The world is facing what the United Nations has termed the ‘largest cost of living crisis of the 21st Century’ referring to the surging cost of goods and services.
With rising inflation squeezing static household incomes, consumers are now switching to affordable options while expecting the same product value at a lower price, a phenomenon known as downtrading.
Economic uncertainty, job losses, and salary cuts are pushing more families into the lower end of the hourglass as they trim expenditure.
Take the case of laundry detergents as a product which is a price-sensitive category. Prices of detergents have gone up twice in the past year by at least 20 percent.
Customers are therefore exploring choices and do not wish to trade off quality and safety.
Faced with this scenario, consumers are likely to switch to lower-priced brands or lower-value packs during times of economic hardship.
In short, people still want their clothes and fabrics to retain their colour and freshness regardless of whether they spend less on detergents.
In times of such economic uncertainty, manufacturers must keep investing in innovation to strengthen their brand value to stay relevant.
For example, by using enzymes to produce laundry products that offer better performance and require less water and energy to use.
Enzymes act faster and are more effective in stain removal. The beauty of enzymes is that they can be included at the same or even lower formulation cost by balancing the formula, thus making their benefits accessible to lower-income households.
Enzymes are basically biological molecules that exist in the form of proteins and act as catalysts for metabolic and biochemical reactions.
Regina Karani is the General Manager of Novozymes Kenya