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Green & Easy

SpecialChem / Ava Caridad – Dec 14, 2005

Sales of household cleaners fell 2% during the past year, according to Information Resources, Inc. (IRI). With the exception of toilet bowl cleaners, most other categories have shown a steady decrease (See box, below). Yet, while many players in the segment struggle to find growth, Procter & Gamble continues to build share. "P&G is the only company with real momentum. It's a soft market for everyone else," observed Ken Wasik, director of the consumer product group at Houlihan, Lokey, Howard & Zukin, an investment banking firm. Some marketers are trying to attract a following by offering an "all natural" product, a cleaner that can do the job and do it well, without some of the chemicals found in more traditional cleaners. Gemtek Products, for instance, manufactures a line of sustainable, bio-based cleaners, solvents, lubricants and specialty chemicals derived from soy, corn, palm, peanut, jojoba, linseed, safflower, sunflower, mustard and various nut oils such as walnut and almond. Other marketers are trying to attract that same "green" consumer.

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