The laundry care performance in Eastern Europe was close to stagnation in 2020, hit by continued decline in Russia and slower growth in Ukraine and Poland. While the direct impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on laundry care sales will be relatively limited, the pandemic’s economic impact will make consumers more price sensitive. Improved performances are expected in the region over the forecast period.
Growth in real value terms remained at a similar level to a year earlier in 2020, in spite of the presence of the COVID-19 virus in the region. The stagnating regional sales were heavily affected by another year of marked decline in Russia, Eastern Europe’s biggest market. Consumers’ purchasing power was already decreasing pre-pandemic as a result of the struggling Russian economy. While Russians were still buying laundry care products, they often looked to save money by not purchasing products seen as non-necessities, such as laundry aids and fabric softeners. COVID-19’s economic impact only exacerbated this trend.
Eastern Europe continued to see strong growth in sales of liquid tablet detergents in 2020, with concentrated liquid detergents also enjoying increasing demand. Eastern Europeans appreciate the convenience offered by these products, in addition to reducing the storage space needed for bulky packaging, and avoiding the mess that can often accompany using powder. Innovative formats such as tablets tend to carry higher-than-average unit prices, which was helping to drive value growth in overall laundry care.
Although many consumers in the region will still be faced with constrained purchasing power, at least in the earliest years of the forecast period, liquid tablet detergents, followed by concentrated liquid detergents, will still be adding the most new retail value in 2020-2025. In the post-pandemic period, industry players are likely to pay more attention to new product development. This could be on products to kill bacteria and viruses, with COVID-19 still in mind, or new formulas that act effectively at low temperatures, with such washes being seen as “greener” than those at higher temperatures.
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