In our new Covid reality, we probably all know more about bacteria than we ever really wanted to. Who could have imagined 18 months ago that we would know the exact number of minutes needed for optimum handwashing? Or that how long a virus can survive on a kitchen counter could become a valid subject of dinner conversation?

Home hygiene has become a priority for all of us, and even if restrictions are being loosened in some areas, it is a trend that seems to be here to stay. A recent omnibus study by Streetbees showed that 40-50% of consumers in most markets globally are cleaning more frequently than before.

How clean and green is driving growth in home care

Consumers are also becoming more discerning about what’s in the products they are using and the effect they may have on the health of people and the planet.

“At the same time as cleaning products become engrained in consumers’ daily lives, so too do their expectations for products that are safe and sustainable, as well as effective,” says Peter ter Kulve, President, Home Care and Wellbeing. “Unilever has tracked a direct desire for natural-first cleaning solutions.”

Accenture’s 2020 global consumer habits research found that 61% of consumers surveyed claimed they were making a more conscious effort to buy more environmentally friendly, sustainable or ethical purchases, compared to pre-pandemic.

And that extended to ingredients too, with Kantar's 2020 Who Cares, Who Does study finding that 64% of all shoppers wanted natural ingredients in their products.

The sensitivity of personal hygiene with the power of home care

To meet demand from consumers seeking disinfectants that will help keep them safe, while at the same time being kinder to them and the planet, Lifebuoy has developed Unilever’s first pH-neutral disinfectant.

“The products in the range combine the sensitivity of personal hygiene products with the superior disinfection power of home care products,” explains Peter.

The range includes a multi-surface cleaner and eco-refill, a general cleaner, antibacterial wipes and an aerosol. The new patented formula, which uses 100% naturally derived cleaning ingredients and essential oils, kills 99.99% of bacteria and viruses, including coronavirus, and gives up to 24-hour anti-bacterial protection.

It is also dermatologically tested, has no harsh smells and is suitable to use on food preparation areas. The range has now landed in the UK and Germany and will be rolled out to more markets globally within the coming months.

“We’re passionate about helping people stay safe, whether at home or on the go, which is why we’re using our world-leading hygiene expertise to expand into the home care category by offering a range of products to suit all occasions,” says Benoit Roger-Machart, Marketing and Business Development Director for Lifebuoy in the UK & Ireland.

Unilever's brand Lifebuoy has launched BotaniTech - a new homecare range with the sensitivity of personal care

Driving momentum for a Clean Future

The new range is part of our Clean Future strategy – to transform our laundry and cleaning products to reduce their footprint on the planet without compromising on performance or affordability.

With naturally derived cleaning ingredients, formulas that are 100% biodegradable and 100% recyclable packaging, the BotaniTech range aspires to set a new standard in the aisles. “As we all adjust to a post-covid world with continued vigilance on health and hygiene, it is our responsibility to offer cleaning products to the world, without them costing the world,” Peter says.

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