There’s an intriguing confluence of issues that are impacting the home cleaning products category as consumer demand for products remains strong.
Shoppers continue to seek out items that rid their homes of viruses and bacteria. But they want those products to be eco-friendly, and they are also more selective in the items they buy given the price increases seen over the past year.
For suppliers such as CleanWell, this combination of consumer needs is providing growth opportunities. Officials with the Denver-based company, which dropped its retail brand in the back half of 2022, is focused on developing products for B2B and B2C partners with a focus on private brands.
Stew Lawrence, CEO of CleanWell, said interest in the company’s products is coming from larger chains, with several looking for eco-friendly items.
“When you look at the back label of some of the conventional (cleaning) products, they talk about needing to wear gloves and eye protection and to wash clothing after using,” he said. “And more people today are reading labels and are looking for alternatives.”
As retailers look to bring products to their shelves that are safer to use and don’t contain harsh chemicals, they are challenged to understand and conform to requirements from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While some larger retailers are equipped to deal with EPA guidelines, smaller retailers usually are not. This prevents them from developing a private brand assortment of cleaners.
Lawrence noted that CleanWell’s expertise is focused on bringing a company’s idea to market through pre-formulation, formulation development and commercial development. Its approach to partnership and product development allows the company to consider a project inclusive of team members, deadlines, budgets and desired finished product.
When announcing its decision to end production of branded products, the company said its emphasis on partnerships builds on the success of CleanWell’s longtime affiliations with Seventh Generation, Benefect, simplehuman and other brands that have leveraged CleanWell’s technology to deliver green cleaning solutions using no chlorine or quaternary ammonium compounds, alcohols, hydrogen peroxide or other harsh chemicals.
According to the company, the active ingredient in all CleanWell-designed products is Thymol, an EPA-approved, broad spectrum plant extract that kills 99.9% of household germs including the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The combination of Thymol and CleanWell’s choice of inactive ingredients enables partners to make better-for-you claims that can differentiate their products in the marketplace, the company said.