Australian toilet care sector posting a 1% sales decline

Press release   •   May 01, 2013 14:22 BST

Growth within the Australian toilet care market has slowed dramatically as consumers begin to place less importance on the area in contrast to laundry care and dishwashing. In 2012, the area posted a 1% decline in current retail value sales - a performance which compares poorly with the past five years.

Toilet liquids performed the best due to sustained manufacturer activity. Harpic White and Shine was supported by heavy advertising spend while Unilever's Domestos expanded into the area and bleach heavyweight White King gained prominence.

Under the new leadership of local manufacturer Pental Products, White King continues to aggressively move into other areas, including toilet care, as it moves away from its traditional territory. White King's association with bleach is perceived as a key advantage in toilet care where a strong cleaning and antibacterial agent is seen as necessary. Despite all this activity, toilet liquids sales fell slightly in 2012.

Reckitt Benckiser's Harpic remained the leading brand in toilet care in Australia in 2012 with a value share of 31%. The brand remains dominant in toilet liquids, where it recorded a retail value share of 46% in 2012 and also accounted for 25% of value sales within the larger ITBs area. Harpic's leading position can be attributed to the fact it is one of the few brands to have a significant presence across all toilet care areas.

The brand receives widespread advertising support. For example, over the review period Harpic launched a mass advertising campaign featuring a television commercial in which various men apologised for their wrongdoings in the bathroom and Harpic was promoted to help them "clean up their act." The campaign also included a website where consumers could publically apologise for their behaviour and be admitted onto the "dishonour roll."

A lack of innovation and advertising means toilet care sales will continue to decline through to 2017. Toilet care was particularly affected by cautious consumer spending over 2012, with manufacturers unable to entice Australians with an attractive value proposition in the aftermath of "cageless" innovation.

Given the maturity of the area, growth is expected to mainly derive from marketing activities as well as on-going product developments catering to consumers‟ persistent demand for convenience.

For more information on the Australian toilet care market, see the latest research: Australian Toilet Care Market

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