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Detergent Chemicals Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Product Type (Surfactants, Builder & Fillers, Enzymes, Fragrances, and Others), By Application (Solid Detergents, and Liquid Detergents), By End-user (Household, and Industrial & Institutional), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI105804



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The global detergent chemicals market size was USD 50.14 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow from USD 53.53 billion in 2021 to USD 71.26 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 4.2% during the 2021-2028 period. Asia Pacific dominated the global market with a share of 47.22% in 2020.

The sudden rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with the product witnessing a positive demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a growth of 12.6% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019.

The formula includes different types of chemicals such as surfactants, builders, fillers, enzymes, fragrances, bleaches, opacifying agents, dyes, and others. Each ingredient has functional characteristics, and the combination of such ingredients defines the functional properties of final detergent products. To improve the functional properties, leading suppliers are investing in developing new sustainable ingredients and other personal care applications. For instance, in March 2021, BASF entered into strategic partnership with the Japan-based Allied Carbon Solutions Co., Ltd. and the UK-based Holiferm Ltd. to develop biosurfactants. These surfactants will be used to formulate home care & personal care products.


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Increasing Adoption of Sustainable Detergents to Open New Growth Avenues

Stringent government regulations backed by continually growing environmental concerns are paving pay for the adoption of natural detergent ingredients. Also, consumers are becoming more aware of the presence of harmful chemicals in the formula. Thus, demand for natural raw materials such as bio-surfactants is expected to gain importance during the forecast period. Leading manufacturers and consumers are inclined towards incorporating natural ingredients to tap the growth opportunities in this segment. For instance, in April 2019, the liquid detergent named ‘Attack Zero’ was commercialized in Japan on the basis of Bio IOS developed by Kao Corporation.


The COVID-19 Pandemic Pushed Demand for Cleaning Products, including Detergents

The COVID-19 pandemic suddenly pushed demand for cleaning products, including detergents, from household, institutional and industrial consumers. Keeping the living environment clean & hygienic was said to be an efficient way to curb the spread of coronavirus. Thus, there has been a steep increase in consumption, especially in households. Also, in 2020, detergents were in high demand along with disinfectants in essential services & industries, such as government offices, food, and pharmaceuticals.

Our internal data analysis estimates that the demand for household products increased by more than 16% in 2020 as compared to 2019. Also, the still-ongoing pandemic in 2021 is expected to drive the demand. To meet the rising demand for cleaning products, leading global & regional players such as P&G Unilever Group increased their production capacities. All these factors collectively pushed the demand for these chemicals. However, the trade restrictions amid lockdowns disrupted the supply chains and acted as a limiting factor for the growth of the detergent chemicals market.   


Introduction of Multi-Featured Detergents to Boost Market Growth

To garner the market position, leading manufacturers are focusing on introducing advanced and multi-featured products, thereby fueling the growth of the chemical market. For instance, in 2021, Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL) expanded its laundry portfolio in the Indian market. In the same year, P&G launched a new line of plant-based laundry care products. In 2020, the Reckitt Benckiser group introduced plant-based laundry detergent on Amazon in the U.S. The same year, P&G India launched a new 3in1 POD under the Aerial brand.

In 2019, HUL launched its premium fabric wash line under the ‘Love & Care’ brand. These new brands offer multi-features such as delicate cleaning, softness, and shine. Such timely introduction of new products by key players is creating potential demand for all types of detergent chemicals. With increasing consumption, the global market is expected to show growth accordingly.


Environmental Concerns & Health Hazards to Confine Market Growth

Scientific research shows that the prolonged exposure or ingestion of these harmful chemicals can cause dangerous health hazards, especially for children. The health effects include skin irritation, eye irritation, allergies, breathing issues, and even tumour. The presence of harmful chemical substances in synthetic detergents can cause serious environmental effects. For instance, phosphates cause the growth of algal blooms in lakes & rivers, causing a threat to the aquatic ecosystem. Detergent lowers the surface tension of water, which leads to easy absorption of harmful organic chemicals by the aquatic animal. Such factors are limiting the growth of the market for these chemicals.


