Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, the increasing emphasis on convenience and ease-of-use amongst time-starved consumers was having a negative impact on the development of bleach, with sales registering a significant decline in 2019. With manufacturers incorporating antibacterial and sanitisation properties into convenient, easy-to-use products across surface care and toilet care, bleach was increasingly being seen as an old-fashioned product.
Bleach typically needs to be diluted prior to use and cannot be directly applied to surfaces, making it more time consuming to use than surface care products, which are generally ready to use. However, with many consumers forced to remain at home due to COVID-19 some returned to using bleach both for its efficacy but also its affordability.
Kao extended its dominance in bleach in Japan in 2020. The company’s Haiter brand is strongly associated with bleach in the minds of consumers and Kao also uses it in its colour-safe laundry bleach and kitchen cleaners.
The spike in demand for bleach is expected to subside once COVID-19 is contained. While it is a trusted and affordable cleaning method it is no longer seen as compatible with the busy lifestyles of most consumers.
The broader health and wellness trend that underpins increasing consumer awareness of hygiene is also expected to negatively impact sales of bleach. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of chemicals on human health, with chlorine bleach potentially causing irritation to the eyes, skin and lungs, while inhaling bleach fumes is also potentially carcinogenic.
After Lion Corp withdrew from the category in 2015, the only branded player remaining in the category other than Kao at the end of the review period was Kaneyo Soap Co Ltd with its Kitchen Bleach brand. The main reason for this highly consolidated competitive environment is that bleach is perceived to offer little potential to generate significant profits because of its commodity status, low average unit price and falling demand.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Bleach industry in Japan with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
Key trends are clearly and succinctly summarised alongside the most current research data available. Understand and assess competitive threats and plan corporate strategy with our qualitative analysis, insight and confident growth projections.
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This report originates from Passport, our Bleach research and analysis database.
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