Bath and Shower in Western Europe

February 2021

Bath and shower as a whole as well as most of its categories continued to decline in 2019, with many areas continuing to see stagnating or even declining unit prices. However, bar soap and liquid soap will see strong growth in 2020, driven by frequent handwashing among consumers due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Nearly all products across bath and shower will record stronger forecast period CAGRs than they did in the historic period, with hygiene concerns remaining top of mind for consumers.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Bath and shower continues stagnating

As in recent years, bath and shower sales in Western Europe continued to stagnate in 2019. The overall performance was in line with the slight decline seen in the biggest category, body wash/shower gel, with only intimate wipes, the smallest product area, recording positive growth. Over 2014-2019 as a whole, body wash/shower gel added the greatest amount of additional value, while bar soap and body powder, both seen as slightly old-fashioned, were losing sales.

Bar soap revival in Germany

Bar soap was one of the most dynamic bath and shower products in Germany in 2019, with value growth driven by consumers preferring higher-priced items. For example, recent formulas have tackled the issue of irritation of the skin by developing products that contribute to a balanced pH level. Frequently claimed as being environmentally friendlier in terms of its production, but especially when it comes to its packaging, this has been positively received among German consumers, as sustainability concerns increase steadily with each passing year.

Trend towards natural/herbal products

There has been a visible trend towards natural, herbal and/or organic products across the region, with consumers becoming increasingly aware of the potential health risks of chemical ingredients in their bath and shower products. The trend has also been seen in private label lines, offering consumers natural products at accessible prices.

Sales spike in 2020 due to COVID-19

With frequent and thorough handwashing recommended to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and the great importance placed on hygiene levels in general in the presence of the pandemic, liquid and bar soap sales will see very strong growth in 2020, with bath and shower as a whole outperforming 2014-2019 over the forecast period.


Key findings
Slow growth for Western Europe over the historic period
Hygiene concerns due to COVID-19 pandemic will see a 2020 sales spike
Body wash/shower gel driving historic period growth in Western Europe
Bar soap records rising CAGRs in Germany and the UK
Body wash/shower gel in the UK adds the most new units
COVID-19 to result in sales spikes for liquid and bar soap in 2020
Health and beauty specialist retailers dominate sales in Germany
Supermarkets the leading channel across Western Europe
Gradual fragmentation trend being seen in Western Europe
Biggest players continue to lose share in 2019
Big four markets generate the bulk of the leading players’ sales
Little change in the rankings of the leading brands in Western Europe
Stronger performance expected for the forecast period
Bath and shower to see a COVID-19 sales spike in 2020
Austria: Market Context
Austria: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Belgium: Market Context
Belgium: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Denmark: Market Context
Denmark: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Finland: Market Context
Finland: Competitive and Retail Landscape
France: Market Context
France: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Germany: Market Context
Germany: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Greece: Market Context
Greece: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Ireland: Market Context
Ireland: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Italy: Market Context
Italy: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Netherlands: Market Context
Netherlands: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Norway: Market Context
Norway: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Portugal: Market Context
Portugal: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Spain: Market Context
Spain: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Sweden: Market Context
Sweden: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Switzerland: Market Context
Switzerland: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Turkey: Market Context
Turkey: Competitive and Retail Landscape
UK: Market Context
UK: Competitive and Retail Landscape

Beauty and Personal Care

This is the aggregation of baby and child-specific products, bath & shower, deodorants, hair care, colour cosmetics, men's grooming, oral hygiene, fragrances, skin care, depilatories and sun care. Black market sales and travel retail are excluded.

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