Roy Morgan Research has found that the proportion of Australians who buy soap in an average four-week period has shrunk almost 10% over the last five years, while supermarket house brands have grown to become the fourth most popular soap brand.
The latest data from Roy Morgan shows that after four consecutive annual declines, just 52.8% of Australians aged over 14 years said they purchased bath or toilet soap in an average four weeks in the year to June 2014, down from 58.6% in 2010 (Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, July 2009–June 2014).
In the declining market, Dove managed to maintain a purchase level of around 1 in 8 Australians to overtake Palmolive as the country’s most popular soap in the past year. Palmolive has declined from 13.9% in 2010 to 11.9% now, with only half a percentage point in it for the lead, Roy Morgan Research said.
Of the top five brands, Country Life has suffered the biggest decline over the period, from 10.2% in 2010 to 6.9% now, but remains in third place, ahead of Imperial Leather (5.1%, down 1.5% points) and Lux (4.2%, down 1% point).
The combined penetration of supermarket brands has grown every year since 2010. These are now purchased by 6.4% of Australians in an average four week period (up 1%).
Angela Smith, group account director – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, said that although fewer Australians are buying soap, there has been some growth in the proportion purchasing shower gel or body wash, while liquid hand wash has been fairly steady over the last few years.
“Only a few of the smaller players are up or steady, including Neutrogena, Nivea, Priya and Simple,” she said.