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Top 10 Leading Hand Sanitizer Manufacturers in the world, 2020

July 13, 2020 | Consumer Goods

Have you ever thought that the cute little bottle of disinfecting gel that you often carry in your bag or even in your pocket may one day be so popular that it would fly off the shelves with a blink of an eye? Hand sanitizers have been present with mankind since 1966. It was discovered by Lupe Hernandez, a nursing student in California. He blended gel and alcohol for doctors to aid them in cleaning their hands before treating patients. These disinfectants have evolved since then- both in terms of packaging and ingredients. In the early days, they were made of pure alcohol which was harsh on skin. Later, they were equipped with only 60-70% ethyl alcohol or active ingredients, such as isopropanol that helped in keeping hands moisturized.

Fortune Business Insights, in a recent report, mentioned that the global hand sanitizer market size is expected to reach USD 1.87 billion in 2020. The company has profiled top 10 prominent hand sanitizer manufacturers operating worldwide.

Retailers Seeing Empty Shelves Amidst the Skyrocketing Demand for Hand Sanitizers

The actual love affair with hand sanitizers commenced in the first half of the 21st century when Bath and Body Works, the largest bath shop chain in the U.S., launched a wide range of these products in adorable pocket-sized bottles. At present, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe has created panic buying practices amongst the populace and hand sanitizer is not an exception. They are getting sold out within minutes from every departmental and online store. Additionally, coronavirus has created such a tremendous fear in people that they are stocking up this germ-killing gel.

As per our research study, in 2019, North America procured USD 485.59 million in terms of the market share. Some of the online retailers in the U.K. and the U.S. have implemented the maximum purchase quantity for the product to two per person. Renowned Hand Sanitizer Manufacturers, such as Reckitt Benckiser and Unilever are investing hefty amounts of money in their supply chains to keep up with the ‘flood’ of new demand.

The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled several key market players belonging to the fields of agriculture, beauty & skincare, and liquor to begin in-house manufacturing of hand sanitizers to meet the burgeoning demand. The American whiskey industry, for instance, halted the production process of beverages at present. It has started manufacturing alcohol-based hand sanitizers instead. Similarly, Honeywell, a provider of aerospace and building technologies commenced the hand sanitizers production at two of its chemical manufacturing facilities in Germany for donating the products to the needy institutions. This way, the market is opening doors to new growth opportunities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a list of the leading hand sanitizer manufacturers operating in the global market:

GOJO Industries, Inc.

Founded in 1946 by Jerry and Goldie Lippman, GOJO Industries, Inc. is a renowned manufacturer of skincare and hand hygiene products. It is based in Akron, Ohio. The company discovered the liquid soap dispenser in 1950. It created the iconic Purell product in 1988 to sanitize hands. In June 2019, it broadened its portfolio of PURELL SMARTLINK™ Solutions by bringing in the Integrated Monitoring System (IMS). It is equipped with Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) technology to help hospitals in easily adding location capabilities, such as asset tracking and nurse call. In May 2020, GOJO declared that it is planning to surge its manufacturing, shipping, and storage capacity for all the products, including Purell Advanced and surface sanitizers at Navarre, the United States. Its main aim is to meet the growing demand owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Procter & Gamble Co.

Incorporated in 1837 by William Procter and James Gamble, the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) is a multinational consumer goods corporation based in Cincinnati, Ohio. It began its operation by supplying candles and soaps to the Union Army between the period of 1858 and 1859. In April 2020, to fight the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, P&G commenced the production and distribution of hand sanitizers in five plants worldwide. Its team in Europe jumped into action to obtain and identify the raw materials required by receiving an approved recommendation and formula from the World Health Organization (WHO). The first pump bottle of alcohol based hand sanitizer was produced in Gross Gerau.


Headquartered in London, England, Unilever is a multinational consumer goods company that is considered to be the largest producer of soaps in the world. It was founded by the merger of the British soapmaker Lever Brothers and the Dutch margarine producer Margarine Unie in 1929. Laundry soap was the major contributor to the growth of the company in the mid-1960s. In March 2020, the company announced a donation of more than €100 million to provide food, bleach, hand sanitizers, and soaps for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, in April 2020, Unilever Australia & New Zealand (ANZ) commenced the production of aerosol-based Lifebuoy hand sanitizers in its pre-existing deodorant manufacturing facilities.

Henkel AG & Co. KGaA

Henkel is a consumer goods and chemical company headquartered in Germany. It was founded in 1876 by a 28-year-old merchant named Friedrich Karl Henkel and two of his partners. The company’s first product was a universal detergent called ‘Universalwaschmittel’ that was based on silicate. The company’s most renowned brand, Persil emerged in 1907. In 2017, the laundry detergent under Persil generated sales of more than 1 billion euros. In March 2020, Henkel announced its goal to develop reusable or recyclable packaging to increase sustainability till 2025. Such a step would also promote a circular economy. In April 2020, to fight against the coronavirus crisis, it converted a production facility and produced 25,000 liters of hand disinfectants at its Düsseldorf site. These will be donated to the nearby public institutions and hospitals.

