Unilever’s Acquisition of The Laundress by the Numbers

Unilever’s recent acquisition of eco-friendly startup The Laundress was likely influenced by rising health and environmental consciousness having a growing influence on purchasing decisions across Unilever’s areas of operation.

According to our data:

  • The global home care market was valued at USD 155.6 billion in 2018
  • In 2018, the five largest home care markets in the world were the USA, China, Japan, Brazil, and India
  • In 2018, Unilever was the second largest home care company with a 10.5% market share of the global home care market
  • Unilever’s largest home care markets are in India, Brazil, China, Argentina, and the UK

“Unilever’s decision to acquire premium laundry and home care brand Laundress is a logical step in the company’s expansion strategy and is the reflection of a broader trend within the market. The company is tapping into an increasingly relevant niche market for green laundry care and cleaning products. This is very similar to SC Johnson’s acquisition of the green-label brands Method and Ecover toward the end of 2017 and hints at a general trend among FMCG multinationals. Acquiring a brand that has proven successful to extend its portfolio and to expand into a new market segment is increasingly being used as a quick way in for big players in the industry.

This development is strongly linked to increased demand among consumers – primarily in developed markets – for premium home care products positioned as eco-friendly. A growing concern about the impact of consumables on the environment and a growing awareness towards the subject has led to the emergence of decidedly environmentally-friendly brands in all FMCG industries. Through its acquisition, Unilever is buying into Laundress’ green image and existing shelf space in a product category the company has so far been under-represented in.

We can expect to witness further acquisitions of this kind to take place in the months and years to come.”

– Filip Hoffmann-Haeussler, Senior Home & Tech Analyst

Concerns over our impact on the environment are expanding to the home care market. To learn more download the Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2019 report.