Brits have splashed out an extra £28.8m on anti-bacterial surface sprays over the past five years with sales up 36.9% over that period [Kantar 260 w/e 27 March 2016].

Other surface cleaners, meanwhile, suffered a 5.7% decline to £209.3m, losing market share in the process: anti-bac cleaners now account for 33.8% of spend compared with just 26% five years ago.

This growth has been driven predominantly by Dettol, which grew 30.1% over the period, as well as own-label offerings.

“Dettol’s success has been through increased promotions but other brands are sitting up and noticing their success with anti-bacterial products,” says Andrew Zarb, Kantar Worldpanel analyst. More than 60% of Dettol’s volume sales over the past year were sold on promotion.

Reckitt Benckiser expanded the brand in January 2016 with a range of fragranced disinfection sprays that work on both hard and soft surfaces.

“Even in this time of range rationalisation, more anti-bacterial SKUs are coming into the market,” adds Zarb. In fact, there are 44 more SKUs in anti-bacterial surface cleaners than there were in 2012.

“Anti-bacterial has become a big trend in household cleaners and has seen significant growth over recent years,” says Nikki Hepburn, commercial manager for household care at Unilever, “particularly amongst the family shopper who is interested and engaged by the proposition of added protection for the home and for loved ones.”

While families with young children are the key demographic for anti-bacterial products, accounting for 19.6% of spend, it is worth noting that over 60% of the sector’s value still goes through households without children.

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