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Soap Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Product Type (Bath & Body Soaps, Kitchen Soaps, and Laundry Soaps), Form (Solid and Liquid), Application (Household and Commercial), Distribution Channel, and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102841



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The global soap market size was USD 34.09 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 55.29 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.0% during the forecast period. Bathing bars with attractive colors & fragrances and which are claimed to have moisturizing, skin whitening, and anti-aging effects are gaining more popularity from end-users. On the other hand, dishwashing and laundry soaps, which have ingredients such as lemon, have a greater utility in cleaning utensils and garments and are therefore more in demand. Pandemics and epidemics such as the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and the emergence of lethal flu types such as H1N1 are creating a huge demand for such disinfecting products to maintain hygiene and prevent the spread of infections, which is a major factor fueling the market growth.


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Increasing Inclination towards Use of Liquid Soaps is Positively Impacting Market Growth

The innovation of liquid washing and bathing surfactant products has helped in fostering the product demand globally as most of the solid bars become slimy in water, which is not the case with liquids. Moreover, consumers feel that liquids are more hygienic when used by multiple users and also easier to store. Additionally, a small amount of liquid is enough to generate foam, and therefore, they can last longer. Furthermore, an increasing number of tours & travels have increased the demand for travel-size bottles of liquid washing and bathing surfactant products and easy-to-carry soap paper strips, which are more convenient compared to solid bars. Therefore, the increasing utility of liquid category products is shifting consumer preference and is, therefore, expected to boost the soap market growth.  


Rising Awareness Regarding Personal & Household Hygiene to Fuel Product Demand

Maintaining cleanliness is of utmost importance to reduce the occurrence and spread of diseases caused due to unhygienic practices. Washing off infectious microorganisms from hands as well as utensils and clothing helps to limit the spread of germs.  For instance, according to the article, ‘Forgetting to wash your hands can cost lives’ published in May 2017 by the World Health Organization, about 400,000 babies and 30,000 women die per year globally due to infections caused by lack of sanitation as well as poor hand washing practices.

Moreover, initiatives such as ‘Global Handwashing Day (15th October)’, ‘World Hand Hygiene Day (5th May)’, and ‘World Toilet Day (19th November)’ are promoting the use of these products.  These initiatives are making people more aware of the importance of washing hands with surfactant products before cooking, before and after eating, and also after using the toilet, which is important to prevent illnesses. The prevalence of infectious diseases such as diarrhea, pneumonia, and SARS, among others, can be significantly reduced by following proper hand hygiene.   

Additionally, brands such as Dial, Safeguard, and Dettol are developing antibacterial soaps to combat the issue of contagious diseases such as flu and upset stomachs caused by bacteria and viruses. Therefore, increased awareness regarding hygiene is expected to support the growth of the market.

Product Innovations to Drive Market Growth

Key players are focusing on introducing novel solutions such as deodorants and fragrance-free and transparent soap scrubs to attract customers. Additionally, players are moving towards sustainable products by taking efforts to use organic and vegan ingredients as well as focusing on introducing eco-friendly packaging solutions. For instance, in October 2019, Dove, a brand of Unilever, announced that all beauty bar products of Dove will be free of plastic by the end of 2020.  

Moreover, companies are taking the initiative of reducing plastic use by increasing the use of recycled plastic and replacing plastic packaging with more sustainable materials such as paper and metal.

Furthermore, the emerging trend of herbal and handmade products has the potential to grow the market size significantly. Various organizations such as the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Trade Associations are coming forward to give training for manufacturing handmade washing and bathing surfactant products, which, in turn, have created strong business opportunities particularly for women entrepreneurs.


