New data from the market researcher shows that the household wipes market reached $3.5 billion (in sales value terms) in 2012, and is expected to top approximately $4.82 billion by the end of this year. With a CAGR of 5.7% between 2016 and 2021, sales are expected to climb to around $6.01 billion by 2021.
Cristina Bonaldes, director, marketing, Nice-Pak Products, Inc., continues to see growth in the household wipes market, especially in the disinfecting segment. “Consumers are still concerned about keeping surfaces around them free from bacteria and germs - especially during the cough/cold seasons,” she says. “Regardless of what trends arise, the efficacy of household cleaning products seems to remain a top motivator for consumers. They want to see clean and shiny surfaces that they don’t have to worry about getting sick from.”
Nice-Pak offers a range of wipes for household cleaning, for private label as well as under the Grime Boss brand. The wipes company offers disinfecting varieties with both regular and scrubbing surfaces. Recent developments have focused on adapting wipe technology to provide convenient solutions for some of the more challenging cleaning needs, such as heavy duty cleaning of grease, grime, and dirt as well as the removal of paint and stains. Bonaldes also points out that their Grime Boss brand of wipes feature proprietary technology that offers a durable double-sided wipe with one side that can be used for scrubbing while the other side is smooth and easy on hands and skin during heavy clean ups.
Nice-Pak, based in Orangeburg, NY, recently opened a world-class R&D Innovation Center in Montvale, NJ, which allows the company to do in-house product development, product testing and package development. “This center allows us to combine the innovation efforts of Nice-Pak with that of our sister healthcare company, PDI,” Bonaldes says.
The company also continues to upgrade lines at is Jonesboro, AR, facility, where it produces its proprietary Eco-pak soft packs and travel packs. Nice-Pak’s Jonesboro liquid manufacturing operation is Class I, Div I Explosion Proof, EPA approved and utilizes 150 gpm USP Grade Water Purification systems. Jonesboro also has the capability to do micro and analytical in house testing, which Bonaldes says allows Nice-Pak to ensure quality for both its customers and consumers.
Contract manufacturer Kleen Test Corporation makes a variety of household wipes such as disinfecting wipes, dusting wipes, dye absorbing laundry sheets, environmentally friendly dryer sheets, stainless steel wipes and glass cleaner wipes, among others. New offerings from the Port Washington, WI-based company include a line of hydrogen peroxide based products for cleaning, disinfecting and deodorizing.
According to Mike Wettstein, vice president of sales, Kleen Test, these products have the same efficacy as stronger products such as bleach and quats, but harness the power of hydrogen peroxide to clean the home without harsh chemicals or fumes. “There is no rinsing required and no sticky residue or build-up because all that’s left over is oxygen and water,” he adds.
A current trend Kleen Test is following is the increase in fragrance offerings for various wipes products. “It is not uncommon for us to have requests for more luxurious flavors, as consumers don’t just want their home to be clean, but to smell great as well,” Wettstein says.
Multinational cleaning giant Clorox Company has also taken note of this trend. Clorox, which first entered the disinfectant wipes category in 1999, expanded its range of wipes by featuring two new fragrances. Clorox Scentiva Disinfecting Wipes, which launched in January along with Multi-Surface Cleaners spray bottles, combine the cleaning power of Clorox with two custom blended scents co-developed with top fragrance houses. Hawaiian Sunshine and Tuscan Lavender & Jasmine Scentiva wipes clean, deodorize and disinfect, killing 99% of bacteria and viruses.
“Clorox found that consumers are seeking more intense and unique scent experiences,” says Rina Mussallam, research fellow, Fragrance Innovation, The Clorox Company. “Clorox also recognized that consumers often have to choose between cleaning efficacy and scent, but Clorox Scentiva products work effectively to disinfect and clean, while providing a pleasant scent.”
