The French Air care market registered growth of 3% in 2012 with sales reaching €429 million.
After several lean years, air care products seem to be in favour again with French consumers. This is logical: scents are playing a growing role in the product mix of laundry detergents, dishwashing and even in many cosmetics - in beauty and personal care.
Thus, in this period of return towards the home, the recovery of air care is logical, mainly if manufacturers support sales with a higher advertising budget and level of innovation than usual.
Figures do not lie: current value sales of air care increased by 5% in 2011 and by 3% in 2012. This is much higher than the current value compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2% of the category seen over the past five years.
Prior to 2011, air care suffered from limited promotional support. Without improvement purchasing power and with low prospects for economic recovery, consumers continued to limit their expenditure, especially on those products they considered as non-essential, such as air care products.
According to a recent market report, 'Air Care in France,' the main growth drivers in 2012 were electric air fresheners, spray/aerosol air fresheners and mainly candle air fresheners, which enjoyed two consecutive years of double-digit growth in 2011 and 2012.
The niche candle air fresheners suddenly took off in the last couple of years thanks to successful innovations from the three mainstream players in air care, a relatively low unit price, a more aesthetic design and a more eco-friendly image than most other air care products.
Car air fresheners still saw the biggest decrease in current value of 7% in 2012, in part because of the new economic slowdown, which forces consumers to move towards more necessary or convenient products. Such products were also much trendier at the beginning of the last decade, when Sara Lee boosted sales of its Ambi-Pur brand here.
Air care has one of the most concentrated environments of the market, with the three leading multinationals, Reckitt Benckiser France, SC Johnson and Procter & Gamble France accounting for more than the two thirds of the category value sales in 2012.
Holding a 29% value share, Reckitt Benckiser France is by far leader thanks to its presence in all categories. The company usually offers new products in line with consumers' expectations. SC Johnson, with its Brise and Oust brands, ranked second with a 22% value share.
For more information on the French air care market, see the latest research: French Air Care Market
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