U.S. consumers demanding added-value fragrances

U.S. consumers today are beginning to express a desire for fragrances that offer more practical, unique benefits. New research from global market researcher Mintel suggests that while fragrances are part of a daily routine for some, demand is growing for more distinct, nontraditional uses on the fragrance front. To that end, more than six in 10 women (64 percent) and more than half of men (51 percent) who use any scented item would be interested in fragrances that can be worn at night to help them sleep or refresh their sheets.

Shannon Romanowski, beauty and personal care analyst at Mintel, noted that it’s not an uncommon practice for people to spray themselves or their bed linens with a fragrance before going to bed.

“There could be a variety of reasons that people spritz themselves with fragrance before bedtime, but helping to decompress before sleeping is definitely a key objective,” she said. “As consumers may be seeking more natural alternatives to sleeping pills or medication, fragrances that are designed to help aid with sleep could be an opportunity for the category. There are very few fine fragrances positioned as ‘night-specific,’ but there definitely appears to be an opportunity for brands to capitalize on existing consumer behavior.”

As an example on the national brand side, Romanowski pointed to Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble, which recently added a new sub-line called Sleep Serenity to its line of Febreze air and fabric fresheners. The new sub-line includes a variety of formats and scents designed to help people relax and get a better night’s sleep. Additionally, the brand’s web page has a tab for a bedtime plan that is endorsed by the National Sleep Foundation.

Not just for the night

In addition to nighttime fragrances, consumers are increasingly expressing an interest in other added-value fragrances. For example:

  • Sixty percent of consumers would like to try a scent that could help relieve colds and headaches.
  • Fifty-two percent of men aged 18-34 are interested in mobile apps to help them choose a fragrance.
  • Forty-eight percent of consumers report interest in fragrances that offer a cooling or heating sensation.
  • Thirty-five percent of respondents are interested in fragrances specifically made for hair. However, that number jumps to 90 percent among the target group (those who buy scented powder or lotion, make spur of the moment purchases, splurge on themselves, and agree that private label products work as well as branded ones).

“New forms and benefits attract interest from consumers, primarily driven by women and younger consumers, which stands to reason, as these groups tend to be more engaged in the category overall,” Romanowski stated. “However, since fine fragrances in particular tend to be viewed as occasional-use items, added benefits could help to increase usage. Future growth will likely come from users ‘trading up’ to more expensive variants, ancillary items and innovative new product formats and benefits.”

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