COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY MAY 2020
As the most often purchased product during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hand Sanitizers demand is projected to reach US$39. 1 billion by 2027. This simple personal hygiene product has gained immense popularity and critical importance as a must-have protection to survive the pandemic. Corona virus (COVID-19) is a highly transmissible disease spread largely by hand transfer of surface contamination to mouth, nose or eyes. Viruses in respiratory droplets from infected patients can survive on hard steel or glass surfaces for up to 72 hours. Frequent hand washing with virus-killing alcohol based hand sanitizers has therefore been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) to stay safe and control the spread of the infection. As a result, to be COVID-19 ready, panic stricken people, hospitals, offices and all public/commercial spaces have stepped up use of hand sanitizers. Supply demand imbalances are being further aggravated by stockpiling by hospitals and hoarding by consumers fearing shortages in supply. To meet the unprecedented surge in demand, alcohol companies, breweries and distilleries have shifted to producing hand sanitizers. Similarly, with the heat of the pandemic virtually evaporating demand for fuel, ethanol producers are also turning to hand sanitizer and hand rub production. With economic activity coming to a virtual standstill as lockdowns continue to remain in place in most countries, demand for fuel/energy has plummeted. The severity of the crisis can be put into perspective by the fact that oil price in the United States for the first time in history dipped below US$0 per barrel, and this volatility is expected to continue over the next couple of months. Also, with low carbon fuels expected to temporarily lose interest, ethanol producers are responding by repurposing production lines to manufacture sanitizers. FMCG companies are also ramping up their production capacities in response to rising demand.
Many more pandemics are expected to follow as a result of climate change, deforestation, wild animal habitat destruction, changing food habits, trade in exotic animal meat, and ability to bio-engineer disease-causing microorganisms in labs. Against this backdrop, the growing importance placed on hand hygiene practices in light of disease outbreaks will not lessen anytime soon. As the very basic of infection control, endorsement of hand hygiene by global health authorities such as the WHO will continue to play a pivotal role in popularizing hand sanitizer products across the consumer and healthcare markets. Hand hygiene can be singled out as the most basic of best practices to reduce infections in healthcare settings in addition to being the most effective and low cost intervention measure during pandemic management. Hand hygiene plays a decisive role in reducing rates of infectious illnesses in the community; and helps reduce gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses by 40% & 30% respectively. A key trend in the market is the growing consumer interest in eco-friendly green sanitizers featuring renewable plant based ingredients. The market also stands to benefit from the continuous R&D focus shed on developing innovative compounds and formulations with high germicidal efficacy. Focus on skin friendly products is fueling interest in hand sanitizers with ingredients such as benzalkonium chloride, triclosan and quaternary ammonium compounds. The current pandemic is strengthening foothold of alcohol-based hand sanitizers in the healthcare sector supported by high reliability and 99. 9 percent effectiveness against infectious bacteria, germs and pathogens. Along with innovations in formulations and dispenser designs highlighting convenience, dedicated marketing and promotional campaigns will also spur growth. In low income countries where lack of clean water is a major challenge, manufacturers are focusing on developing affordable hand sanitizers targeted at the urban poor.