The nature of polishes meant that the effect of COVID-19 on the category was quite subdued relative to other home care and FMCG categories. The category itself was not subjected to any panic buying or stock shortages, nor was there any significant supply chain issues of note.
SC Johnson & Son continued to lead polishes in 2020 owing to the strength of its performance within shoe polish where its Kiwi brand leads with strong distribution through grocery and non-grocery channels. The company has continued to trial ways of making its polishes more efficient, with products such as Kiwi Kids Scuff for quick shoe polish touch-ups of children’s shoes and Pledge furniture wipes for quick and convenient furniture polishing.
Given the diverse use requirements and nature of the different types of polishes, the category is quite fragmented, both in terms of product attributes, category share by the various players and also distribution. For example, while the Kiwi brand is dominant within shoe polishes, it is not present within any other categories, and task specificity within each category makes cross-over appeal difficult.
While polishes is a highly-fragmented category, new house construction levels influence constituent categories such as metal polish and floor polish. COVID-19 lockdowns have caused significant delays to new house construction levels and the resultant economic uncertainty is likely to subdue the market over the initial stages of the forecast period, and this is likely to affect demand for floor polish.
COVID-19 has caused a significant shift to working arrangements in New Zealand. The nationwide lockdown proved that a productive and remote digital workforce is possible and, following the end of the lockdown period, many businesses implemented permanent flexible working conditions, with employees more frequently working from home.
COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way New Zealanders work and shop. Over the forecast period, more New Zealanders are likely to work from home, thus presenting opportunities for brands to sell direct to consumer via e-commerce channels.
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This report originates from Passport, our Polishes research and analysis database.
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