Candles have become the new bottle of wine

By: Fabiany Muñiz

Whether you’re trying to penetrate the European market with your products or only trying to get new ideas, concepts, and trends this will be a guide to provide you a clear view of what’s happening in the old continent.

Europe sums two thirds of the global market of candle imports, according to a report from Eurostat in January 2020. Close to one fifth of these imports come from developing countries.

Between 2015 and 2019 candle imports in Europe went from 1.5 to 1.6 billion, this represents an annual growth of 1.6%.  This means that this market has been growing for years and will now rise with the impact of Coronavirus in the DNA of modern society.

With the new purchase habits of the consumers, the growth will focus on candles that recreate three main messages: home sweet home, wellbeing, and everything related to eco-sustainability. *

The candle consumer is at its highest peak. Candles have become an ornamental element by excellence. Candles create a warm ambience in spaces filled with technology and cold LED illumination.

The concept “Home Sweet Home” will target the market for people like baby-boomers, given that they tend to have a hard time dealing with social, political, and economy crisis. They will always try to seek for comfort in cozy homes to find shelter in from these events**.

This market recreates ambiences that helps them scape the reality with a touch of luxury like an elegant bubble or refuge. “home sweet home” talks about memorable reunions with family and friends in clean and comfortable atmospheres in which people cook, dine in, conversate or simply share special moments. Candles and its fragrances become the key piece for these unique moments.

Whether it is for Christmas, weddings, birthdays, or special events do emphasize the message in your collections with an innovating fragrance, pick themes that generate nostalgia and feelings of unity, festivity, or happiness this will sure get your customer’s attention.  Candles which focus on providing a warm lighting like tea lights, small candles to decorate the bathroom, rustic candles, and candles for outdoors and candles with fragrances and contemporary décor will be successful.

It is said that candles have become the new bottle of wine. This is the ideal present for visits, house warmings or any celebration. Brand extensions that complement your Brand such reed diffusers, room sprays, beauty bar soaps, and personal care items will position your brand as

life-style brand***.

Additionally, packaging that represents a gift box, a special message on the container, subtle ribbons (like Jo Malone), or candle GWP type (Gift With Purchase) that includes a match box, room spray or burning oil or something that complements the candle will be interesting for the market.

Other segment that is influencing the market in Europe is the term “wellness.” This trend talks about the increase of purchases based on habits related to physical and mental health. The candles play a main role due to its growing use in yoga and meditation therapy and spa services.

For this reason, the consumer has a more intimate interaction with the candles and has learned to see them as a connection to better their mental and spiritual health due to the calming effect of their colors and fragrances.  

Another key point to develop new collections is knowing that there is a growing audience that desires to be in touch with nature and sustainability and is looking to have these elements in their homes or spaces.

Design and decor integrate outdoors inside the home or simulates the feeling of being outside with items like vertical gardens, crystal ceilings, indoor patios etc. your candles should match these spaces with more attractive packaging, natural fragrances and aromas that include ozone, green and fresh notes or scents of forest, relaxing paradise.

Millennials will become the most relevant audience in terms of purchasing candles in less than five years. This demographic group prefer buying products that are clean, made with recycled and sustainable materials.

Make sure to provide attractive messages for this audience such: made with soy or sustainable palm wax, made with natural fragrances, recycled glass etc. nevertheless, remember that the quality and performance of the candle comes first. Always look for a balance in between these topics. Weather you decide to create a collection based on the “home sweet home” the wellbeing or natural and sustainable theme, remember that the sale channel with most growth is the internet. For this reason, the message needs to be clear, easy to understand and designed with the focus of giving the consumer an intimate virtual experience with your product and provoke the impulse to buy online.

*The European market potential for candles. CBI Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Dec 28 2020

**8 ways Coronavirus Will drastically alter boomer retirement, Forbes, March 16 2020

 ***What is lifestyle branding.

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