State of the US fabric care industry: Amazing Facts Inside
State of the US fabric care industry: Amazing Facts Inside
State of the US fabric care industry: Amazing Facts Inside
Boaz Grinvald

Boaz Grinvald

Jan 17, 2019 ‧ 4 MIN.

With the Revuze automated analysis of consumer opinions, anyone can turn any textual opinion data into actionable business intelligence. We leveraged our own technology to provide you with insights on the fabric care industry, analyzing online opinion data from several eCommerce sources.

US fabric care industry – Market overview and research scope

According to a recent analysis, the fabric care market (laundry and related products) size is $90.65B and is expected to grow to $152B by 2027.

The data sources were several US eCommerce sites that include consumer reviews and our software collected 196k reviews between 2016 to 2018.

These data sources cover around 150 different brands, though the top 30 brands attract 89% of the reviews. These data sources also cover 3,489 separate products (SKU numbers) – all picked up and analyzed by the Revuze solution.

The Revuze software automatically breaks down opinions into valuable sentences and detects the sentiment for each sentence (positive, neutral, negative). The % of the positive sentences dictates the average sentiment of the market or a topic of discussion or a brand or a specific SKU.

2016-2018 market trends – declining sentiment, growing number of promotions

When we analyze the data on an annual basis, comparing 2016 to 2017 to 2018, one can easily notice several trends.

Reviews volume is increasing every year, with growth accelerating –

Reviews volume increase from 57k in 2016 to 64k in 2017 (12% increase), but growth accelerated to 75k reviews in 2018 (17% growth Y/Y, about 42% acceleration in growth rate).

At the same time consumers expressed themselves less and less positively about fabric care products, and market average sentiment declined from 86% to 84%. This is also correlated to star rating which declined in these sites for the fabric care category from 4.49 stars average in 2016 to 4.39 stars in 2018, a decline of slightly over 2%, matching the decline trend in sentiment.

This is all good and well, but Revuze can eliminate reviews that were provided as part of a promotion. When doing so we see that the reviews volume (excluding reviews provided as part of a promotion) is actually pretty stable at 48-49k per year, though sentiment is actually declining faster, from 85% in 2016 to 80% in 2018! Star rating follows similarly, dropping from 4.51 stars to 4.37 stars –

From this we can also deduce the following important aspects on promoting fabric care products:

  • The number of promotions (free or discounted products in return for an online review) is growing rapidly on an annual basis (as overall non-promotional reviews numbers are stable)
  • Reviews that are provided as part of promotions are typically more positive. In fact here they mask (partially) the decline in sentiment for brands in the industry when you look at the overall reviews, including the promotion-related ones

Consumer topics discussed

Our software analysis discovered that consumers opinions on fabric care include 62 topics as part of their buying and usage experience. The topics range from the generic ones (Mentioned in order of importance/volume) such as:

Overall Satisfaction (1st)

Price/Value for Money (7th)

Ease of use (9th)

Would you recommend (10th)

Meets expectations (14th)

Loyalty (15th)

And there are many more industry specific topics (Mentioned in order of importance/volume) such as:

Smell (2nd)

Results (4th)

Stains (8th)

Sensitivity to product (12th)

Softness (13th)

Environment (17th)

The topics that consumers were most positive about (highest sentiment) were:

Gift purchases (95% sentiment)

Overall satisfaction (93% sentiment)

Softness (93% sentiment)

Freshness (92%)

Cleaning power (92%)

Ease of use (92%)

The topics that consumers were most negative about (lowest sentiment) were:

Product defect (26% sentiment)

Customer Wishlist (25% sentiment)

Returns and refunds (25% sentiment)

Issues with pods (29% sentiment)

Dissolvent (33%)

Item availability (44%)

Trending topics (topics where the volume is going up in the last 6 months) are:

Cleaning power – Volume rose at 9.9% while sentiment declines 1.6%, meaning consumers complain more about the cleaning power of fabric care solution.

Ingredients – Volume rose at 22% while sentiment rose 8.4%, meaning consumers are more conscious about the ingredients in the fabric care solutions and are happier with them

The importance of smell – the top industry-specific driver

When analyzing drivers for reviews with 1-3 star ratings (low star rating reviews), it is easy to see that the top industry driver for negative reviews is the Smell. It is the most mentioned factor in these reviews, amounting to over 23% of the reviews volume.

Smell is also the top positive driver for 4-5 stars reviews (top star rating reviews) that is industry specific (second only to Overall Satisfaction). It is surfacing in 22% of the positive reviews.



Mining consumer opinions in public and private data can give us great insights into an industry, our competitors and even specific products/SKUs. In this high-level industry report we see how automation can help us get granular with such an analysis, identifying key industry trends such as:

  • An increased volume of promotions
  • Declining satisfaction
  • Drivers for positive/negative star rating
  • Trending topics

If you’re interested in finding out more feel free to give us a shout!

Boaz Grinvald

Boaz Grinvald