Dye-Free, Perfume-Free July 26, 2009Posted by federalist in Markets, Open Questions.
I was surprised to learn from a discussion with a P&G product manager that dye- and fragrance-free consumer products are only a 5% market niche! This is baffling to me, and not just because I find most artificial fragrances irritating: It’s not like we’re living in primitive conditions where lack of hygiene and sanitation permeate our surroundings with the stench of unwashed animals, waste, and decay.
I suppose nosegays and perfume might still be in order for excursions to the zoo, circus, or municipal waste processing facilities. But why would normal humans in a well regulated household in a civilized community want to immerse themselves in the cacophony of artificial scents from their laundry detergent, fabric softener, dish soap, surface cleaners, bath soap, shampoo, antiperspirant, lotion, etc? And maybe then further compound that with “air fresheners” and colognes?!
As I wondered before: Shouldn’t I be able to buy dye- and perfume-free products at a discount, since they require fewer ingredients and development? Apparently not, and because consumer product companies consider “dye- and fragrance-free” to be a niche market they typically don’t consider removing those ancillary additives until a product line is well established!