What do we learn from consumer behaviour studies on laundry washing in Europe


University of Bonn,


Laundry washing in affected by changes of the washing machines, the detergent and the garments continuous. The question arises how such trends affect the consumer behaviour regarding laundry washing. The semi-representative EU online survey was conducted between April and May 2015. The aim of the survey was to assess the washing behaviour of over 5,000 households in 11 European countries. Inter alia results show that on one hand, the consumer wants to have short programmes on the other hand a saving of energy and water. Disregarding that both are not possible at the same time (Sinner circle) many consumer selects short programmes and belief that this will save time, save energy and provide him with the expected performance. Overall, the mind-set of the consumer, as it was worked out in this study, need to be respected by any new approach, especially also when designing new energy policies.


Laundry washing is consumer home is a process done regularly in almost all households of the world. Nevertheless, the knowledge how this process is done in consumer homes is small (1-10). The washing machine market in Europe has been undergoing a severe change over the last ten years: the declared capacity (also called “rated capacity”) of how much laundry can be washed at one time is being increased. This trend can be seen as consumer-driven, as it offers the consumer a range of options to use: larger items can be washed (e.g. duvets or carpets) or more items can be washed at the same time, therefore, the total time taken for laundry may be reduced. This trend may also be seen to be manufacturer-driven as they are selling larger and larger machines to the consumer although the household size in general is reducing and, thus, (assuming the need for laundry treatment of each individual is not changed) would reduce the total amount of laundry to be treated per week for an average household in Europe (11, 12). Also other trends have affected the market in recent years and are likely to do so in future (13), like the increase of electronic c ...