Consumers have shifted to hand sanitizers in the last few months as an adequate substitute for handwashing to protect themselves against COVID-19. Due to the unprecedented surge in demand, heritage players like Purell and Bath & Body Works are facing out–of–stock issues, while a new wave of products has emerged courtesy of beauty companies large and small, including LVMH and Tan-Luxe.
A category that has previously seen comfortable growth, averaging increases of about 4% annually over the last five years with nearly $400 million in retail sales in the United States in 2019, hand sanitizers are now on track to more than double sales in 2020. Stockpiling and price increases for alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also expected to contribute to the significant sales gains this year.
However, the latest news around hand sanitizers involves warnings from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), advising consumers to avoid certain alcohol-based hand sanitizers that have tested positive for methanol contamination. This has forced major retailers like Target and Walmart to recall potentially toxic products sold in their stores and online.
With rising concerns about the safety of these products, it will be essential for marketers to prioritize ingredient transparency and product labeling in addition to efficacy claims during the pandemic and beyond. Touchland, an innovative hand sanitizer brand launch in 2018, was quick to respond to the FDA warnings on its social media pages, sharing more information about its supply chain, manufacturing facility, and how its products are fully compliant with FDA standards.
Our Hand Sanitizers USA report, which will be available this month, will explore emerging trends and new developments in the category, include the impact of COVID-19 on forecasts through 2024, and answer questions about whether these products will become a part of everyday life in the long term.