Consumers may have suffered through a recession in 2008 and 2009 but the household cleaning and supply industry escaped largely unscathed. Perhaps consumers were forced to terminate their housekeeping services and turn to their own mops and brooms during periods of unemployment. The need to clean caused consumers to purchase more supplies to get the job done, resulting in industry sales of over $5.6 billion in 2009.

Here’s a tally of 2009 growth in specific categories:

  • Disinfectants $361 million (+9.1%)
  • Rug cleaners $225 million (+6.2%
  • Household sponges/cloths (+4.2%)
  • Scouring pads (+3.8%)

Writing for Facts, Figures & the Future, Phil Lempert notes that spring has traditionally been a strong selling period for the products associated with cleaning. However, in looking at consumer spending patterns, he found “a second peak cleaning period of the year that looks similarly strong in unit and dollar sales of household cleaners and household supplies.” That second selling peak occurs during Quarter 3 – or the months of July, August, and September. Lempert ties the increased sales to a couple of major events. First, students who are moving into dorm rooms may be stacking up on cleaning supplies to maintain their living facilities for the fall semester. Second, families are returning from summer vacation and getting their homes in order during the fall – before the start of the holiday party season.

Either way, these consumer spending patterns point to a new opportunity for marketers to advertise cleaning supplies for a longer period of time each year.

[Source: Lempert, Phil. Facts, Figures & the Future, February, 2010]