Despite the lack of an official lockdown when the pandemic initially emerged in South Korea, strict social distancing measures encouraged many consumers to spend longer periods of time in their homes, including work from home measures wherever possible. Increasing awareness of the need to follow hygiene and cleaning routines due to the pandemic prompted further demand for automatic washing machines in 2020, and as a consequence supported a marginal upturn in volume sales for laundry care.
While modern grocery retailers such as hypermarkets continued to dominate the distribution of laundry care in South Korea in 2020, the channel suffered further losses in share to alternative options including e-commerce and homeshopping. This was the continuation of a trend already emerging towards the end of the review period, but was strengthened during the pandemic, with consumers more wary of visiting large store-based retailers due to the greater risk of exposure to the virus in public spaces.
LG Household & Health Care Ltd strengthened its overall leadership of laundry care in 2020, with a wide product portfolio through established brands such as Saffron, which dominates the dynamic dryer sheets, and Tech, which ranked second in concentrated liquid detergents amongst other categories. However, the players lacks a presence in liquid tablet detergents, which offers further scope for growth and development.
Demand for laundry care is predicted to experience stronger growth momentum over the forecast period, with further impressive growth in 2021 for liquid tablet detergents as consumers gradually return to their busy routines and demand more convenient dosage solutions to messy powders and liquids, which can also result in wastage if consumers do not follow manufacturers’ advice on usage. Moreover, the wider functionality of liquid tablet detergents in terms of incorporating freshening or conditioning properties, brightening agents or stain removers, reduces the need to purchase separate laundry aids, and will continue to support the declining trend for many of these products.
Concerns over sustainability and the environment are rising in South Korea amongst local consumers, and therefore laundry care is likely to see expansion, particularly from smaller players or multinationals which produce green or “eco” products to address demand for non-chemical solutions to cleaning laundry. Nevertheless, green laundry care is likely to find greater distribution through smaller channels such as e-commerce and homeshopping rather than mainstream grocery retailers.
Despite being given a boost to sales during 2020 due to the pandemic and concerns over visiting store-based retailers to purchase laundry care for fear of exposure to the virus, e-commerce is likely to continue to gain share over the forecast period. In addition to the convenience of home delivery and the attraction of competitive prices, the channel offers an opportunity to smaller players to gain consumers’ attention, especially if they struggle to gain mainstream distribution as many leading chained grocery retailers tend to stock the most established and popular brands.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Laundry Care industry in South Korea with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Laundry Care research and analysis database.
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