Bath and shower experienced greater demand in 2020 directly as a result of the pandemic, due to heightened hygiene awareness which saw initial stockpiling of liquid soap, particularly antibacterial variants, when the lockdown was announced as consumers were advised to regularly wash their hands in order to reduce risk of transmission through touch. This resulted in double-digit current value growth for many leading brands of liquid soap including Dettol and Lifebuoy which quickly experienced stock shortages on shelves due to panic buying.
Bodywash/shower gel is the largest value category within bath and shower and recorded the second highest growth rates in both volume and current value terms in 2020, benefiting from several trends during the pandemic. Initially, consumers rushed to stores in anticipation of the lockdown and panic bought hand sanitisers and antibacterial liquid soap, leaving many retailers with limited or no stock.
There was further evidence of polarising trends in 2020, due to further consolidation at the top with leading players Unilever (Lifebuoy), Reckitt Benckiser (Dettol) and Southern Lion (Shokubutsu) all gaining further value share, as did smaller players with marginal value share including those combined under “others” and the likes of Atomy (M) Sdn Bhd and L Brands Inc, while Watsons continued to be the highest ranked private label line in the category. This came at the expense of mid-ranked names including Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi-Aventis.
Heightened hygiene awareness as a result of the pandemic is set to drive further demand for body wash/shower gel and liquid soap, with both categories predicted to record further double-digit growth rates from 2021 onwards. Bar soap, which had been losing continual momentum over much of the review period, is also set to experience a gradual improvement in demand from 2021, with price-sensitive consumers who understand the importance of observing stringent hygiene and handwashing routines choosing this option.
While holding overall low value share within bath and shower at the end of the review period, the pandemic gave a boost to sales of the channel as an increasing number of consumers became cautious about spending too long in public spaces including mainstream grocery retailers and drugstores/parapharmacies which were permitted to remain open during lockdown. The convenience and perceived safety of home delivery offered by e-commerce and the opportunity to find more competitive prices became increasingly attractive to Malaysians during the pandemic, resulting in further share gain for e-commerce and impressive double-digit growth.
Whilst remaining a niche overall, dermocosmetics has potential to see further growth amongst urban consumers over the forecast period, especially as bath and shower held the second highest value share within dermocosmetics beauty and personal care in 2020, second only to skin care. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of stringent hygiene and cleaning routines on their skin, which is likely to prompt a greater search for products that are gentle and have high moisturising properties.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Bath and Shower industry in Malaysia with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Bath and Shower research and analysis database.
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