Hand Sanitisers: The Story So Far and Underlying Prospects

October 2021

Increased hygiene awareness boosted sales of hand sanitisers in 2020 and higher consumption levels will remain post-pandemic. As consumers incorporate hand sanitisers into their daily routines, they become more demanding. Functional benefits, safety, efficacy, brand extension and environmental impact will be key purchase decision factors for consumers in regions where penetration is already high.

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Key Findings

From cleaning groceries and delivered packages, to changing clothes when arriving at home, to frequent handwashing, COVID-19 triggered a combination of consumer reactions and solutions to hygiene, both personal and for the home.

According to Euromonitor’s Voice of the Consumer: Beauty Survey, fielded June to July 2020, 61% of respondents in 20 selected countries used hand sanitisers at least twice a day in 2020.

Antibacterial claims increased from 12% to 15% in liquid soap, from 70% to 71% in home care disinfectants, and from 10% to 13% in general purpose wipes in 2020 compared to 2019, according to Euromonitors’ Product Claims and Positioning system, showing the industry response to consumer needs during the crisis.

From the sales performance perspective, 2020 was a great year for hygiene products globally. Products such as bar soap, multi-purpose cleaners, bleach and disinfectants saw double–digit growth after flat or moderate growth over 2015-2019. Liquid soap, wipes and home care disinfectants were the big winners of this sales explosion, growing by 79%, 30%, and 40%, respectively.

Introduction

Scope
Definitions

Hand Sanitisers Explode As Hygiene Takes Centre Stage

COVID-19 pandemic created hygiene hysteria in its wake
Spending on liquid soap surpasses that of previous pandemics
Supply chain stressed across regions during the peak of the pandemic
Call to action for governments and health organisations worldwide

Initial Frenzy Subsides

“Liquid soap” regions dominated hand sanitisers sales pre-pandemic
Hand sanitiser sales exploded in 2020 across all regions, but…
…were limited by shortages, affordability and free availability
Mass and premium brands have responded alike as demand soared
Wide-scale distribution achieved in record time
Consumers’ demands increase as sanitisers become part of daily routines
The boom has faded, what comes next?

Opportunities and Challenges Post-Pandemic

Sales will drop, but consumption will be higher than pre-pandemic
Hygiene concerns expected to remain top of mind among consumers
Convenience is important, but affordability is a must
Consumers’ attention shifts to ingredients and additional benefits
Premiumisation , new consumer targets and offerings to support growth
Brands respond to wider encompassing needs
Regulation and substitutes expected to challenge growth post-pandemic
Environmentally-conscious consumers bring more challenges
Key takeaways and business implications

Appendix

Sales of hand sanitisers by country 2019-2020: Asia Pacific and Australasia
Sales of hand sanitisers by country 2019-2020: Eastern Europe
Sales of hand sanitisers by country 2019-2020: Western Europe
Sales of hand sanitisers by country 2019-2020: North and Latin America
Sales of hand sanitisers by country 2019-2020: Middle East and Africa
Projected growth of hand sanitisers by country 2021 (54 core countries)
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