According to Euromonitor International, home care packaging showed minimal volume growth over 2011-2016, at a 1% CAGR, to amount to almost 83 billion units in 2016.

Asia Pacific and the Middle East and Africa are the only two dynamic regions driving volume growth, led by India and the Philippines, while other regions are seeing more moderate growth or stagnation.

Emerging countries continue to drive volume sales

Mylan Nguyen, packaging analyst at Euromonitor International comments, “Flexible plastic has a strong presence in laundry detergents, accounting for 69% of packaging globally. The pack type is particularly prevalent in Asia Pacific, where consumers are more price sensitive and where volume sales of laundry detergents in flexible plastic account for an impressive 85% of packaging. In other developing regions, flexible plastic is also the dominant pack type for laundry detergents; however, other packaging also have a strong presence, such as folding carton and HDPE bottles. Meanwhile, in developed markets, flexible plastic packaging plays a much smaller role in home care. The pack type is present in laundry detergents in Turkey and Germany, mainly in larger pack sizes of 3kg and 1.3kg. In developed countries, the pack type’s main applications are typically for wipes, such as in the US, Germany, France and the UK.”

Family sizes also a value proposition for laundry care in China

Nguyen continues, “Affordability is not all about small formats; larger pack sizes can also represent value for money. For instance, while flexible plastic remains the main pack type for laundry detergent in China, consumers increasingly prefer laundry detergents in HDPE bottles, particularly in larger bottles of two litres and above. This is driven by consumers with higher disposable incomes wanting to save money without compromising with the product’s convenience of use. In 2016, Nice Group, which holds a19% value share of the laundry detergent market in China, launched a 3.5-litre HDPE bottle for its Chaoneng brand (pictured) to respond to higher demand for family size laundry detergents.

Affordable pack sizes and packaging are key when targeting price-conscious consumers. Choosing the right pack size and pack type can help brand owners and packaging manufacturers to keep prices low, in order to ensure that products remain affordable and are marketed at the right price point. Also to be considered is the growing ageing population. While some will have significant purchasing power, most are likely to be restricted to a fixed income from their pensions or savings. This will make them more likely to be thrifty consumers, and affordability will become increasingly relevant to them in their advanced years.”