By Product Type Analysis

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Builder & Fillers Segment to Hold the Largest Share of the Global Market

Based on product type, the global market is segmented into surfactants, builders & fillers, enzymes, fragrances, and others.

In 2020, the builder & fillers segment dominated the global market due to their higher percentages in detergent formulation. Chemicals such as sodium silicate, sodium metasilicate, polycarboxylates, sodium carbonate, and zeolite act as builders & fillers and enhance the cleaning properties.

Surfactants are an essential component of developing any formula. The choice of surfactants is dependent on the builders used foaming. Anionic surfactants such as alkylbenzene sulfonates are widely used. Also, the non-ionic surfactants based on natural sources are expected to drive the growth of the segment.

 Enzymes are the fastest-growing segment in the market, followed by fragrances. Enzymes such as amylase protease improve efficiency, and fragrances cover the smell of other chemicals & provide a clean smell. Other segments include bleaches, dyes, opacifying agents, etc. Bleach & dyes improve the aesthetic appeal, whereas opacifier provides a lotioned & milky appearance to the detergents.     

By Application Analysis

Solid Detergents Segment to Dominate the Market over the Forecast Period

Based on application, the global market is categorized as solid and liquid detergents. The solid segment accounted for the largest share in the global market. The weight percentages of these chemicals in solid ones are higher than in liquid ones. In general, the liquid product contains 60-70% water along with other chemicals. Moreover, solid ones are in the form of powder, tablets, and sheets. These are widely used as convenient products in both developed and developing economies.

However, liquid chemicals are expected to register strong growth due to the increasing adoption of liquid detergents in emerging economies. These products offer quick dissolution, ideal for delicate fabrics, and are more suitable for washing machines. Therefore, such advantages are driving the growth of chemicals for liquid product manufacturing.   

By End-user Analysis

Household Segment to Lead the Market in the Upcoming Years

Based on end-user, the global market is categorized as household and I&I (Industrial & Institutional).

Among these, the household segment was the largest revenue contributor and is expected to grow at a faster rate in the near future. The rising middle-class population and increasing consumer spending on home care & personal care products are the main key factors driving the growth of this segment.

Owing to the higher demand from the laundry care industry, laundry detergent chemicals are expected to indicate strong growth in the near future. Implementation of good manufacturing practices in industrial sectors and the higher importance of hygienic ambience in commercial & institutional sectors are driving the growth of the market. The rising government & private investment in establishing commercial infrastructure is pushing the demand for cleaning products and, consecutively, for raw materials.    


Asia Pacific Detergent Chemicals Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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Owing to the large-scale presence of soap producers in China, India, and South East Asian countries, Asia Pacific held the largest detergent chemicals market share. The market size of Asia Pacific was USD 23.68 billion in 2020, and the region is projected to indicate the fastest growth during the forecast period. Increasing industrialization, commercialization, & household expenditure in the region are pushing demand for innovative & sustainable detergents. Moreover, the increasing population & per capita consumption is paving the way for all chemicals in the region.      

North America ranked second in terms of consumption, followed by Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa. In North America, the U.S.A. is the major producer. Thus, the country consumes a large quantity of raw materials. The per capita consumption in the U.S. is about 10 kgs, which is higher than the global average. Households consume the majority of detergents, and the segment is expected to lead the market in the future.

Stringent ecolabel regulations in Europe are forcing manufacturers to adopt eco-friendly ingredients. Companies such as BASF SE, Clariant, Croda, and Novozymes are actively investing in new bio-based technologies in Europe. Also, rising competition among these leading players is creating a healthy environment for the growth of the market in Germany, France & the UK.    

Owing to the fast industrialization and rising middle-class income, Latin America is expected to indicate significant growth in detergent and consecutively detergent chemicals consumption. Healthy growth of industrial & commercial infrastructure in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, and Chile is creating potential demand for I&I cleaning products.

With changing global trends, the formulators in the region are adopting new technologies and advanced surfactants, builders, fillers, and other chemicals to stay competitive in the regional market. The dominance of the solid segment and favourable growth of Industrial & Institutional (I&I) cleaning products are driving market growth in the Middle East & Africa.

