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Surfactants Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (Anionic, Nonionic, Cationic, and Amphoteric), By Application (Home Care, Personal Care, Textile, Food & Beverages, Industrial & Institutional Cleaning, Plastics, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102385



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The global surfactants market size was USD 44,157.4 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 60,500.4 million by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.9% during the forecast period.

Surfactants are chemical compounds that have low surface tension, two particles liquid, gas and liquid, or liquid and solid. Increasing applications in home and personal care, textile, and food & beverage industries are likely to have a positive impact on market growth. Incessant development within these sectors is expected to positively affect the market during the forecast period. It plays a major role in cleaning applications where it is added to cleaning agents, such as detergent, due to specific properties allowing them as wetting, washing, dispersing agents, and emulsifying. They are also used as an ingredient in lubricants like shaving creams for easy removal of hairs. Rising awareness regarding personal hygiene and living style is increasingly progressing the demand for products as one of the key ingredients, thus driving the market growth.

 Inclination towards Health and Hygiene to Boost Market Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

The consumers have adapted and responded to the challenges of COVID-19, leading to intriguing consumer trends. The pandemic has led to the rapid expansion of the household care industry due to growing concerns about cleanliness and hygiene. Innovation is currently driving the sales across household care product categories, which, however, still accounts for the same portion of sales compared to the sales of previous years. According to the Household and Commercial Products Association (HCPA), the market value is around USD 180 billion per annum of home care products such as cleaner, and disinfectants for homes and commercial environments. Increasing consumption of the aforementioned products will surge the demand and boost market growth subsequently. In addition, growing awareness about products such as hand sanitizer due to pandemics is also a factor driving market size.

Furthermore, the virus spread has severely affected industries such as textile, plastics, cosmetics, causing a temporary shutdown of manufacturing facilities, thus leading to a decline in sales and disturbance in the supply-demand chain. The global lockdown has caused disruptions for textile manufacturers, distributors, and retailers which has led to a decline in sales of textile goods. This disruption in sales has affected the demand and consumption of textile-related products, therefore leading to a substantial decline in market growth. 


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Increasing Demand for Green and Bio-based Surfactant products to Favor Market

The growing demand for sustainable technologies has led to the adoption of substitutes in petroleum-based synthetic products. Bio-surfactants have several potential applications for uses across the products such as emulsifying agents, biocides for sulfate-reducing bacteria, anticorrosive, and many other innovative applications. Due to versatility and efficiency, they are used in the industries such as home care, industrial cleaning, food & beverages, and others.

Bio-based are expected to become known as multifunctional materials derived from microorganism substrates miscible hydrophilic and oily/hydrocarbon type carbon sources in the culture medium. Biotechnology serves as a major factor in the development of bio-based products that can substitute petroleum-based products and are also environmental-friendly. Rising concerns over environment and resource preservation are further propelling product demand.


Increasing Demand for Various Applications to Aid Market Growth

The growing demand for various applications such as home care, textiles, and food & beverage shall augment the global market. Home care application is one of the major factors driving the market attributed to the rising consumer consciousness towards hygiene due to the protection from the spread of disease. Products that are used for home care include sanitizers, detergents, cleaning products, shampoo, hand wash, and high demand for these products is substantially supporting the market. Furthermore, industrial cleaning is used as cleaners of various chemical ingredients premeditated to work for removing types of soils and rubbish released during the manufacturing process.

The rising population has resulted in the increase in demand for food & beverages, where manufacturers have increased their production to sustain the growing demand, as the product is used as additives, further creating market growth opportunities.


Volatility in the Raw Material Prices to Hinder Market Growth

The price of raw materials is volatile owing to the environmental concerns coupled with crude oil prices are factors expected to hinder the market growth. The ill effects of surfactants on the environment regarding degradability and toxicity affects the prices of raw material. Various regional governments have mandated regulations over the use of resources and environmental protection. Low raw material prices along with technological constraints in the commercial production of petroleum products are expected to hinder the market growth during the forecast period.


By Type Analysis

Anionic Segment to Hold a Major Share in the Market

On the basis of type, the market is segmented into anionic, nonionic, cationic, and amphoteric surfactants. The anionic segment dominated the market due to the growing demand for linear alkylbenzene that is used in cleaning products and detergents. Anionic creates a high amount of foam when mixed with the base, making it a highly used additive for detergent and cleaning products. Nonionic are usually low-foaming and non-foaming agents, making it ideal for use in the emulsifying oils due to the advantageous characteristics of low foaming is estimated to boost the market growth.

Cationic surfactants have a positive charge that makes them useful in anti-static products, such as fabric softeners. It also serves as antimicrobial agent, having major use in disinfectants. Furthermore, amphoteric have dual charges on the hydrophilic end and often application as additives in shampoo and cosmetic products. Improving the lifestyle of consumers and rise in disposable income is likely to drive the cosmetic industry.

By Application Analysis

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Home Care Segment to Hold the Major Share in the Market During the Forecast Period

On the basis of application, the market is segmented into home care, personal care, textile, food & beverages, industrial & institutional cleaning, plastics, and others. The home care segment dominated the market in 2019 due to growing consumer demand for detergent, cleaners, sanitizers, hand wash, and other products. The pandemic has resulted in high awareness about hygiene among consumers which has caused increased consumption of consumer goods, thus driving the product demand.

