This week in laundry: millennials accused of dragging fabric softener sales to an all-time low
Out of all the things millennials have been accused of ruining this year, fabric softener has got to be the most intriguing.
News of this newfangled accusation first appeared in the Wall Street Journal, which reported that multinational consumer goods manufacturer Procter & Gamble’s fabric softener sales have been on the decline for over a decade now, due in part to the fact that millennials do not know what the product is for.
P&G, which accounts for more than 50 percent of the U.S. liquid softener market with popular brands like Downy and Gain, linked the drop to Gen Y’s eco-conscious tendencies which have been linked to a statistically significant reticence in using chemical products at home.
The company’s most prominent brand Downy, for instance, has witnessed a blistering 26 percent decline in sales between 2007 and 2015 in the US, thus dragging the entire country’s fabric softener sales down by 15 percent over the past eight years.
But P&G is not giving up the fight just yet. After rebranding the product as ‘fabric conditioner’ in the hopes of appealing to the younger generation, the he consumer goods giant has introduced an ad where a GoPro in placed inside a washing machine to show viewers how laundry can wreak havoc on their clothes.
“Downy helps protect your clothes from 100 times the G force of a space rocket launch,” the ad reads, ultimately featuring a detergent alone vs. fabric conditioner split-screen comparison. The ad has been viewed over 10 million times since its launch, with tons of mixed reactions from viewers who took to the comments section to express their frustration at the process.
This being said, and with the existing evidence of millennials financial troubles and accumulating student debt, it is safe to say that fabric softener, regardless of its sweet smell, marketable virtues and apparent usefulness, is sadly far from being on their long list of priorities for the coming years.
However, it seems things are doing slightly better for the company who is just starting to see an increase in sales after years and years of decline, due in part to a new innovation dubbed ‘Scent Beads’ which act like deodorant but for clothes.