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The global liquid soap market size was USD 17.48 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 28.79 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.9% during the forecast period.
Liquid soap, a strong competitor of the traditional bathing and laundry bars, has gained an overwhelming response over the years since it was first launched in the market a few decades ago. Easy-to-squeeze containers, coupled with widely available refillable packs, and the availability of a variety of fragrances is fostering the product demand. The ease & convenience offered by the liquid form over solid bars coupled with its efficacy in controlling viral and bacterial disease spread across all the regions in the world has resulted in gaining strong attention towards this product from the mass population.
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Technological Advancements in Soap Packaging and Dispenser Units to Augment Growth
The dispenser is an integral part of liquid soap products as it makes the product usage more convenient. Therefore, companies are focusing on developing easy-to-refill, quick-to-install and automatic dispenser units to increase product usage. For instance, Dial, a brand of Henkel, offers cost-effective ‘Eco-Smart Amenity Dispenser’ which has an easy to set-up unit for liquid soaps which are also provided with 100% recyclable refill bottles.
Moreover, new entrants are coming up with novel product formulations and innovative packaging designs which in turn, are creating a competitive environment in the market. For instance, a startup company called Khello Khillo Design LLP, based in Mumbai, India, launched its new product ‘SoaPen’ on Amazon in October 2018. This product is packaged in an easy-to-use pen format intended for use by children. The soap can be dispensed by just rolling the pen on the hand without causing any spillage and therefore can be easily carried along by children in the school or while traveling. Therefore, advancements in packaging and dispenser systems are expected to boost the market.
Increasing Consciousness Regarding Hygiene and Health is Promoting Growth
The global population is becoming more conscious about sanitation and maintaining cleanliness which is expected to drive the market. Liquid soap has the potential to effectively clean hands as well as various surfaces such as utensils, tiles, floor as well as clothes, thereby reducing the chances of microbial infections.
Government bodies of various countries are taking initiatives towards the maintenance of personal hygiene practices by general public such as hygiene maintenance in a public toilet. Additionally, the use of cleaning products for the prevention of healthcare-associated infections in hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic centers also has a positive impact on the market. For instance, according to the ‘Activity & Sustainability Report 2017-18’ published by International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products, the type of infections acquired in hospitals while working are avoidable by the value of 25% if proper hygienic conditions are maintained.
Moreover, increasing hygiene awareness in developing countries such as India, Brazil, South Africa, and Mexico, among others is expected to boost product demand. For instance, according to a research article, ‘Unhygienic Practices of Health Professionals in Brazilian Public Hospital Restaurants: An Alert to Promote New Policies and Hygiene Practices in the Hospitals’ published in April 2019, by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, about 77.8% of the restaurants in public hospitals present in Brazil do offer antiseptic liquid soap to their customers at the sink. Such initiatives taken by the general public and businesses are likely to aid in the expansion of the market in the forecast period.
Natural and Organic Products are Anticipated to Add Impetus to Market
The increasing trend of adopting organic products across the globe is the major factor promoting the soap market growth. Herbal ingredients such as Neem (Azadirachta indica) and Basil-based products are gaining popularity in the market due to their antibacterial properties. Companies are making efforts to manufacture products based on bio-surfactants and which do not cause any harm to the aquatic fauna and flora when the soap is washed off. For instance, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps company’s ‘Baby Unscented Pure-Castile Liquid Soap’ is specifically offered for babies and can be safely applied on sensitive skin. The product is formulated with organic ingredients and is also claimed to be biodegradable.
Additionally, sustainable packaging is also expected to witness strong growth in the coming years which will enable higher product demand. For instance, in 2017, Seventh Generation, a brand of Unilever, manufactured all the bottle caps of its dish soap products out of 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic (PCR). Such efforts taken by players are likely to bode well for the market in the forecast period.
Presence of Toxic Ingredients May Hamper Market
Soapy products contain ingredients such as parabens and triclosan which are toxic to the skin and the rising awareness regarding its adverse effects is hampering the market. Additionally, the liquid form of soap requires a huge amount of packaging material such as plastic that ensures the product does not leak. This results in excessive packaging costs for the company which, in turn, increases the final cost of the product. Therefore, these products are expensive as compared to solid bars and are a major factor hampering product demand. Additionally, excessive usage of plastic packaging also has increased the carbon footprint of the manufacturing companies which is causing hindrance to the market.
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Bath & Body Soap Segment is expected to Hold Major Share due to Personal Hygiene Awareness
Liquid-based handwashing soaps are gaining major traction owing to its effectiveness in disinfecting hands which in turn prevents the spread of contagious diseases. For instance, according to ‘Hygiene Matters – Report 2016-2017’ published by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, the HFMD (the risk of diseases of hand, foot, and mouth) can be substantially reduced by a factor of 60% if proper hand-hygiene is followed by children. Following good hygienic practices such as proper hand-hygiene and overall cleanliness at home and other facilities such as hospitals, schools, and restaurants are propelling the growth of this segment. Moreover, the younger population is more inclined towards the use of hand soaps and shower products in liquid form against solid bars. Bar soaps are thought to be often laden with germs and therefore, companies are putting claims such as ‘germ protecting liquid soaps’ and ‘antiseptic liquid soaps’ to promote usage of their products which is attracting the customers and supporting the market growth.