According to data from the company, Clorox found that 73% of consumers seek new experiences, while 52% are seeking new products. “These products provide the trusted cleaning and disinfecting power of your favorite Clorox products with amazing scents to improve the cleaning experience,” Mussallam says. “Through consumer testing we found that consumers clean more often with Scentiva because they enjoy the scent and consumers are more likely to use it in different areas of the home.”
Other recent innovations from the cleaning products maker tackle dust and other filth around the home. Clorox Scrub Singles for kitchen and bathroom are strong, disposable scrubbing pads designed to conquer the toughest grime on kitchen and bathroom surfaces, like grease or soap scum. Winners of the 2015 World of Wipes (WOW) Award, Scrub Singles pads feature a four-layer construction including an abrasive scrubbing layer, a middle layer to provide loft, a plastic film to act as a soap barrier and a bottom absorbent wipe layer. The pad is dry to the touch and activated with water.
Also launched that year were Clorox Triple Action Dust Wipes. The dry wipe has an interlocking weave that grabs and traps onto dust, hair and allergens. The triple action wipes work like a duster, broom and mop all in one, and are safe for use on furniture, floors, blinds and electronics.
Meanwhile, WipeMeWorld, inventor of wet toilet tissue on a roll, launched its paper-towel sized wet wipes on a roll earlier this year. The Multi Surface Wipes Roll can be used anywhere in the home, killing 99.9% of viruses and bacteria including Avian flu, Rotavirus, E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus.
Ronen Cojocaru, the company’s founder, claims there are a number of reasons why his WipeMe Roll wet wipes are better than traditional household wet wipes that are packaged in canisters.
First, the WipeMe Roll is the only solution available that provides disinfecting wet wipes that fits on any kitchen paper towel holder, so there’s finally a dedicated place for them, unlike canister wipes which are either stored in closets or put somewhere close to the sink, he says. The WipeMe Roll is also intended to replace the traditional kitchen paper towel roll with cleaning spray, by using the nonwoven wet wipes to disinfect hard surfaces. Also, the WipeMe Roll’s individual wipes come in a slightly larger size—20cm x 22cm.
Right now, WipeMeWorld is focused on growing its brand in the disinfecting wipes market. Currently, it is running POCs (Proof of Concept) with a few large vendors that are testing the product to potentially adopt it under an OEM business partnership, POC for end consumers as well as for hospital and medical care centers, according to WipeMeWorld’s vice president of marketing, Merav Frenkel.
A Quick Clean
In 1999, Procter & Gamble’s Swiffer floor cleaning product took the home cleaning—and nonwovens industry—by storm. The sweeping tool features a dry cloth that has deep ridges and grooves that conform to the surface of a floor to trap and lock dirt, dust and hair, making the way floors are cleaned easier and quicker than ever before.
Morgan Brashear, Swiffer scientist, says the idea for Swiffer was conjured up through its consumer research while the company was working on a new Mr. Clean liquid floor cleaner.
“After testing out the new formulation, the consumers were still frustrated by the amount of effort required to get their floors clean. One consumer quote resonated with the P&G team: ‘Don’t give me a better cleaner… give me an easier way to clean.’ The next several years were dedicated to just that – and now we have Swiffer,” she says.
Brashear adds that when Swiffer came to the market nearly two decades ago, it essentially introduced a new cleaning category – the quick clean category. “Swiffer has found success in listening to the consumer and translating inspiration from consumer insights to focusing on providing a way to clean that is quicker and easier than traditional methods,” she says.
Since its launch, the Swiffer brand has expanded by introducing wet pads in 2001, the WetJet with separate cleaning solution in 2002 and the addition of Swiffer Dusters in 2003. While the brand continues to fine-tune its materials and formulations, its most notable upgrade has been made to the WetJet, Brashear says. The company recently added an absorbent strip down the middle of the pad that traps and locks dirt into the core of the pad and acts like a ‘squeegee’ on the floor to reduce streaking and hazing. The solution has also been improved to be quicker drying.
This year, Swiffer is marking its 18th “birthday” by going on a mission to show consumers that using Swiffer is one way to make life easier as an adult.