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The rising awareness about the importance of maintaining personal and household hygiene in developing African countries is pushing demand for all products & raw materials in the region.


Kay Players Are Investing in Developing New Products to Meet Consumer Expectations

The global market is fairly fragmented, with a sufficient number of regional and global players. Increasing competition between all key competitors is paving the way for the incorporation of new technologies, materials & advanced manufacturing processes. To garner their strategic presence, leading players such as BASE SE, Evonik, DuPont, and Novozymes are introducing functional detergent ingredients to emerging and well-established markets. Considering the consumer preference towards bio-based ingredients, BASE SE is actively investing in research & development to meet the performance balance, formulation cost, and, more importantly, sustainability. In the last couple of years, BASE SE introduced a new portfolio of biosurfactants, enzymes & other chemicals.    


  • BASF SE (Germany)

  • Clariant AG (Switzerland)

  • Ashland Inc. (USA)

  • Evonik Industries AG (Germany)

  • Akzo Nobel N.V. (The Netherlands)

  • Croda International plc (UK)

  • DuPont (USA)

  • P&G (USA)

  • Stepan Company (USA)

  • Huntsman International LLC (USA)

  • Solvay (Belgium)

  • Novozymes (Denmark)

  • Other Key Players


  • December 18, 2019: Evonik Industries & Unilever Group joined hands together to launch bio-based surfactants named ‘Rhamnolipid.’ The surfactant is mild on the skin, biodegradable, and renewable. It is used first time in Unilever’s Quix home cleaning brand.

  • April 18, 2019: DuPont's Nutrition & Bioscience department launched its bio-based Optimase enzyme portfolio for the cleaning of medical instruments. These enzymes allow manufacturers to attain excellent & efficient cleaning performance required in Medical applications.


An Infographic Representation of Detergent Chemicals Market

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The detergent chemicals market report provides both qualitative & quantitative insights into the global market. Quantitative insights include the global market sizing in terms of value & volume across each segment, sub-segment, and region profiled in the scope of the study. Also, it covers market share analysis and growth rates of segments, sub-segments, and key counties across each region. The qualitative insight covers the elaborative analysis of market drivers, restraints, growth opportunities, and key market trends related to the market. The competitive landscape section covers detailed company profiling of key players in the market and their growth prospects.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion) (Kilo Tons)


  By Product Type; By Application; By End-User; and By Region

By Product Type

  • Surfactants

  • Builder & Fillers

  • Enzymes

  • Fragrances

  • Others

By Application

  • Solid Detergents

  • Liquid Detergents

By End-User

  • Household

  • Industrial & Institutional

By Geography

  • North America (By Product Type, By Application, By End-User, By Country)

    • The U.S. (By End-User)

    • Canada (By End-User)

  • Europe (By Product Type, By Application, By End-User, By Country)

    • Germany (By End-User)

    • UK (By End-User)

    • France (By End-User)

    • Russia (By End-User)

    • Rest of Europe (By End-User)

  • Asia Pacific (By Product Type, By Application, By End-User, By Country)

    • China (By End-User)

    • India (By End-User)

    • South Korea (By End-User)

    • ASEAN (By End-User)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By End-User)

  • Latin America (By Product Type, By Application, By End-User, By Country)

    • Brazil (By End-User)

    • Mexico (By End-User)

    • Rest of Latin America (By End-User)

  • The Middle East & Africa (By Product Type, By Application, By End-User, By Country)

    • GCC (By End-User)

    • South Africa (By End-User)

    • Rest of the Middle East & Africa (By End-User)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 50.14 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 71.26 billion by 2028.

The global market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% during the forecast period.

The solid segment held the highest share in the market.

The increasing consumption in the household and industrial cleaning is fueling the growth of the global market.

BASF SE, Clariant AG, Croda International, DuPont, Ashland Inc. Huntsman, and Novozymes are the key players in the global market.

Asia Pacific dominated the global market in terms of share in 2020.

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