Increasing Availability of Alternative Products to Hamper Market Growth

In the personal hygiene sector, traditional skin rubs are being replaced by shower gels and body wash products, which are hampering the traditional products industry. Moreover, in the household cleaning sector, detergents are increasingly being used as these are more effective in terms of removing stains on clothes and cleaning dirt on dishes. Additionally, increasing usage of automatic washing machines for cleaning clothes and dishwasher appliances is also expected to hamper this market growth as these appliances require specific detergents for effective cleaning. Therefore, the availability of alternative products in the market is expected to restrain the growth of the market.


By Product Type Analysis

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The bath & Body Segment Dominated the Global Market due to Principal Usages

Based on product type, the market is segmented into bath & body, kitchen use, and laundry. The products under bath & body segment are majorly being used for bathing and cleaning hands. For kitchen and laundry cleaning applications, the use of detergents is increasing as they deliver better performance than soaps. Moreover, the introduction of liquid dish wash surfactant products has increased their demand among customers owing to their convenience in washing. Bathing products are in high demand as alternatives such as shower gels or face wash products are usually higher priced. Moreover, players are introducing novel fragrances along with traditional scents such as sandalwood and rose in these products, which is attracting consumers for having a fresh and pleasant bathing experience. Additionally, infants and kids are more prone to infections due to their weak immunity, and therefore, the use of washing and bathing surfactant products for children is increasing. Players such as Johnson & Johnson are specifically manufacturing ‘Baby soaps’ which are non-toxic, gentle to the skin, and completely safe for use, which in turn is fueling product demand.

By Form Analysis

Solid Segment Continues to Dominate the Market due to Traditional Use Trend

Solid soaps are the traditional forms that are offered in various forms such as bars, paper strips, flakes, and powders. Bars also come in varied sizes such as square, round, and oval, among others, and also in an opaque or clear format. Floating solid washing and bathing surfactant products with the shape of animals or birds are also popular among children. Therefore, a wide variety offered in a solid category makes it a dominant segment. Additionally, washing and bathing surfactant bar products are more cost-effective as they do not need bottle packaging or dispensers as compared to their liquid counterpart. However, liquid washing and bathing surfactant products are considered more convenient to use and therefore, are considered to be one of the fastest-growing segments in this market.  

By Application Analysis

Wide Applications to Keep Household Segment at Dominant Position

Household uses of the product include hand washing, body cleansing, dishwashing and washing of clothes. The household segment is expected to hold a significant share in the soap market owing to the rising awareness of personal as well as household hygiene, increasing availability & access to hygiene products, and growing demand for body care washing and bathing surfactants. Commercial applications include hotels & lodging facilities, hospitals, airports, and offices, among others.

By Distribution Channel Analysis

Convenience Purchasing of Soap Products to Fuel the Hypermarkets/Supermarkets Segment  

In terms of distribution channels, the market is segmented into hypermarkets/supermarkets, pharmacies, online channels, and others. The hypermarkets & supermarkets segment is expected to hold a major portion of the soap market share. The wide availability of products, coupled with discounted prices as well as festival offers, in these stores attracts the consumer. Additionally, customers can check and compare the fragrances and other product ingredients in these marts, which is driving the segment growth. However, medicated and antibacterial washing and bathing surfactants are increasingly being purchased from pharmacy stores.


Asia Pacific Soap Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)

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The use of washing and bathing surfactant products for hygiene purposes is expected to boost the market in the North America region during the forecast period (2020-2027), owing to the presence of the highest number of infected patients in the U.S. with the coronavirus in the first half of 2020. For instance, according to the survey result posted by the American Cleaning Institute in March 2020, about 69% of the surveyed American population is using cleansing and lubricating products for cleaning hands to prevent COVID-19 infection. Moreover, consumers in North America are inclined towards the use of premium products and they are greatly fascinated with herbal and organic products that are usually high priced, which in turn, aids the market growth in the region. Increasing demand for liquid hand cleansing and lubricating products in the region is also propelling the market growth.

