In the search for effective odor and stain solutions, manufacturers are feeding the demand for products that protect the environment, both in the home and around the planet.
One common struggle of pet parents is keeping their animals pampered while maintaining a clean, odor-free home that is inviting and comfortable for everyone. Often, these needs are met with solutions that include potentially toxic ingredients, which could harm humans, pets and the environment around them. Manufacturers of stain-removal and odor-control products are developing formulas for consumers to keep homes stain- and odor-free, while also maintaining a safe environment indoors and outside.
The challenge faced by most manufacturers who want to introduce a green product for stains and odors has been low efficacy. In the past, formulas that were derived from natural, non-toxic ingredients lacked the power to solve the problem at hand. The next generation of eco-friendly products provides the strength of traditional solutions, with the promise of meeting the safety and ecological standards of consumers.
“It is important to actually break down and destroy the odor molecules rather than just mask them with fragrance,” explains Matt Arkin, sales director at ECOS, which produces Stain & Odor Remover. “We are able to obtain performance on par with non-green brands. The added benefit is that our products don’t contain the petrochemicals and synthetic fragrances that jeopardize human and pet health.”
The role of manufacturers’ research and development teams includes not only finding the most effective natural solutions, but also looking back at the ingredients used by companies to create the stain-and-odor solutions of the past. This hindsight allows manufacturers to examine the value and risks of using these questionable ingredients. As Caitlin Smith, research and development chemist at Nilodor, Inc., explains, the formula found in the company’s odor counteractant naturally aids its litter in combating offensive smells from cat waste.
“[Corn cob] is a byproduct of the seed-corn industry and, therefore, bio-renewable. Our Nilolitter combines the absorbency power of corn cob with our proprietary odor counteractant, Nilecho. This odor counteractant is essential oil-based and functions by chemically modifying the structure of the malodor molecule. By structurally modifying the chemical, the odor is neutralized and eliminated.”
Smith adds that the sodium bentonite clay products of the past contributed to deforestation, erosion, groundwater contamination and the spread of allergens.
Through sharing this information with retailers, manufacturers afford opportunities for points of reference to support the claims that these greener products offer efficiency without compromising environmental protection.
Being Seen in the Green
The companies that were founded solely through the mission to become eco-friendly businesses are looking to provide green solutions for everyday products. These manufacturers continue to spread the word about their green offerings by not only educating retailers, but also showcasing the benefits of their products, says Pete Stirling, chief operations officer of Skout’s Honor, which manufactures a Stain & Odor Remover, Urine Destroyer and Urine & Odor Destroyer.
“Really, what we found over the last two years is that education only goes so far. We are going to continue to put the green aspects out front and lead with what the products are capable of doing.”
When retailers can support their recommendations with their personal experiences using a certain eco-friendly stain and odor solution, they will gain pet parents’ trust when products prove their worth. “We’ve been testimonial-driven with retailers and consumers,” adds Skout’s Honor vice president of marketing, Jenny Gilcrest. “If we can get our products in the hands of retailers, we have a sure thing when they are recommending products to consumers.”
Other manufacturers are leading by example through engaging in sustainable activities and actively participating in green initiatives. Sharing these good works with retailers provides the tools for salespeople to assure consumers that these purchases will not only work to create a more enjoyable home environment, but also support activities that benefit the planet, as outlined by Ted Morgan director of marketing at Biokleen, maker of Bac-Out.
“Consumers want to know what brands are doing to better the world at-large. To help aid retailers and consumers alike, we’ve created materials like our ‘Clean for Good’ video that works to tell the story of our brand, our sustainable business practices and community betterment programs — like our ongoing reforestation initiative to plant 60,000 trees per year by 2020.”
Many of these conscientious consumers who are looking for safe, non-toxic, eco-friendly solutions will search for products that reflect their own values of promoting the welfare of the planet, not only through manufacturing, but also giving back to their community. When manufacturers show that they are devoting time, effort and money to actionable environmental solutions, consumers who are environmentally aware will respond by purchasing these products and further supporting the company’s mission.
Building an Eco-Friendly Selection
With the growing market for green stain-and-odor solutions, retailers should be selective regarding the products they choose to stock. In this segment of the industry, there are risks of losing consumer trust from selling products that make claims of being eco-friendly, gentle and useful, but don’t deliver on these promises.
“I’ve recommended that retailers carry a few brands that they really believe in. You want to find products that differentiate you,” advises Stirling. “The green aspect is something the retailer is going to lean on in 2018 to differentiate themselves. There is always a place for brands that support their retailers and are well supported.”
The manufacturers and retailers who decide to offer these products rely on each other to promote the mission of safeguarding the planet, while also protecting the homes of customers from uncleanliness caused by pet waste and odor. Fortifying this reciprocal relationship benefits manufacturers, retailers and eco-conscientious pet parents who want to create safer, cleaner, indoor and outdoor environments. PB