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Candles, Diffusers Lead Home Fragrance Sales


Decorative, scented candles have provided a boon to the U.S. home fragrances market, according to Home Fragrances: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities report by market research and management consulting firm Kline.

According to the report, the candle category outpaced the previous year’s growth through 2017, with Internet sales playing an important role in the market’s performance. And while the direct sales channel gained at a rate of 10% in 2017, candle sales through the channel grew above the rate.

Among market developments, Kline noted, Yankee Candle further penetrated the mass market in 2017, while its parent company, Newell Brands, opened it first ever experiential pop-up shop during the holiday season as consumers increasingly crave unique and exclusive shopping experiences. Newell also added WoodWick and Chesapeake Bay Candle brands to its home fragrance portfolio in 2017, becoming an even more important force in the category.

Candles remained the largest product segment in the Home Fragrances category in 2017, contributing more than 41% to overall market sales. In a segment driven by luxury product producers that recorded double average growth, candles emerged as the fastest growing product form in the market, too. Several new luxury marketers enter the segment in 2017, such as Gibson & Dehn and HomeWorx by Harry Slatkin.

Diffusers enjoyed growth and enticed the market by being particularly innovative, Kline noted, with the fragrance meeting technology. New smart scent diffusers from brands like Moodo and Aera gave consumers the ability to control and customize their home scent experiences. New formats, including liquidless reed diffusers offered by Nest and Diptyque, added additional attractiveness to the segment. Still, Kline pointed out, active diffusers particularly drove the segment as marketers focus on bringing consumers new ways to experience fragrance.

“This market, especially the candles category, continues to perform well as consumers remain attracted to these products for their beautiful designs, sensory experiences, and giftable aesthetic,” said Dana Kreutzer, senior analyst in Kline’s Consumer Products Practice, in announcing the report results. “Moreover, E-commerce and technology are transforming this segment with new user experiences, where luxury brands and small start-ups alike are racing to embrace e-commerce, making this channel even stronger.”

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