The market in Europe is characterized by the presence of a conscious & better-sensitized population towards hygiene, which is ready to pay more for maintaining sanitation. For instance, according to data released by International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products, in 2019, about US$ 30.07 billion were spent by customers in Europe in 2017 on household care products including laundry care and dishwashing products, which increased to about US$ 34.85 billion in 2018. Moreover, rising number of millennial population coupled with the increasing demand for the product from men in the region is also fueling the growth of the market.

The market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 12.63 billion in 2019. Asia-Pacific is expected to hold a significant share in the market due to the presence of highly populous countries such as China and India in the region. Increasing the literacy rate in the region is also expected to make people understand the importance of cleanliness and thereby foster product demand. Furthermore, players such as Unilever along with UNICEF have initiated ‘handwashing with cleansing and lubricating products’ activities in rural areas of countries such as India to spread sanitation awareness, which is boosting the product demand. For instance, according to the data released on hygiene by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in June 2019, about 58% of central and southern Asian countries have basic availability of handwashing with soap & water on various premises such as schools. Moreover, increasing urbanization and changes in lifestyle are positively supporting market growth.

The market in South America and Middle East & Africa is currently in its early stages. The rising number of hygiene campaigns such as ‘hand hygiene’ conducted by organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to drive the demand for hygiene products in both the regions.


Market to be Characterized by a Fragmented Competitive Landscape  

Factors such as low-cost manufacturing processes and easy availability of raw materials coupled with fewer regulations on production have led to the presence of several local as well as multinational companies operating in the market. Additionally, handcrafted cleansing and lubricating products are also gaining traction, which is expected to increase the production of these products to cater to their burgeoning demand. Players such as Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive are actively participating in hygiene campaigns such as ‘handwashing with cleansing and lubricating products’, which in turn is expected to promote their products effectively and thereby expand their customer base.


  • Colgate-Palmolive Co.(U.S.)

  • Henkel AG & Co. KGaA (Germany)

  • Procter & Gamble Co. (U.S.)

  • Unilever (U.K.)

  • Natura & Co. (Brazil)

  • Kao Corporation (Japan)

  • Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. (U.S.)

  • Reckitt Benckiser Group plc (U.K.)

  • Ecolab Inc.(U.S.)

  • Beiersdorf AG (Germany)


  • March 2020: Lush Cosmetics launched its new avocado shaped bathing bars, which are vegan and free of palm-oil and were introduced in the company’s Easter range of products.

  • May 2017: Unilever entered into a joint venture with the Europe & Asia Commercial Company (EAC) based in Myanmar, which is engaged in the manufacturing of bathing products, shampoos, and detergents. This joint venture will aid Unilever in manufacturing, marketing, and distributing Unilever’s home and personal care products in the Southeast Asian region.


The soap market 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 soap market 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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Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion)


By Product Type

  • Bath & Body Soaps

  • Kitchen Soaps

  • Laundry Soaps

By Form

  • Solid

  • Liquid

By Application

  • Household

  • Commercial

By Distribution Channel

  • Supermarkets/Hypermarkets

  • Pharmacies

  • Online Channel

  • Others (Convenience Stores, Department Stores, etc.)

By Geography

  • North America (U.S. and Canada, Mexico)

  • Europe (U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Rest of Europe)

  • Asia-Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, South Korea, and Rest of Asia- Pacific)

  • South America (Brazil, Argentina, and Rest of South America)

  • Middle East & Africa (South Africa, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Rest of the Middle East & Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 34.09 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 55.29 billion by 2027.

In 2019, the market value stood at USD 34.09 billion.

Growing at a CAGR of 5.0%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).

Bath & body products segment is expected to be the leading segment under product types in this market during the forecast period.

Increasing innovative offerings from key players and rising awareness regarding health & hygiene are the factors fueling the market.

GOJO Industries Inc., Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and Henkel AG are few of the leading players in the global market.

Asia-Pacific region dominated the global market in 2019.

Increasing demand for natural and handcrafted products as well as increasing usage of liquid soaps is expected to boost market growth.

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