institutional cleaning market trends

Demand for Cleaning Chemicals Skyrockets as Cleaning Takes on New Significance 

The household, industrial, and institutional (HI&I) cleaning chemicals market is an area of great potential for chemical suppliers. The growth in sales of cleaning products and thus ingredients consumption in household cleaning products is soaring during the COVID-19 pandemic’s phase of extreme sanitization.  Globally, the household segment dominates this industry with more than a 77% share in ingredients sales value.  Convenient formats, including more sustainable products that obtain efficient results, drive demand and future development of this segment.  

COVID-19 has further skewed the share in favor of the household segment as governments around the world implemented lockdowns to control the spread of the virus. As a result, I&I facilities such as factories, hotels, restaurants, schools, and universities were closed and did not require cleaning.  Consumers stayed at home and realized the importance of regular cleaning and disinfection. They stocked up on cleaning products, at times for months, to avoid regularly shopping for these and other items. As a result, demand from the household segment skyrocketed in the first quarter of 2020 and led to a higher share for the household segment.

In terms of ingredient categories, surfactants dominate the market, accounting for almost two-thirds of the total market value. Alcohol ethoxylates, alkyl benzene sulfonates, alkyl ether sulfates, and quats are the largest surfactant types, holding more than 78% of total market sales of surfactants in the world.  Surfactants were positively impacted by COVID-19. The pandemic led to increased demand for surfactants at an overall level; however, it was not seen as much in the case of antimicrobials. This is because surfactants are used at small concentrations for producing disinfectants, demand of which continues to soar during the pandemic. However, the situation is different across individual surfactants as well as regions.

Demand for ingredients such as antimicrobials, bleach, and solvents was positively impacted as demand for disinfectants and powder detergents rose. Solvents include ethanol, which is seen as a crucial ingredient to eliminate the COVID-19 virus. As a result, demand for ethanol-based disinfectants grew, leading to demand growth for solvents. Bleach includes hydrogen peroxide and hypochlorites, which have bactericidal properties and are among the few ingredients that are approved by the U.S. EPA to be effective against COVID-19.

Based on the trends seen in the market, it is expected that the market for HI&I cleaning ingredients will grow at a CAGR of 2.7% until 2025. Enzymes, followed by surfactants, will be the fastest-growing ingredients, as demand shifts to environmentally friendly cleaning products. However, demand for bleach and bleach activators is expected to grow slowly, due to the demand shift toward liquid cleaning products. Interestingly, as demand of environmentally friendly cleaning products is growing, the demand for environmentally friendly or safe ingredients for manufacturing cleaning products is also increasing.

Additionally, COVID-19 led to the introduction of new cleaning products. For example, vegetable cleaners used to disinfect vegetables are available at grocery stores.

Going forward, while the trend toward green ingredients has been partially left behind during the pandemic, it is expected that the green trend will become even stronger in the cleaning industry in the long term, and formulators will look to use more environmentally friendly ingredients in their formulations. The long-term trends will create new opportunities for ingredient suppliers to work with formulators to develop innovative solutions which are both green and effective in terms of cleaning performance.To gain crucial insights and data on the HI&I chemicals global market​​​​​​, subscribe to Kline’s newly published Ingredients for Household, Industrial, and Institutional Cleaning Applications report.  


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