Acumen Insights

Real Men Clean

By December 12, 2016 No Comments

Cleaning is an undeniable constant in the lives of most Americans, an important and time-consuming task for all. Research from Mintel reveals that men may be doing a sizeable amount of cleaning, as those age 18 to 34 report spending just over six hours (364 minutes) on average personally cleaning their home in one week – much more than women in the same age group (4.8 hours or 287 minutes) and well above the overall consumer average of 4.6 hours (276 minutes). Nearly all (98 percent) respondents state that they have some level of responsibility for cleaning their homes, with three in five (61 percent) claiming to have sole responsibility. While cleaning is a universal chore for consumers of all types, moms, middle aged women and younger men appear to bear the grunt of the work: 79 percent of moms with kids under age 18 in the house, 71 percent of women age 35 to 54 and 68 percent of men age 18-34 take sole responsibility for housecleaning. While moms are typically the core audience for cleaning products, it’s clear that young men are a highly engaged and underserved audience. In addition to spending more time cleaning than virtually any other group, young men are also significantly more likely than the norm to have positive feelings about clean homes (94 percent men 18 to 34 versus 90 percent overall) and to find housekeeping enjoyable (70 percent men 18 to 34 versus 43 percent overall).

It’s clear that among those who clean, most aspire to have regularly tidy homes, with an overwhelming 90 percent agreeing that clean homes leave a positive impression, while more than four in five (86 percent) consumers overall agree that cleaning gives them a sense of accomplishment. In today’s fast-paced society, it’s no surprise that time pressure is a factor in cleaning: three in five consumers agree that they’d keep their homes cleaner if they had more time (60 percent), and that convenience is more important than perfection (58 percent). It is thus not surprising that a comparatively high 65 percent of Americans agree that they’d spend more for products that save time. Consumers seek products that are fast and easy to use, and while they agree that it is important to use environmentally-friendly cleaning products (66 percent), with three in 10 (30 percent) saying that they try to use reusable wipes/cloths, it is clear that disposable cleaning items like wipes and paper towels are here to stay.