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The global soap market size was valued at USD 43.31 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 45.58 billion in 2023 to USD 67.18 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.70% during the forecast period.
Bathing bars with attractive colors and fragrances, 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.
Rise in Awareness Toward Personal Hygiene Products during COVID-19 Pandemic to Fuel Market Growth
The COVID-19 outbreak and the emergence of lethal flu types such as H1N1 are creating huge demand for such disinfecting products to maintain hygiene and prevent the spread of infections, which is a major factor fueling the market growth. Furthermore, health regulatory authorities have proposed frequent hand washing to diminish the risk of getting infected by COVID-19. In addition, the rise in demand for organic and herbal soap amongst consumers has further driven the market growth.
Increasing Inclination toward the Use of Liquid Soaps to Propel Market Expansion
The innovation of bathing surfactant and liquid washing products has helped in fostering the product demand across the globe 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 bathing surfactant and liquid washing products and easy to carry soap paper strips, which are more convenient compared to solid bars. Therefore, increasing utility of liquid category products is shifting the consumer preference and is expected to boost the soap market growth.
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Rising Awareness Regarding Personal and Household Hygiene to Fuel Product Demand
Maintaining cleanliness is of utmost importance to reduce 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 regarding 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 stomach caused by bacteria and viruses. Therefore, the increased awareness regarding hygiene is expected to support the market growth over the forecast period.
Increase in Product Innovations to Drive Market Expansion
Key players are focusing on introducing novel solutions such as fragrance-free deodorants and transparent soap scrubs to attract customers. Additionally, market players are moving toward 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 significantly propel the market growth. Various organizations, such as the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild, are taking initiatives to provide training for manufacturing handmade washing and bathing surfactant products. This is expected to generate 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. The use of these items is 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, the increasing usage of automatic washing machines for cleaning clothes and dishwasher appliances is expected to hamper the 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 market growth.
Bath & Body Soaps Segment Dominated the Global Market Due to its Principal Usage
Based on product type, the market is segmented into bath & body soaps, kitchen soaps, and laundry soaps. The products under the bath & body soaps segment are majorly being used for bathing and cleaning hands. 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. 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.
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 product consumption considering their convenience in washing.
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Solid Segment Continues to Dominate the Market due to Traditional Use Trend
Solid soap is a traditional form 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.
Wide Applications to Keep Household Segment at the Dominant Position
Household uses of the product include hand washing, body cleansing, dish washing, and washing of clothes. The household segment is expected to hold a significant share in the market, owing to rising awareness regarding personal as well as household hygiene, increasing availability & access to hygiene products, and growing demand for body care washing and bathing surfactants. The commercial applications of the product include hotels & lodging facilities, hospitals, airports, and offices, among others.
Convenience Purchasing of Soap Products to Fuel the Hypermarkets/Supermarkets Segment
In terms of distribution channel, the market is segmented into hypermarkets/supermarkets, pharmacies, online channel, and others. The hypermarkets/supermarkets segment is expected to hold a major portion of the 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, 2022 (USD Billion)
Asia Pacific Soap Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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The market size of Asia Pacific stood at USD 16.52 billion in 2022. The Asia Pacific market is expected to hold a significant market share due to the presence of highly populous countries such as China and India in the region. Increasing 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 and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have initiated ‘handwashing with cleansing and lubricating products’ activities in the rural areas of countries such as India to spread sanitation awareness, which is boosting the product demand. For instance, according to data released on hygiene by UNICEF in June 2019, about 58% of central and southern Asian countries have basic availability of handwashing with soap and water on various premises such as schools. Moreover, increasing urbanization and changes in lifestyle are positively supporting market growth.
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 (2023-2030). This is owing to the presence of the highest number of infected patients in the U.S. with 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 toward 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. The 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 and better-sensitized population toward hygiene, which is ready to pay more for maintaining sanitation. For instance, according to data released by the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products, in 2019, about USD 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 USD 34.85 billion in 2018. Moreover, the rising 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 in South America and the 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 Organizations (WHO) is expected to drive the demand for hygiene products in both the regions.
Major Market Players Run Hygiene Campaigns for Product Promotion
Factors such as low-cost manufacturing processes and the 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 is expected to promote their products effectively and expand their customer base.
The 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 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 in recent years.
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CAGR of 5.70% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion)
By Product Type
By Distribution Channel
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was valued at USD 43.31 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 67.18 billion by 2030.
In 2022, the market value stood at USD 43.31 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 5.70%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2023-2030).
The bath & body soaps products segment is expected to be the leading segment under product types in this market during the forecast period.
Increase in innovative offerings from key players and rising awareness regarding health and hygiene are the key factors fueling the market growth.
GOJO Industries Inc., Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and Henkel AG are few of the leading players in the global market.
The Asia Pacific region dominated the global market in 2022.
Increasing demand for natural and handcrafted products and the surging usage of liquid soaps are expected to boost market growth.
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