AAFA and Allergy Standards Host Allergy Summit to Elevate Industry and Consumer Perspectives to Improve Products for Allergy Aware Consumers

New survey results demonstrate significant competitive and market differentiating opportunities for retailers and manufacturers to help consumers make informed choices about products that impact their lives

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) in partnership with Allergy Standards Limited (ASL) announced findings from a new market research survey aimed at better understanding patient and consumer awareness, perceptions and values of certified products and the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program, as well as buyer behaviors and demands.

In the United States alone, there are over 60 million people managing allergies or asthma, which is more than cancer, diabetes and heart disease combined1. Asthma, in particular, accounts for more than 14.2 million doctor’s office visits2 in addition to being the leading cause of missed school days among children 5-173 and third-leading cause of hospitalizations among children younger than 154.

Notable findings were presented as part of the Allergy Summit in New York City, co-hosted by AAFA and ASL, which convened a broad range of retailers, thought leaders, influencers, patients as well as asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program clients to highlight the value of Certification for the allergy aware consumer.

“These survey results demonstrate a clear consumer benefit and industry leadership opportunity for retailers and manufacturers committed to helping control and reduce asthma and allergy triggers in the home,” said Kenneth Mendez, AAFA President and CEO. “Convening a cross-section of industry, patient and advocacy representatives at the Allergy Summit presented a strategic collaboration and engagement opportunity. Stakeholders could align on a shared path forward on ways to lessen the burden of disease for people with asthma and allergies.”

The value of the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program was recognized by consumers, 78% of those surveyed were more likely to trust a product if it has an independent third-party certification from a nonprofit organization like AAFA5. Top benefits of using CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® products/services, included reduction of their, or their family’s, exposure to allergy triggers (63%) as well as improvement of air quality in their home (53%)5.

“It is critical that consumers have the ability to make informed choices about the products they purchase that impact their daily health and lives, especially in their homes,” said John McKeon, CEO of Allergy Standards Limited. “Consumers can have the confidence that every product CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® has been rigorously tested against criteria designed to address the triggers of asthma and allergies and to improve indoor air quality.”

Other key findings of the survey included:

  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) of consumers are willing and able to spend a little bit more for a product they know is safer, while two-thirds (66%) agree, or strongly agree, they would purchase (or purchase again) CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® products/services5.
  • Areas of the home in which respondents are most concerned about managing exposure to asthma and/or allergy triggers are the bedroom (74%), living room (57%) as well as the kitchen and bathroom (44%)5.
  • Of those who reported using CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® products, the leading product types identified were air filters (43%), bedding (40%) and vacuum cleaners (26%)5.
  • Products that respondents would like to see CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® in the future are cleaning products (64%), laundry detergent (59%) and personal care products (54%)5.
  • Leading industry, patient, and physician voices were on-hand at the Allergy Summit to help translate these results into a collaborative path forward targeting and benefiting allergy-aware consumers, while creating competitive and differentiated products in the marketplace.

The speakers participating in the Allergy Summit included:

  • Kenneth Mendez, CEO, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
  • Dr. John McKeon, CEO, Allergy Standards Limited
  • Ritesh Patel, Chief Digital Officer, Ogilvy Health & Wellness
  • Chris Graves, President and Founder, Ogilvy Center for Behavioral Science
  • Tyra Bryant-Stephens, M.D., Medical Director of the Community Asthma Prevention Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Lesa Ukman, Lesa Ukman Partnerships®
  • John Vanderpool, Divisional Vice President - Paint, True Value Corporation and General Paint Manufacturing GPM)
  • David VanderWaal, Senior Vice President of Marketing, LG Electronics North America
  • Debbie Alves - AAFA Patient Ambassador
  • Carolyn Forte, - Director of Home Appliances, Cleaning Products, and Textile Labs, Good Housekeeping Institute
  • Bobby Jones, CMO, Peace First & Co-Author, "Good is the New Cool: Market Like You Give A ****"
  • Grady Lee, Co-Founder/CEO, Give2Get & Co-Founder/Chair, IMPACT2030
  • Ciarán Madden, Consul General of Ireland

For more information about the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program, please visit aafa.org/certified.

Survey Methodology
AAFA and Research Now conducted an online survey of adults at least 18 years of age who are a current U.S. resident (n=1844) from August 23rd and September 12, 2018 to better understand patient and consumer awareness, perceptions and values of certified products and the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program, as well as buyer behaviors and demands. Total sample size (n=1844) was comprised of a representative public sample (n=1005) in addition to AAFA constituents (n=839).

About the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program
The asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program is a unique, groundbreaking collaboration between the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and Allergy Standards Limited. The program tests and certifies products to prove their suitability for people with asthma and allergies. The program works with retailers and manufacturers to offer consumers products for a #healthierhome. CERTIFIED products include air cleaners, dehumidifiers, paints, bedding, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, stuffed toys, cleaning services and more. Visit aafa.org/certified for more information.

About AAFA
Celebrating 65 years of service, AAFA is the oldest and largest non-profit patient organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with asthma, allergies and related conditions through research, education, advocacy and support. AAFA provides practical information and community-based services through its digital communities and network of chapters and support groups. Through its Kids with Food Allergies division, AAFA offers the most extensive online support community for families of children with food allergies. AAFA also helps consumers identify products suitable for those with asthma and allergies through the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program. For more information, visit aafa.org.

About ASL
Allergy Standards Limited (ASL) is an independent, global certification company, that creates scientific standards for testing a wide range of products and services to determine their impact on improving indoor air quality. ASL has designed a series of unique testing protocols and suitability specifications for products to achieve in order to be CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly®. ASL’s mission is to help people create the healthiest possible indoor environment through science, certification and education.

References:
1. Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology; 2005
2. CDC.gov. (2018). CDC - Asthma. [online] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/default.htm [Accessed 16 Feb. 2018].
3. Zahran, H., Bailey, C., Damon, S., Garbe, P. and Breysse, P. (2018). Vital Signs: Asthma in Children— United States, 2001–2016. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6705e1. [Accessed 16 Feb. 2018]
4. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Asthma Facts. May 2016
https://www.epa.gov/sites/prod..._english_05_2016.pdf [Accessed 16 Feb. 2018].
5. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and Research Now. U.S. Survey of Consumers. August 23 – September 12, 2018.

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