After a year when its disinfectants cleaned up in more ways than one, The Clorox Company is entering the small household appliances market for the first time through a multiyear licensing agreement in which Hamilton Beach will sell a line of Clorox-branded air purifiers.
Elsewhere in the booming air purifier market, Instant Brands, maker of the Instant Pot multicooker, has left the kitchen for the first time with three just-introduced air purifiers touted as “the first full range of products independently lab-tested to remove 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.”
The Clorox-branded models, priced from $89.99 to $229.99, will be released later this year through online and brick-and-mortar retailers throughout North America, with other air purifiers coming in 2022. Additional appliances for the home health and wellness market will be developed over time, the two partners added. Besides air purifiers, Hamilton Beach’s other products under its TrueAir brand now include humidifiers and odor eliminators.
Hamilton Beach and Clorox said the Clorox air purifiers, said to kill viruses and bacteria, and remove 99.97% of allergens and particulates from pollen, dust, smoke and mold, will differ in both features and price points from Hamilton Beach’s existing TrueAir purifiers.
The Clorox model will include a three-in-one filter (pre, HEPA and carbon), with the HEPA filter capturing particulates as small as 0.1 microns rather than the common 0.3 microns. A sensor display/air quality light is based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s PM2.5 ratings of fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers.
The two partners cited data from NPD showing that U.S. sales of air purifiers (not counting replacement filters) more than doubled last year, rising to $942 million from $407 million in 2019. They said demand was driven not only by COVID-19, but by wildfires and a stronger, longer allergy season.
The Instant Air Purifiers -- in charcoal or pearl -- are now online at InstantBrands.com and at Amazon, with plans to be available soon through other national retailers. Prices range from $129.99 to $239.99, with products categorized according to room size.
“We knew that a new normal was going to emerge where air quality would matter more than ever,” said Ben Gadbois, CEO and president of Instant Brands. “So, over the past year, our teams engineered an innovation to improve air quality.”
Gadbois said to expect more brand extensions. “While Instant Air Purifier is indeed our first product to move outside of the kitchen, it certainly won’t be our last.”
The Instant Air Purifier line features plasma ion technology and a three-in-one filtration system (HEPA, carbon, and antimicrobial).The new Clorox and Instant air purifiers are well-situated in the burgeoning market thanks to their use of HEPA technology, which a May report from Research and Markets said accounted for 39% of the 2020 market, the largest revenue share of any type of air purifier due to HEPA’s greater efficiency in removing airborne particles.
Other players in the U.S. air purifier market include Honeywell, Whirlpool and Sharp.
And what about those ionization air purifiers that have been adopted by school districts to fight COVID-19?
Kaiser Health News on Tuesday reported on a Boeing study showing that “air ionization has not shown significant disinfection effectiveness.”Consumer ionization air purifiers are marketed by such brands as Sharp, Envion, AeraMax and Enerzen.