Dishwashing experienced a notable upturn in demand in 2020, with consumers spending longer periods of time in the home during the pandemic due to social distancing measures, resulting in cooking their own meals. The latter trend was further supported from September when foodservice outlets were not permitted to operate after 21.
While modern grocery retailers continued to dominate distribution of dishwashing products in 2020, driven by the larger format of hypermarkets, it continued to lose value share to e-commerce. The latter was already gaining in popularity as a viable alternative channel for this category towards the end of the review period but a greater reluctance to spend too long in public spaces shopping due to fears of exposure to the virus, encouraged consumers to make a further switch towards e-commerce with its rapid home delivery options and competitive prices.
The competitive landscape of dishwashing remained fairly consolidated in 2020, with leading players LG Household & Health Care (Natural Pong, Pong Pong) and Aekyung Industrial Co (Trio, Soonsaem) dominating value share. LG Household & Health Care’s overall strength is due to the fact that it leads both the dominant hand dishwashing and the more dynamic automatic dishwashing.
Demand for dishwashing in South Korea is predicted to return to greater levels of normalisation over the forecast period, as consumers gradually regain their confidence in dining out in foodservice outlets once the threat level of the virus wanes, or tire of preparing their own meals as they attempt to juggle increasing workloads with chores and child care, instead turning to alternative options such as takeaway or delivered food services. This trend is likely to reduce the more frequent need to clean dishes and cookware in particular, with overall slower sales growth being driven by the dominant hand dishwashing.
Increasing interest in environmental issues amongst urban or younger generations of South Koreans, is likely to expand the nascent category of “green” or ecologically-friendly dishwashing products for both hand and automatic formats. Traditionally introduced by foreign brands, automatic dishwashing products witnessed the entry of domestic green player Sugar Bubble (already present in hand dishwashing).
E-commerce is likely to continue to gain value share from mainstream distribution channels such as hypermarkets due to convenient fast delivery and more competitive prices. It is also likely to give a stronger platform in terms of accessibility and visibility to smaller local players, allowing them to gain consumers’ attention online, whereas normally they would struggle to gain shelf space in large modern grocery retailers.
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This report originates from Passport, our Dishwashing research and analysis database.
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