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Catherine Colbert

Detergent Makers Target Men

by Catherine Colbert | Dun & Bradstreet Editor

March 30, 2016 | No Comments »

A seismic shift in detergent manufacturing and marketing is taking place as more men take on the task of doing laundry.

An impressive 67% of millennial males surveyed by Mintel in 2015 said they are “mainly responsible for the laundry,” up significantly from 44% just two years earlier. Nearly 60% of men age 35 to 54, including those who are married, are also taking care of the laundry.

Detergent manufacturers, part of the nation’s $30 billion soap and detergent manufacturing industry, are taking note and incorporating men into their product development and marketing plans. Laundry detergent accounts for the largest portion — 25% — of industry revenue.

Procter & Gamble, a company deeply rooted in soap making, recently upended a 70-year practice of referring to Tide consumers as “she.” To cater to the growing group of men who are cleaning clothes, the world’s largest consumer products company is developing more masculine scents like “Victory Fresh.”

Hero Clean, sold at Target and through Amazon.com, is another detergent brand that has positioned itself as a laundry tool for men. Hero Clean was formulated to wipe away days-old male-lifestyle stains and soils, such as sweat, mustard, beer, gasoline, and grass. The company also addresses men’s tendency to let dirty clothes sit.

Sun Products, which makes and markets All detergent and Snuggle fabric softener, focuses its marketing efforts based on a 70-30 split of women and men.

Men are conscientious clothes washers too. To serve millennial men, the more prolific and picky launderers, detergent manufacturers have begun offering up tips online for fighting stains. Young men, especially those who are cash-strapped, are working to get longer use from their well-culled wardrobes.

Detergent makers are targeting this emerging market while also ensuring they don’t alienate women, who still report doing most of the clothes washing.

Industry Impact — Detergent manufacturers need to consider men as an emerging market for laundry products, while also recognizing that women are still the primary launderers.

Tracking the moves of consumer products makers since 2003, Catherine Colbert is an industry researcher, writer, and blogger. Previously, she spent ample time in magazine publishing, technical writing, ad copywriting, medical writing, and marketing. Follow her on Twitter.


Image courtesy of Hero Clean.

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