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Biotechnology in Home Care

The home care sector has become one of the most promising areas for biotechnology innovation within the broader chemicals industry. This report will explore biotechnology’s opportunity in the home care industry; what potential it has to help companies address the product and reputational expectations of their customers; the barriers currently preventing that from happening at sufficient scale; and recommendations for how those barriers can be reduced or removed. 

Biotechnology home care banner

The global pandemic has accelerated growth in the home care industry making consumers more aware of hygiene priorities and self-care than ever before. Their demand for products that improve both cleanliness and wellness at home has rocketed, as has their interest in product ingredients.

Today’s consumers are incredibly aware of the environmental impact of their choices and are expanding their desire to be more sustainable into areas of their lives that were previously untouched by such expectations. As a result, the home care sector has become one of the most promising areas for biotechnology innovation within the broader chemicals industry. What is a niche option for incremental sustainability gains today, is expected to be a fundamental toolset for future innovation in the search for bio-based ingredients that can match the performance and efficacy of those currently based on petrochemicals.

Today, due to their ability to match efficacy with sustainability, biotechnology-derived ingredients feature in a much broader range of home care products than ever before. In laundry detergents, enzymes break down stains like protein, starches, and fats, making clothes cleaner. Biosurfactants have started to replace chemical surfactants, offering the same outcomes but without affecting water quality or possibly irritating people’s skin.

But whilst this new raft of innovation is exciting it is being held back by a number of barriers that need to be overcome:

  • The cost of ramping up production to industrial levels
  • The need for highly specialised skills and a complex mix of skills
  • A lack of consumer understanding; and a need to adapt regulations to accommodate new innovative practices and the resulting ingredients.


Our latest report on the role of biotechnology innovation in the chemicals sector looks specifically at these barriers to adoption in home care products and makes clear recommendations for overcoming them:

  • It advocates the simplification of biotechnology processes to reduce costs
  • It recommends an increase in the number and depth of partnerships across the sector to drive change
  • It encourages a programme of national investment to generate huge returns for the economy

So whilst the shift from petrochemical-derived ingredients to bio-based ingredients is becoming recognised and established, the scale at which biotechnology can play a role in that change remains uncertain. Answering this question is fast becoming essential as the home care industry seeks out new ways to achieve the necessary but delicate balance between product sustainability and performance through innovation.

Biotechnology: home care market report

Home care biotechnology
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