There have been strong developments in packaging in environmental, convenience and efficiency terms. In particular, portion-control continued to evolve in dishwashing. In 2014, liquid pods/capsules were introduced to ensure the correct measurement for application. The ease of application of a tablet has taken the guess work out of measuring and overdosing, which tends to occur with loose powders. In addition, automatic dishwashing tablets evolved through ranges like Finish Quantum (Reckitt Benckiser), which introduced multi-chamber products that incorporate compact powder for cleaning, with power gel for rinsing and shine. As a result, Finish Quantum automatic dishwashing tablets were the most popular in supermarkets, where the range accounted for a 32% share of retail value sales.
Environmental packaging has also been a strong focus of domestic companies in New Zealand. For example, Ecostore Ltd introduced Carbon Capture Pak throughout its range of products, including home care. This sugar cane-based HDPE packaging is made from 92% renewable content. The packaging is said to reduce the carbon footprint, as the renewable crop captures carbon as it grows. The packaging is also 100% recyclable and used for the more convenient disbursement of laundry detergents.
Recyclable bottles and enviro-refill packs made of flexible plastic, which take up less space in landfill, have already been established in the market. These enviro-packs have been introduced by many manufacturers (not only “green” companies) and grown in popularity in home care categories like dishwashing and laundry care (liquid detergents). Examples of enviro-refill packs in dishwashing include: Down to Earth (450ml); Palmolive (600ml); Pam’s (private label – 750ml); and Sunlight (600ml). Pam’s and Sunlight products feature a pourable spout. In liquid detergents, Cold Power and Dynamo offer a range of enviro-refill packs.
Convenience and efficiency (particularly with the appropriate dosage) are likely to be key factors behind the purchase of home care products, while adding value to the category for manufacturers. Environmentally-friendly or recyclable packaging will also add to the value of the product and attract consumers’ attention.
More home care categories are expected to embrace the portion-control concept. This may see automatic dishwashing and laundry detergents presented in either compact powder form or with a dissolvable wrapper to hold portion-controlled liquid. The aim is to take the guess work out of measuring, overuse and messy spillages, thereby making household chores easier, more convenient and less time-consuming. “Green” companies, along with mainstream manufacturers, are likely to continue to develop more environmentally-friendly packaging, especially containers that are recyclable or require less landfill space. Therefore, the use of concentrated formulations in smaller packaging is likely to be a key driver.