Luxury candle sales light up home fragrance market


Praline Pecan Cobbler and the Moss and Sea Mist are not goodies from your favorite beach patisserie, but rather scents trending on the U.S. home fragrances market, which hits another year of record high growth in 2014. Accounting for over 50% of total market sales, the luxury segment continues to drive this market, shedding light on the healthy growth behind several home fragrance categories as found in Kline's Home Fragrances: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities report.

While candles are not considered primary packaging by everyone in package design or marketing roles, they can be a source of cross-pollinating inspiration, especially because the use of electronically powered packaging is growing. With some exceptions, passive diffusers are giving way to power-operated devices under the active segment that increased by nearly 5%. The ease of switch, no risk of spill or burn, modern designs, and new continuous-release technology promising long-lasting fragrance delivery is a turning point behind this migration. Package Design's editors recommend reviewing the category for the genesis of future scent-delivering packages or luxury tins for other products. For example, a powered coconut-scented package for sunscreen could be an exciting proposition on shelf someday. For projects that are less forward looking, the luxury tins and other containers for  candles can be inspiration for high-end personal care or gourmet foods packaging.

Marketers will note that the mass-market candles sales are dimming, but look instead to the package design and marketing tactics of the luxury candles market, which doubled in growth in 2014. Bath & Body Works is one of the largest and fastest growing brands among prestige candles, but smaller brands, such as Nest, RibbonWick, and Dyptique, are the ones igniting the market with strong, double-digit growth and standing out through distinctive, decorative visuals and high tech identity.

"Home fragrance has been a part of home decor since the 1990s when the sales of candles peaked," comments Sagar Gehra, Senior Consultant at Kline. "Nowadays the aesthetic appeal and home decor value continue to be important facets that help marketers stand out and drive product sales across all channels be it prestige or mass. What also helps sell products is creative and giftable packaging ideas that allow consumers to experience the scent while on shelf."