Reckitt Benckiser Group plc

Founded by the merger of the Dutch company Benckiser NV and the British company Reckitt & Colman plc in 1999, Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (RB) is a manufacturer of home, hygiene, and health products. With operations in around 60 nations worldwide, RB is presently striving to strengthen its position through acquisitions and new product launches. In December 2019, the company opened its unique Science and Innovation Centre in Hull, England. It required an investment of £200 million and would consist of the latest consumer health laboratory facilities. Its bestselling product, ‘Dettol Hand Sanitizer’ claims to kill 99.9% of germs.

3M Co.

This 118-year-old manufacturer of more than 60,000 products was founded by William A. McGonagle, John Dwan, Henry Brya, and Hermon Cable. It is headquartered in Maplewood, Minnesota. In 2018, 3M ranked 95th in the Fortune 500 list for generating the largest revenue in the U.S. Some of its most popular brands are Post-it, Nexcare, Scotch-Brite, ACE, Command, FUTURO, and Filtrete. In 2019, 3M invested approximately USD 3.6 billion in the research and development activities and capital expenditure to manufacture more innovative products in the future. In March 2020, the company declared that it expanded the production capacity of filtration solutions, disinfectants, and instant hand sanitizers to lower the impact of COVID-19 globally. In addition to this, it surged investments in the U.S. to broaden the capacity of N95 respirators by 30%.

Kimberly-Clark Corp.

The multinational personal care corporation, Kimberly-Clark produces medical and surgical instruments, as well as sanitary paper products. It was founded in 1872 by Franklyn C. Shattuck, John A. Kimberly, Charles B. Clark, and Havilah Babcock in Texas. Its wide range of brands consists of Kleenex, Viva, Scott, Huggies, Poise, Depend, GoodNites, Kotex, Little Swimmers, and more. The company’s charitable arm known as the Kimberly-Clark Foundation persistently invests in several activities to increase sanitation access. In April 2020, the company’s brands, namely, Cottonelle and Kleenex planned to donate USD 100,000 to the United Way Centraide Canada. The aim of this donation is to help the vulnerable population fight against COVID-19.

The Clorox Company

Formerly known as Clorox Chemical Company, the Clorox Company was founded in 1913. It is a manufacturer and marketer of professional and consumer products. Some of its best-selling brands include Hidden Valley, Formula 409, Glad, Green Works Cleaning Products, and Burt’s Bees. In May 2020, United Airlines unveiled the United CleanPlus initiative by partnering up with Cleveland Clinic and Clorox to provide an innovative standard of cleanliness. The cleaning products of Clorox, including high quality hand sanitizer sprays and hand soaps, will be used at the airports for the masses.

Lion Corporation

Headquartered in Japan, Lion Corporation is a reputed manufacturer of oral hygiene products, medications, soap, and detergent. It was founded by Tomijirō Kobayashi around 101 years back. It houses a chemical engineering research division that aids in developing state-of-the-art products. Halix, Bio Zip, Clinica, Charmy Magica, Denthealth, and Excedrin are some of its most renowned brands. In May 2020, the company announced that it is planning to increase the production of hygiene-related products, such as disinfectants and hand soaps to help people combat the coronavirus pandemic. It will also donate around ¥100,000,000 to the Japan Red Cross Society for supporting the front line workers.

Himalaya Global Holdings Ltd.

Established in 1930 by Muhammad Manal, Himalaya Global Holdings Ltd. is based in Karnataka, India. It is a manufacturer of health care products equipped with ayurvedic ingredients. These are sold under the name Himalaya Herbal Healthcare. It has a wide geographic footprint across Oceania, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the U.S., and India. The company has published approximately 8 research papers on PureHands hand sanitizer gel by conducting extensive research and development activities. In May 2020, the company introduced its digital film called ‘#ThePurestGreeting’ to create awareness about the importance of social distancing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, the film presents Himalaya Pure Hands, the company’s latest range of sanitizer and hand wash. Its main aim is to promote the usage of the beautiful Indian gesture of ‘Namaste’ to greet one another.

The Road Ahead

With time, the coronavirus pandemic will come to an end and with it, the demand for hand sanitizers would drop. It would severely affect those companies that have completely pivoted towards this new field. They will have to develop new facilities or renovate their plants in future. The small enterprises, on the other hand, would be able to easily overcome the situation and get back to selling their pre-existing products and services. Therefore, the hand sanitizer manufacturers that are most likely to be impacted must have a back-up plan that would help them gain business confidence efficiently.

Author’s Bio -

Name: Reeti Banerjee

Reeti Banerjee is currently working as a content writer in a prominent market research firm named Fortune Business Insights™. She specializes in writing articles, press releases, blogs, and news reports. She believes in maintaining simplicity throughout her content to provide the clients with a seamless reading experience.

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