“Throughout the coming months we will be highlighting different ‘adulting’ moments you encounter in life – bringing home a new pet, taking care of a home, hosting parties, etc. – sharing tips on how to tackle those moments and how Swiffer can help make things easier,” Brashear says.
In launching its campaign called “If You’ve Got A Life, You Gotta Swiffer!” – the brand teamed up with “Dancing with the Stars” dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy, and Kelly Williams Brown, author of “Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps,” to show consumers that while ‘adulting’ is hard, Swiffer makes it easy.
During a Swiffer birthday celebration, Chmerkovskiy unveiled an exclusive dance to “samba your way to a clean home.” Meanwhile, Williams Brown demonstrated how to quickly clean and prepare any home before a dinner party, regardless of how much time there is to clean.
For wipes marketers, product differentiation is key, and nonwovens producers are up to the task by providing new substrate innovations that offer new functions in household cleaning.
Late last year, Kimberly-Clark Professional Partnership Products launched Dual-Texture Hydroknit Material. This wet wipe base sheet combines the company’s dual-texture meltblown and its Hydroknit Material.
Leighann Burke, customer marketing manager, Kimberly-Clark Professional Partnership Products, says that Dual-Texture Hydroknit is different from other wipes substrates on the market because it has a scrubby side made of dual-texture meltblown fabric, and a strong, absorbent, cloth-like side made of Hydroknit Material. “Both traditional spunlace and Kimberly-Clark’s Hydroknit Material use a hydroentangling process with water jets to entangle the fibers together,” she explains. “Spunlace is commonly produced from a web made from staple fibers through a dry formed, carded system while the Hydroknit basesheet is produced from a wetlaid process. Hydroknit Material has exceptional wet-strength relative to a lot of other spunlace fabrics that use carded or airlaid fibers.”
The new base sheet overcomes the limitations of single-attribute wipes, Burke says, and offers additional cleaning performance, giving wet wipes makers an opportunity to add value to their product offering.
Dual-Texture Hydroknit Material releases fluid more evenly and longer than other substrates, allowing consumers to clean more space with each wipe. It cleans tough, stuck-on grime; and it absorbs, removes and contains contaminants, hair, dust and lint. It can be used for a number of cleaning tasks throughout the home, including kitchen counters, sinks, toilet seats, bath tubs, doorknobs, light switches, garbage cans and refrigerator exteriors. “It’s perfect for consumers who value deep mechanical cleaning, but who aren’t concerned with disinfecting,” Burke says.
Meanwhile, Finnish nonwovens producer Suominen has introduced its Designer Series patterns for nonwovens for both baby care and household wiping applications. The Designer Series contains unique high-resolution patterns designed exclusively for Suominen by professional designers and validated with consumers to convey softness and functionality in cleaning.
Commercial production of these patterns was made possible by investing more than €60 million ($65.7 million) in Suominen’s production technology in North America, Europe and South America.
Jon Arendt, product manager, says the graphics for the designs were captured from over 10 countries around the world with the intention of encompassing cross-cultural variants on what “softness” and “clean” look like from a multi-cultural perspective. “Generally speaking, ‘soft’ designs tend to have more curved features while ‘clean’ designs typically have more angular features,” he says.
“When the team started with the Designer Series, we took an approach no other company in the nonwovens industry had taken before. We partnered with professional designers whose interpretation really challenged Suominen to test what its improved production technology is capable of,” Vish Mazumder, product development manager, explains. “Another unprecedented step in product development for a nonwovens company like Suominen was when we went to ask consumers which patterns they found softest and most functional in cleaning. The patterns that, according to integration of multi-sourced data points, resonated best with consumers are now available in the Designer Series selection.”
Arendt adds, “Design Series is the culmination of great work by so many, namely our operations and R&D teams. With the process and consumer insights gathered, combined with customer feedback, we look forward to triangulating this into products that deliver meaningful business results for our customers. We believe that working in this way continues Suominen’s paradigm shift to being a market driven product leader.”