Wash your hands for 20 seconds with antibacterial soap, of course, but be sure to wipe down that countertop, too, and, while you’re at it, throw another load of laundry in the washer. About a year after consumers around the world heard the term, “coronavirus,” the emphasis on clean has touched the very fabric of their lives. Sales of hard surface cleaners, disinfectants and hand sanitizers have soared during the past 12 months, but laundry detergent, bleach and other fabric care formulas have also benefitted from heightened awareness about germs, according to industry observers.
“Detergent and complementary products such as fabric, liquid softeners and dryer sheets increased as detergent increased,” said Ellen Chen, research analyst at Euromonitor International. “We’ve also seen powder detergent and bar detergent increase from previous declines, supporting the fact that more consumers are doing laundry during the pandemic. More specialty products such as fine fabric detergent saw a decline.”
In the US, sales of laundry detergent jumped 5.9% to nearly $8 billion, according to IRI (see chart at left). Euromonitor analysts attribute the gains, in part, to a propensity for overdosing among consumers who tend to use more than