Brand owners for consumer products have had to make a lot of adjustments since the start of 2020. For Clorox Co., first there was the early pandemic stockpiling to cleared store shelves of bleach, wipes and other cleaning products. That was followed by a big drop in sales for those same items from the 2020 peaks, but at a level still higher than before the pandemic.
And now, going into 2023 with an expected recession looming and inflation eating at buyers' budgets, the company finds itself trying to make sure it is the "value option" leader in stores.
"What was universal was great amount of change," Eric Schwartz, chief marketing officer for Oakland, Calif.-based Clorox, said during the Ad Age Marketer's Brief podcast hosted by our sister paper Advertising Age.
In the podcast posted Dec. 6, he noted that the company's cleaning business seems to have settled at a "higher plateau and at a higher growth rate" than before the pandemic, but the company and its suppliers have to maintain an ability to change plans quickly.
Clorox, based in Oakland, Calif., has some in-house production of bottles for its cleaning products.
With inflation high, Clorox brands are facing renewed competition from generic and store brands, so it is working to offer better value to buyers. That may mean having larger containers available to shoppers at warehouse retail stores — for those looking to stock up — as well as small bottles for those with less cash available.
"We know there are more pressures on consumers today, and those pressures are not abating anytime soon," Schwartz said.
The podcast is also available at streaming websites.