Cleaning and Laundry Products Preferences of Urbanised Malaysians


( – Rapid growth in Southeast Asia’s urban centres is creating new demand for fast, efficient and convenient household cleaning and laundry products, according to Nielsen’s latest global survey on home cleaning and laundry habits.

The Nielsen report highlights product efficacy and convenience as the most sought-after product attributes by Malaysian consumers seeking to buy cleaning and laundry products.

The Nielsen Global Homecare Survey polled more than 30,000 online respondents in 61 countries to understand cleaning and laundry behaviours and sentiments around the world.

Efficiency and value are at the top of Malaysian consumers’ list of most important attributes in a home cleaning product.

More than eight in 10 Malaysians say good price/value (85%) and performance (it cleans well) (82%) is important when selecting a household cleaning product.

About three-quarters of Malaysians also say previous experience with a product (77%) and a trusted brand name (72%) are also important attributes they look out for when selecting household cleaning products. (See chart 1).

The survey further revealed about a third of Malaysian respondents also say that convenient product packaging that is easy to use or store (69%) and packaging size that fits family needs (64%) as key traits when choosing their preferred household cleaning products.

“Urbanization largely means smaller storage spaces, and as a result availability of a range of pack sizes, concentrates and multi-use/multi-function products is key,” notes Leggett.

“Mode of transport in Southeast Asia is also a key factor in determining pack design – with many using public transport or a motorcycle as their primary means of transport, creating demand for light and easy-to-transport products.”

Modern retail channels are the preferred choice of store for purchasing cleaning products, even in Malaysia where traditional trade still reigns for everyday shopping.

In Malaysia, 80% of respondents purchased household cleaning products from a large retail chain (such as a mass merchandiser or hypermarket) in the past 12 months, compared to 77% globally.

Only 28% of respondents in the nation purchased cleaning products from a small, family-owned shop in the past year. (See Chart 2).

Digital retail channel are yet to gain any significant traction in Malaysia when it comes to purchasing household cleaning products.

Just 13% of respondents have purchased household-cleaning supplies from an online retailer in the past 12 months, compared to 23% globally.

More than one in four respondents cleans their home every day (27%) with about two thirds of respondents saying that it is very important that their bedroom (67%), bathroom (62%) and kitchen (62%) are clean.

Over three in five Malaysian consumers say effectiveness (69%) and multi-purpose (63%) are top benefits when considering which all-purpose cleaner to buy in keeping their homes clean. (See chart 3).

When it comes to laundry, about one third of Malaysia consumers do their laundry two or more times per week (33%) while only one in five Malaysians do their laundry once a week (20%).

In terms of purchasing laundry detergent, Malaysian consumers’ list performance and practically as top attributes when making a choice – 60% say stain removal and 57% say ability to use detergent on all types of items as the main feature they seek in a laundry detergent.

Over half of the respondents also look out for high-efficiency products (56%) (ie. products that require less water) and products that offer a pleasant scent/fragrance (52%). (See chart 4).

“Consumers’ fast-paced lives is driving demand for products that reduce the time spent on cleaning tasks, are easy to use, clean quickly and deliver superior results,” observes Leggett.

Responsibility for purchasing household cleaning and laundry products largely mirrors who is doing the cleaning—with even greater female influence.

Nearly half of respondents (44%) in Malaysia say the female head of household buys the majority of cleaning products, more than one-quarter (30%) say it’s a shared responsibility and about one in five (21%) say the male head of household is responsible for the majority of household cleaning and laundry product purchasing decisions.

Chart 1: Top 10 attributes that Malaysian consumers consider when selecting a household cleaning product

Source: Nielsen Global Survey on Homecare Section, 2015

Chart 2: Top 5 channels where consumers purchase their household cleaning products in the last 12 months (Malaysia vs. Global)

Source: Nielsen Global Survey on Homecare Section, 2015

Chart 3: Top 10 benefits that Malaysian consumers seek when purchasing all-purpose cleaner

benefit purchase household

Source: Nielsen Global Survey on Homecare Section, 2015

Chart 4: Top 10 benefits that Malaysian consumers seek when purchasing laundry detergent

benefit purchasing laundary detergent

Source: Nielsen Global Survey on Homecare Section, 2015

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