Preliminary results from Kline’s Laundry Chemical Products USA: Market Analysis and Opportunities research uncover trends impacting the market. Kline is in the process of conducting hundreds of structured interviews with end users of laundry chemicals, as well as in-depth interviews with suppliers, distributors, and others knowledgeable about the market for commercial laundry chemicals. The research for the report due to be published this summer has uncovered some interesting trends. For example, long-term care and assisted living facilities rather than hospitals are driving sales growth of laundry chemicals for healthcare. Growth in hospitality laundry is being restrained by the increasing popularity of AirBnB and other short-term rental options. Laundry from some of these properties is done on site in a home-style machine. However, a large portion of short-term rentals are operated by property management companies who either do the laundry elsewhere in a home-style machine or at a commercial laundry.
Commercial laundries with high-volume tunnel washing machines often require a higher level of service from laundry chemical manufacturers because, as several complain, blame for low-quality outcomes fall on the chemicals being used rather than the tunnel operations, dispenser adjustments, or improper sorting/pretreating by the facility’s staff. Some chemical manufacturers avoid selling to commercial laundries with tunnel washers because of this time- and resource-intensive customer group and given that tunnel washers use far less laundry chemicals than conventional washers/extractors and cannot always be compensated for by higher sales volumes.
Green cleaning is a modest trend in laundry chemicals. Water reuse/recycling systems are slowly being mandated by more municipalities. Ozone systems still are not widely accepted or deployed, with many pros cited by system manufacturers and cons cited by chemical manufacturers. However, there is increasing interest in efficacious cold or warm water chemicals to save energy costs.
The condition of a region’s water will also affect sales of laundry chemicals. For example, locations with soft water or that need to use water softeners will often spend less on laundry chemicals whereas regions with untreated hard water need more laundry chemicals to ensure good quality outcomes.
For a full analysis of the commercial laundry market focusing on key challenges, changes, and business opportunities, learn more here.