The global trend towards environmental awareness is now also changing battery-purchase behaviour. Consumers are increasingly realising the environmental benefits of rechargeable batteries as well as the value for money they represent.
One extra benefit in times of COVID-19 is that you no longer have to go to the shops if you run out of battery power.
Now is the perfect time to examine recent evolutions in the (rechargeable) battery market and see how Panasonic is meeting customer needs with the eneloop range.
Increased sales during the pandemic
In 2019, compared with the previous year, battery purchases increased by 2% and the value of sales by 1%. The overall battery market was expanding and, despite the COVID-19 crisis, that expansion didn’t quite come to a halt in 2020. The global pandemic has done little damage to the market; in fact it has even stimulated battery sales.
During lockdowns, people have stayed inside more than ever, spending time in their homes, increasingly engaging in activities such as gaming, watching TV, playing with their children and cooking. In short, a lot of activity requiring batteries.
The global pandemic has changed the way people shop, explains Vicky Raman (Brand Marketing Manager – Panasonic Energy Europe). “Trips to the shops have become less frequent and there has been less pressure to come up with special offers, as, first and foremost, what consumers are looking for is reliable batteries that represent value for money.”
eneloop batteries can be recharged up to 2,100 times, providing the value for money consumers are seeking. They have a low self-discharge rate, maintaining roughly 70% of their energy after 10 years of storage and, although the initial purchase pricemay be higher than for classic alkaline batteries, their ability to recharge makes them more cost effective in the long run.
A 2019 study3 in the UK showed that 73% of shoppers are definitely open to, or thinking about, buying rechargeable batteries. The economic benefits play a part in this mindset, but so do the environmental benefits. “All the batteries in the eneloop range are pre-charged using solar energy and the classic eneloop can be used for up to 10 years, saving consumers a lot of batteries and separate purchases on the long term,” says Vicky Raman.
The entire eneloop product range is based on the principles of not only ‘recharge’ but also ‘reuse’ for a clean-energy society. eneloop uses energy from the sun and envisions sustainable Clean Energy Lifestyle by encouraging repeated use. This chimes perfectly with both the environmentally-conscious consumer and Panasonic’s sustainable policy. Up to 85% of Panasonic Energy products sold in Europe are produced locally and 99% are packed locally, too. The production site in Poland (Gniezno) is a zero-landfill factory, using 100% green electricity, while the factory in Belgium (Tessenderlo) became Panasonic’s first zero-CO2 battery factory in the world. By 2050, Panasonic Corporation aims to be creating more energy than it uses.
“Customers appreciate the fact that the batteries come pre-charged, but, in the end, it’s all about quality,” continues Vicky Raman. “And eneloop delivers the high quality consumers want. Following an in-depth comparison, Euroconsumer’s Belgian branch, Test-Aankoop / Test Achats, recently designated eneloop pro the highest-quality AA rechargeable on the market.”
The consumer organisation’s evaluation was based on numerous criteria, including lifespan, self-discharge and the number of charging cycles. The eneloop battery came out top in all aspects.
How will the market for and sales of rechargeable batteries evolve?
“The main market growth for batteries is in e-commerce, where rechargeable batteries sales have increased by 7%,” explains Vicky Raman. “Consumers are highly aware of rechargeable batteries, but the market still has plenty of room for growth”.
The global rechargeable batteries industry – amid the COVID-19 crisis estimated at 23.5 billion EUR – is expected to reach 36 billion EUR by the year 2027, growing at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 6.3% over the period 2020-2027.