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Canadians care less about ‘green’ cleaning products (Survey)

Consumers are prioritizing disinfection over eco-friendliness to protect their homes from COVID-19

Green’s gone out the squeaky clean window.

In a recent Mintel survey of Canadian household shoppers, 66% agreed that since COVID-19, disinfecting effectiveness is more important than eco-friendly claims on cleaning products.

Meghan Ross, Mintel’s senior research analyst, home and beauty, says even people who were committed environmentalists prior to COVID-19 are essentially trading in the planet’s safety for pandemic safety. “We’re seeing a shift towards the harsh chemicals, even though Canadians really click with assurances from natural brands that they’re sustainable and safe.”

The survey also found that convenience is key, even for eco-shoppers. While consumers 18-34 claim to be environmentally friendly shoppers (57%), they’re most likely to agree they want to save time versus being eco-friendly (55%) when it comes to their household products.

While the environment might be taking a backseat right now, Mintel states that natural household products are poised for growth. The survey found only 3% of natural household shoppers have decreased their usage of natural/eco-friendly products in the past year, with 35% claiming to use them more often. In addition, consumers value natural products for their sustainability (76%) and safety claims (63%), and 41% express a willingness to pay a premium for natural products.

“Green products are in a good position going forward, especially because they’re usually seen as supplementary to traditional brands,” says Ross. “Very few people are using natural brands exclusively, even prior to the pandemic. In addition, Canadians are prioritizing their wellness as a result of the pandemic and want to bring healthy products into their homes... So I think natural household products will weather the storm and come out on the other side.”

When it comes to claims that Canadians expect from natural household products, the top three are: non-toxic (62%), free-from certain ingredients (54%) and sustainably sourced (41%).

Green cleaning products or otherwise, grocery retailers might be facing some competition in the category. Ross says now that many Canadians are more comfortable with shopping for groceries and household items online, direct-to-consumer brands might gain new online customers. “If people are looking for cleaners that they can’t find at their stores, they might start seeking them online,” she says.

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