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The global liquid soap market size was valued at USD 21.18 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 22.46 billion in 2023 to USD 35.70 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.84% 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 are fostering the product demand. The wide availability of liquid hand washes and body washes by diversified manufacturers is further expected to drive the product demand.
Increased Awareness Regarding Personal Hygiene Products amid COVID-19 Pandemic Propelled Market Growth
The convenience and ease offered by the liquid form over solid bars coupled with its efficacy in controlling bacterial and viral disease spread across the globe resulted in robust product demand. Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued guidelines such as frequent hand washing to prevent the spread of coronavirus, which further boosted the market growth.
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Technological Advancements in Soap Packaging and Dispenser Units
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, in October 2018, Khello Khillo Design LLP, based in Mumbai, India, launched its new product ‘SoaPen’ on Amazon. The product was packaged in an easy-to-use pen format intended for use by children. The soap could be dispensed by just rolling the pen on the hand without causing any spillage and therefore could 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 growth.
Increasing Awareness Regarding Hygiene and Health to Promote Market 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.
The government bodies of various countries are taking initiative toward the maintenance of personal hygiene practices by the 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 the 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 by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in April 2019, 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 during the forecast period.
Rising Demand for Natural and Organic Products to Propel Market Growth
The increasing trend of adopting organic products across the globe is the major factor promoting the liquid soap market growth. Herbal ingredients such as basil and neem (Azadirachta indica) 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’ ‘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 as 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 by players are likely to aid the market growth during the forecast period.
Presence of Toxic Ingredients May Hamper Market Growth
Soapy products contain ingredients, such as parabens and triclosan, which are toxic to the skin and the rising awareness regarding its adverse effects are hampering the market. Additionally, liquid form of soap requires a huge amount of packaging material such as plastic that ensures that the product does not leak. This results in excessive packaging costs for the company which increases the final cost of the product. Therefore, these products are expensive as compared to solid bars, which is a major factor hampering product demand. Additionally, excessive usage of plastic packaging also has increased the carbon footprint of manufacturing companies, which is causing hindrance to the market.
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Bath & Body Soap Segment to Hold Major Share Due to Personal Hygiene Awareness
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 toward the use of hand soaps and shower products in liquid form against solid bars. Bar soaps are 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. Furthermore, the rise in demand for liquid body wash over soap bars is further fueling the market growth.
Liquid-based handwashing soaps are gaining major traction owing to their effectiveness in disinfecting hands which, in turn, prevents the spread of contagious diseases. For instance, according to the ‘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.
Household Segment to Hold a Major Share in the Market due to Widespread Usage
Based on application, the market is segmented into commercial and household. The household segment is expected to dominate the market owing to the heightened use of the product for handwashing and bathing purposes. 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. The commercial segment includes restaurants, schools, and public places such as hospitals.
Hypermarkets/Supermarkets Segment Holds the Largest 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 toward online stores, supporting the growth of this segment.
Asia Pacific Liquid Soap Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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The market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 7.15 billion in 2021. The Asia Pacific market is expected to hold a dominant liquid soap market share owing to several factors. These include the presence of highly populous countries, flourishing hotel and resort business, and increasing sensitivity toward 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 the Journal of Cleaner Production, about 51% of the surveyed population in New Zealand spent about USD 7-35 every year, whereas 27% of them paid nearly USD 35-70 and 14% of them said that the spending was greater than USD 70 annually for liquid soap.
The North America market size is expected to grow at a considerable CAGR over the forecast period. Liquid soap was first introduced in the U.S., and therefore, it is well known to the population and 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, as of April 2020, the U.S. recorded the highest number of cases infected by the coronavirus as reported by the John Hopkins University. The pandemic boosted the product demand in the region. 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 more than six times a day. Additionally, this survey also estimated that 88% of the population 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. The European 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 the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products, about 81% of the surveyed population in Europe does 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 toward sustainable products in the region and government initiatives, such as European eco-label and organic product certification, are encouraging regional players to make sustainable products and promoting its use in the region, further bolstering product demand.
The South America and the Middle East & Africa markets are in their developing stage. The population in these regions is more inclined toward the use of bar soaps. However, the decrease in product prices and surging availability are expected to fuel the product demand in both the regions.
Global Industry is Fragmented and Competitive Owing to the Presence of Large Number of Players
The industry is fragmented owing to the presence of a large number of players, which enhances competition in the market. However, key players such as Unilever, Henkel, and Colgate among others have established their brand image in the market. Additionally, players are making 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 expansion of geographical presence and new product launches, 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 liquid hand soaps formulated with plant-based ingredients.
An Infographic Representation of Liquid Soap Market
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The market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, product categories, and distribution channels. Besides this, the 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 contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.
CAGR of 6.84% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion)
By Product Type
By Distribution Channel
According to Fortune Business Insights, the global market size was valued at USD 21.18 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 35.70 billion by 2030.
In 2022, the market value stood at USD 21.18 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 6.84%, the market will exhibit steady growth over the forecast period (2023-2030).
Bath & body soaps segment is expected to be the leading segment under product type in this market during the forecast period.
The increasing disease spread across the globe and rising awareness about hygiene are the major factors driving the market.
Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive, Henkel AG, and Procter & Gamble are a few of the leading players in the global market.
The Asia Pacific region dominated the global market in 2022.
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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