hand sanitiser

Source: Unsplash

Focus On: Hygiene Products, by Abbie Dawson

Publishing: 27 June

Advertising deadline: 12 June

Download the synopsis

Submissions deadline: 5 June

The story

Cleanliness is key in the fight against coronavirus. So, it’s no surprise hygiene products have been in huge demand. Official advice to frequently wash our hands has led to supermarket shelves being stripped of the likes of hand sanitiser and wet wipes. Orders for both have reached astronomical levels, suppliers have reported. Meanwhile, bleach is being hailed by government as the ultimate surface cleaner to avoid the spread of Covid-19. But it’s also had to tackle some very irresponsible advice from the US. So, how dramatic has demand been for hygiene products? How are they coping in keeping stock available? And which brands are scoring the biggest wins, sales-wise?

Key themes

Demand – exactly how big was panic-buying of hygiene products? By how much has it settled down? Which categories and brands have seen biggest gains? Which haven’t benefited – and why?

Bleach – bleach brands rushed to advise against ingesting their product last month, after Donald Trump erroneously suggested it would stave off Covid. In the UK, however, the government is urging people to clean only their homes with bleach. How have sales been? Are suppliers keeping up with demand?

Surface cleaners and detergent – which ones are doing best? Are shoppers still favouring eco-friendly brands, or are factors such as price and familiarity pushing them back to longerstanding brands and/or own label?

Hands – sanitiser sales have gone through the roof, with numerous suppliers outside of hygiene chipping in to keep up with demand. Like who? At the same time, pack prices have soared: social media has shown small bottles of sanitiser selling for as much as £25. Prices have since settled down – but by how much? What level of demand is their now – not just for sanitiser but also anti-bacterial soap? Which soap brands are doing best, and which are innovating to help tackle the virus?

Wipes from their hands to their supermarket trollies and groceries, shoppers are wiping down seemingly everything. So hard to find did wipes become that the Metro circulated advice on a DIY version. At least one supplier has gone from shifting 500k units to more than 11 million. What’s the story for wipes?

Laundry – people are worried about Covid on clothes. It’s led to John Lewis warning clothes could be put in quarantine after a shopper has tried them without buying. Meanwhile, one laundry brand has reported a 200% uplift across Europe because it has the only product with sodium hypochlorite – a chemical suggested as a way to ensure the virus is removed from clothing. Are other brands getting in on this action? If so, how and with what?

Kantar data – using Kantar commentary, we explain the reasons behind the rise and fall of the relevant hygiene categories

Innovations we identify four new products that have ideally not appeared in The Grocer before including launch date and RSP, and a picture of each.