Premium Candles Buck Trends


Posted on July 11, 2012 @ 08:33 am



A recent report from Kline & Company found that consumers opting for high-involvement wax melts have transformed the total category sales into the fastest growing within the 2011 home fragrances market. In addition, the study, Home Fragrances: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities, says sales for premium-priced home fragrance products rose just over 4%, in contrast to the decline seen in mass market products.

Scented candles – the cornerstone of the home fragrance market – post 3.3% growth in 2011. With little true product innovation, growth in sales was fuelled by premium-priced candles available in specialty and department stores, as well as through websites like candleoffmain.comand candleluxury.com.

More unexpected developments within the home fragrances market are seen in 2011. While diffusers and room sprays have been slowly gaining market share in recent years, the introduction of lower priced products resulted in the diffusers’ market suffering a rare decline.

The category plunge would have been greater if not for the introduction of less expensive, visually colorful alternatives, such as Air Wick’s Flip & Fresh and Febreze’s Set & Refresh. The successfully simpler look of these products combined with aggressive advertising strategies paid off and piqued consumers’ interest. Similarly, long-lasting fragrance claims, such as Bath & Body Works’ Scentportable, contribute to the category’s growth by offering consumers overt value for the money.

Marketers’ attention also tended to shift slightly away from diffusers to car-interior fresheners causing additional declines in sales in the former category. Simmerings followed a similar path as manufacturers replaced them with increasingly popular wax melts. The upshot of this product mix shift resulted in 50% increase in sales in 2011, boosted further by rapid growth of the direct sales company Scentsy. With warmers in the total sales mix, Scentsy has achieved revenue growth in the high triple-digits each year since the company’s founding.

“This is an interesting turn in the market,” enthuses Karen Doskow, Industry Manager, Consumer Products Practice. “Wax melts is the type of product that demands a high-involvement on behalf of the consumer, and products requiring additional effort tend to see a pattern of declining sales. This trend was seen in candles a few years ago when consumers switched to products such as plug-in or reed diffusers. Another interesting development is that the popularity of wax melts is spreading to mass merchandisers outlets, such as Walmart.”

With the evermore time-crunched consumers’ changing shopping habits, resulting in fewer shopping trips, sales of home fragrance products through the Internet have soared with double-digit growth. The direct sales channel registers the strongest gain in 2011 due to stellar sales through the Internet, plus strong sales growth for Scentsy.

Home Fragrances: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities provides marketers with the insights and data necessary to work with consumer behavior, and changes within the market, and consequently grow their brand sales. This report includes comprehensive analysis of industry trends, market size and growth, and profiles on key marketers. Sales data is provided for the overall market, at the category level, and by company and brand.