Household Segment is expected to hold a Major Share in the Market due to Widespread Usage
Based on application, the market is segmented into household and commercial. The commercial segment includes the restaurants, schools, and public places such as hospitals. The household segment is expected to dominate the market owing to the heightened use of the product for handwashing and bathing purpose. Additionally, the convenience offered by this product in automatic dishwashers as well as for manual dishwashing at houses is increasing the product demand especially from household applications.
Hypermarkets/Supermarkets Segment holds a Significant Market Share due to Convenience in Bulk Purchasing
Liquid soap is a commonly used commodity and easily available at hypermarkets/supermarkets. A wide range of brand offerings coupled with lucrative discounts on bulk purchases and seasonal offers attract consumers to purchase products at these stores. However, people in developing countries often visit convenience stores to buy such goods which are close to their residence places, and therefore the convenience stores segment is expected to grow at a moderate rate. On the other hand, the ease in buying products from the e-commerce channel is shifting consumer preference towards online stores and thereby supporting the growth of this segment.
Asia Pacific Liquid Soap Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)
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Liquid soap was first introduced in the U.S., and therefore, it is well known to the population and is widely available in stores. Additionally, people are more aware of sanitation due to frequent disease outbreaks including SARS in 2003 and H1N1 influenza in 2009. Moreover, the U.S. has the highest number of cases infected by the coronavirus as of April 2020 reported by the Johns Hopkins University. Therefore, this pandemic in 2020 has boosted the product demand in the region. For instance, according to a survey ‘Healthy Handwashing Study 2020’ conducted by the Bradley Corporation in January 2020, about 78% of the American population washes their hands for more than 6 times per day. Additionally, this survey also estimated 88% of the population to continue the handwashing habit even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
Europe is expected to hold a significant market share owing to the presence of developed countries in the region. Here, people are keen to maintain personal hygiene and are therefore ready to pay extra money to achieve the same in terms of hygiene products as well. For instance, according to the ‘Pan-European Consumer Habits Survey 2017’ published in May 2018 by International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products, about 81% of the surveyed population in Europe do acknowledge the importance of maintaining hygiene at home, wherein, about 63% of consumers said that the cleaning products industry do protect people’s health and keep public areas including hospitals, offices, and airports clean and hygienic. Moreover, the shifting consumer preference towards sustainable products in the region, coupled with government initiatives such as European eco-label and organic product certification is encouraging regional players to make sustainable products and promoting its use in the region, further bolstering product demand.
The liquid soap market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 6.12 billion in 2019. Asia Pacific market is expected to be holding a dominant market share owing to several factors including the presence of highly populous countries, flourishing hotel and resort business, and increasing sensitivity towards cleanliness. Moreover, the rising income level of households has resulted in the increasing sale of premium products such as liquid soaps which have helped expand the market size in the region. For instance, according to the survey report, ‘Household preferences when purchasing handwashing liquid soap: A choice experiment application’ published in 2019 by Journal of Cleaner Production, about 51% of the surveyed population in New Zealand spent about US$ 7-35 every year, whereas 27% of them paid nearly US$ 35-70 and 14% of them said the spending was greater than US$ 70 annually for liquid soap.
The South American and the Middle East & African markets are in their developing stage. The population in these regions is more inclined towards the use of bar soaps, however, increasing availability and reduction in product prices are expected to fuel the product demand in both the regions.
Global Liquid Soap industry is Fragmented and Competitive Owing to Presence of Large Number of Players
The industry is fragmented in nature owing to the presence of a large number of players propelling the market to be highly competitive. However, key players such as Unilever, Henkel, and Colgate among others have established their brand image in the market. Additionally, players are taking efforts to lower the price of the product to make it affordable to the mass population. Companies operating in the market are focusing on various strategies such as, new product launches, and expansion of geographical presence to strengthen their footprint. For instance, in March 2019, Procter & Gamble Co. launched its new brand, ‘Home Made Simple’ introducing various products including liquid dish soaps and hand soaps formulated with plant-based ingredients.
The liquid soap market report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as competitive landscape, product categories, and distribution channels.
An Infographic Representation of Liquid Soap Market
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Besides this, the research report offers insights into the market, current trends, and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.
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Value (USD Billion)
By Product Type
By Distribution Channel
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 17.48 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 28.79 billion by 2027.
In 2019, the market value stood at USD 17.48 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 5.9%, the market will exhibit a steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).
Bath & body soaps are expected to be the leading segment under product types in this market during the forecast period.
Increasing disease spread across the globe, coupled with rising awareness about hygiene are the major factors driving the market.
Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive, Henkel AG, and Procter & Gamble are few of the leading players in the global market.
Asia Pacific region dominated the global market in 2019.
The rising popularity of organic products, coupled with the growing packaging and dispenser innovations are expected to increase the adoption of soap products.
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