Following a year of unprecedented value decline, the North American home air freshener category rebounded in 2023 and is expected to continue growing for the next few years. New innovation is attracting consumers back to the category, and several trends are influencing purchase behavior.
Today’s consumers continue to spend more time in their homes working, entertaining, and relaxing. Household activities are evolving, with more focus on personal health and holistic wellness. While the “home as sanctuary” trend is not new, it is compounded by pandemic disruption, economic uncertainty, and global turmoil. Home is increasingly becoming a place for self-care. The candle category is benefitting from this as candlelight is a well-known, easy, and relatively inexpensive way to relieve stress. Fragrance is playing a more significant role in creating sensory experiences, pleasant cleaning routines, and positive home environments. And there is growing demand for products free from potentially harmful chemicals.
According to Euromonitor, luxury products are gaining share in home fragrance, and electric air fresheners were the best-performing category in 2022. The number of homes with smart features is on the rise – especially among younger generations – and tech-savvy consumers appreciate these premium, innovative offerings. More than half of global consumers are actively looking for smartphone connectivity when making purchases (GlobalData). Aera’s smart electric air fresheners can be controlled via an app that schedules and controls scents. As inflation levels normalize, it will help with the development of higher-priced products.
Environmental responsibility is a priority for today’s consumers, with 78% of global consumers considering sustainable / environmentally friendly features essential or nice to have when making purchases (GlobalData). People are more mindful of packaging, driving refillable options across home care categories, including home fragrance. Notes is a candle brand that sells refillable kits containing non-toxic beads which can be used to refill their existing glass container. Wax refills are lighter, easier, and more sustainable to ship, making them an attractive alternative to traditional candles for both consumers and retailers.
Direct-to-consumer subscriptions have become popular in the US across most home care categories, capitalizing on convenience and personalization trends. According to Euromonitor, the use of subscription services has increased across all generations except baby boomers, with millennials using them the most (44%). Vellabox is an air freshener brand that offers monthly subscriptions, including artisanal candles, a surprise lifestyle item, and a curated playlist. These kits create a holistic experience, reinforcing the connection between air care and self-care.
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The brands mentioned in this report are trademarks of their respective owners. Inclusion of these brands in this report is not meant to imply an association with or endorsement from the respective trademark owners.