have adapted their techniques in response to the discounters,” says Ian Morley, head of household at P&G, pointing to a fall in the depth and frequency of deals. “We’ve seen a shift in promotional strategy; this is benefiting premium brands like Fairy.”

And Method, up 52.1% in dishwash and 11.9% in surface care. “We’re not in the discounters,” says UK general manager, Richard Peak. “This allows the supermarkets to really make a point of difference. People still want those affordable luxuries.”

household tpt

‘Luxury’ isn’t a word often heard in reference to household goods, but here it is again: “There’s a huge shift in customers shopping homecare for ‘affordable luxuries’,” says Jerome Lemaire, marketing director at Reckitt Benckiser, of aircare’s growth. Airwick’s new reed diffusers have been a hit, he adds.

So at least one household sector has come up smelling of roses in the supermarkets.


Top launch: You Mapa Spontex

Mapa Spontex is following in the footsteps of other environmentally friendly brands like Method, Ecover and E-cloth with this new range of environmentally friendly cleaning products. Made from 100% plant-based ingredients with no synthetic dyes or perfumes, The You range features four liquid cleaners - all-purpose, kitchen, bathroom and window - available as a 500ml trigger spray bottle (rsp: £3.99), with refills sold in a 12ml capsule format (rsp: £1.99). Looks clean too.