The coronavirus pandemic has raised consumer interest in enhancing wellness in the home
Creating a healthy home environment has never been more important to consumers, particularly with increasing numbers of people working, studying and staying at home because of the COVID-19 crisis.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends humidifiers to provide relief from the dry cough and sore throat from the coronavirus.
Humidifiers can play a key role in creating healthier homes. Relative humidity should stay between 40% to 50%, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and Allergy Standards Limited (ASL) which administer the Asthma & Allergy Friendly Certification Program.
The winter season normally is the most popular period for in-home humidification as consumers look to offset the impact of drier air and prevent dry skin, chapped lips and dry eyes. The cold, dry air typically associated with heating season in the northern regions of the country coupled with a rise in births among Millennial couples are invigorating sales of humidifiers.
Overall consumer interest in general wellness is having a salutary impact on sales of humidifiers, which retailers are positioning as a key element in creating a healthy home during the winter months. At the same time, medical research has shown that there is a strong correlation between dry air and viral infections, such as the flu, colds and measles, as well as many bacterial infections; the studies have shown that a “sweet spot” for indoor air is between 40% and 60% relative humidity.
Humidifier sales benefitted from this publicity last year, before the coronavirus outbreak, with dollar and unit sales increasing 12%. The increases come on the heels of more than 20% increases the preceding year, indicating that humidifiers are gaining more floor space at retail. And consumer purchase intent remains strong: 20.3% of consumers surveyed in the 2020 Forecast said that they intended to purchase a humidifier, ranking it fifth in terms of home environment purchases.
Distribution remains strongest among discounters, as well as home centers and hardware stores, and online purchases are gaining in importance. Retail pricepoints reflect the emphasis on these channels of distribution, with nearly three-quarters, 71.6%, of consumers surveyed saying they expect to pay less than $60 for a humidifier.
Interestingly, more than a fifth of consumers surveyed, 22.4%, expect to pay more than $100 for a unit, which may reflect a growing trend towards larger and more full-featured units that incorporate essential oil diffusers and aromatherapy.
With more consumers turning to humidification as a way to improve their home’s environment, suppliers continue to step up their product design efforts that further mesh the utilitarian nature of the item with aesthetics that fit comfortably with a room’s decor. New designs range from sleek, modernistic silhouettes for updated living spaces to whimsical animal shapes and colorful designs for children’s rooms.