Foodservice Cleaning Products USA Survey Results

Foodservice Cleaning Products: Impact of the Pandemic on Back-of-House Cleaning

Despite a reduction in the number of U.S. restaurants that are operational, with estimates as high as 33% having closed permanently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the future of professional foodservice cleaning products looks bright. 

According to Kline & Company’s full-scale survey of 750 end-use decision-makers in industrial and institutional facilities on their back-of-house cleaning, the return of in-person dining in most parts of the country will boost sales of foodservice cleaning products in the commercial kitchens of restaurants, hotels, sporting venues, and office buildings. Already, hand care and surface disinfectants and sanitizers increased dramatically during the pandemic.  

Furthermore, there will be a boost in categories like warewash chemicals, rinsing and drying aids, machine delimers, manual dishwashing detergents, and presoaks, as restaurants eschew the disposable wares they used for take-out food during the pandemic and return to reusable ones. 

Meanwhile, the importance of e-commerce as a distribution channel for kitchen cleaning chemicals shifted during the pandemic. While the trend toward more online shopping has been gradually increasing over the past few years, the industry saw strong gains in e-commerce buying in 2020 and early 2021 due to COVID-19. This includes more purchases of kitchen cleaning chemicals via Amazon, distributor websites, manufacturer websites, and retailer websites. And although online buying increased through Amazon and other websites since our last survey, Kline found that the vast majority of B2B online shoppers are not shifting away from distributor websites.   

We also asked professional end users what they’re looking for in kitchen cleaning chemicals when making purchase decisions, and their answer didn’t surprise us: According to our survey, the tried-and-true features safety, convenience, effectiveness, and cost ― remain paramount. 

To discover how Kline’s Foodservice Cleaning Products study can help your organization understand the market, take advantage of opportunities, and better prepare for market challenges and competitive threats, contact us.   

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