What you need to know

Sales in the air care industry remain nearly flat from 2016-17, contracting 0.3% to reach just more than $6 billion. While the need to eliminate temporary smells and create a pleasant ambiance drive demand, competition from other industries, disengagement with the category, and a lack of major innovation are hindering incremental sales growth. The industry enjoys wide penetration, with most using air care more than once a month. However, non-users avoid these products due to preferences for an unscented space.


Mintel defines the US air care market as consisting of the following product categories:

  • Candles – a body of wax formed around a wick which provides a flame and, in many cases, fragrance, when lit. Includes tea lights, votives, pillars, tapers (dinner candles), and birthday candles. Candles can stand alone or be designed for use in a holder or metal container. Both scented and unscented candles are included.

  • Home air fresheners – including aerosol/spray, slow-release (solid, gel, liquid, reed diffusers), and plug-in and electric/battery-operated devices.

  • Vehicle air fresheners.

Wax melts, which consist of a burner device that melts wax pieces as a means of releasing fragrance are excluded from the Market Size, but they are discussed in the Consumer sections of this report. Potpourri and flameless candles, which use LED lights or light bulbs to create the appearance of a candle flame, are not included in the Market Size and are discussed minimally in the Market sections of the Report.

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