Bleach had been experiencing undynamic growth rates in South Korea towards the end of the review period due to increasing maturity, with urban and younger generations of home owners increasingly moving away from basic products that their families might traditionally use, and more towards surface care, especially products which use more natural ingredients, due to increasing concerns over using strong chemicals in the home.
Bleach is a mature category in South Korea, where distribution is dominated by modern grocery retailers such as hypermarkets and supermarkets, as older consumers feel more comfortable visiting these outlets due to access and habit. A preference to purchase bleach from store-based retailers is particularly noticeable in rural areas, and helped to support stable sales through traditional grocery retailers.
Bleach remained a highly consolidated competitive landscape in 2020, dominated by Yuhan Clorox Ltd with its brands Yuhan Rox Regular and Yuhan Rox Fresh. It was followed by LG Household & Health Care (Homestar) and E-Mart Co Ltd with its private label line, the only other players to hold double-digit value share.
Demand for bleach is set to quickly return to greater rates of normalisation in terms of purchasing behaviour over the forecast period. While consumers will remain aware of the need to maintain strict hygiene and cleaning routines in the home, they are likely to be less enthusiastic about the amount of bleach they used during the pandemic, with some less price-sensitive consumers even likely to switch to surface care, particularly if they have concerns over the high chemical content of bleach and its potential effects on human health if not used correctly.
While e-commerce has the potential to maintain and even further grow its share in terms of distribution over the forecast period, the habitual use of bleach amongst older generations dictates that these consumers are more likely to continue to visit store-based grocery retailers (especially traditional outlets in rural areas) where they feel more comfortable. Therefore, e-commerce may struggle to gain stronger share within bleach compared to other home care categories such as surface care or dishwashing over the forecast period.
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This report originates from Passport, our Bleach research and analysis database.
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