Lifestyle changes and the awareness about the importance of quality food have led to an increase in the consumption of appealing and tasting food & beverage products. Rising population is also a factor leading to high consumer demand for food & beverages.


Asia Pacific Surfactants Market Size, 2019 (USD Million)

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North America is expected to hold a significant surfactants market share in the global market, which can be attributed to the rapid industrialization and rising disposable income in the region. The growth in the number of manufacturers of bio-based surfactants due to the feasible economic status of countries within the region is driving the market. Growing demand for homecare and cosmetics products, along with changes in consumer lifestyle, shall drive the market size in this region. Many producers such as Chevron, Dow, and Formosa Plastics have increased their production of ethylene oxide, among which 23% of purified ethylene grade is used for the production of surfactants.

Asia Pacific dominated the market in 2019. The growth can be attributed to the increasing demand for home care and personal care products from developing countries such as China, Japan, and India. Economic development has led to the improvement in the lifestyle of consumers, causing high demand for personal care products such as shampoo, shaving cream, and hand wash. Low labor and manufacturing cost in these emerging economies is propelling many industry players to shift towards this region to achieve global presence and growth. China is the major consumer and net importer of nonionic products resulting in growth potential.

The European market is experiencing significant surfactants market growth for the past few years due to an increase in demand from home care, personal care, and other industries. The rising cosmetic and textile industries, as Europe is a major region for the fashion industry, shall augment the market growth. Germany is a major producer of detergents, cleaners, and other products that uses surfactants as raw material. A growing economy and product availability has resulted in products containing constituents from renewable natural materials accounting for about 50% of total the market shares in Europe.

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Latin America and the Middle East & Africa are expected to experience substantial growth during the forecast period. This growth can be attributed to the abundance of petroleum and crude oil present in the region. This along with rapid industrialization and urbanization is further supporting the market growth. Whereas, in Latin America, the rise in the plastic and textile industry is supporting the market growth.


Joint Ventures and Capacity Expansion are the Key Strategic Initiatives Implemented by the Companies

Key players operating in the industry are Akzonobel N.V, Clariant AG, BASF SE, Kao Corporation, and others. Companies are involved in capacity enlargement, with new product development, acquisition, and joint venture, thus gaining a competitive edge in the global market. For example, Lion Corporation is developing environment-friendly ways to manufacture bio-based anionic surfactants. The company uses anionic surfactant methyl ester sulfonate (MES) that is derived from palm oil as washing ingredients for the laundry detergents

Solvay has expanded the company footprint in India for the personal care market, through making deals with the local producers. This benefits the company in gaining market position and improving the global presence.



  • In July 2021 Innospec expanded its production capacity to meet accelerating demand for its innovative, industry leading, mild and sustainability-focused surfactants. The company has invested $10 million in the expansion that is scheduled to come online between late 2021 and the first quarter of 2022. The developements significantly increase Innospec’s SCI and Iselux production capabilities and flaking capacity.

  • In April 2021 – Unilever partnered with LanzaTech and India Glycols to produce a surfactant made from industrial carbon emissions. The innovative shift in production utilises biotechnologies and a newly configured supply chain between the three partners, who are working together for the first time. The new surfactant will be used in an OMO (Persil) laundry capsule, which will launch in China on April 22nd, World Earth Day.

  • In March 2021 – BASF signed an agreement with Allied Carbon Solutions Co.,Ltd (ACS) and Holiferm Ltd. to expand its global leading position in the bio-based surfactants and actives market. With this development, BASF will develop and manufacture sustainable, non-fossil based, fermentation-derived ingredients for other classes of glycolipids with potential for application in home care, industrial formulators and personal care products.

  • In August 2020 – Locus Performance Ingredients introduced Ferma Line of Sophorolipids (INCI: Glycolipids), a new start-up developing biosurfactants through advanced fermentation, to replace petrochemical surfactants in personal care formulations. This launch will help the company to reduce carbon footprint by a minimum of 37%.  

  • In July 2020 – Pilot Chemical launched Aspire Surfactant Blends — highly versatile and processable concentrated blends of powerful anionic, nonionic, and cationic surfactants. With this launch, the company will serve its products in home care, industrial and institutional markets.


An Infographic Representation of Surfactants Market

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The surfactants market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, sources, applications, and products. Also, the report offers insights into market trends and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors that have contributed to the growth of the key market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Million); Volume (Kilotons)

By Type

  • Anionic

  • Nonionic

  • Cationic

  • Amphoteric

By Application

  • Home Care

  • Personal Care

  • Textile

  • Food & Beverages

  • Industrial & institutional Cleaning

  • Plastics

  • Others

By Geography

  • North America (By Type and Application)

    • U.S. (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

  • Europe (By Type and Application)

    • Germany (By Application)

    • France (By Application)

    • UK (By Application)

    • Netherlands (By Application)

    • Spain (By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (By Type and Application)

    • China (By Application)

    • India (By Application)

    • Japan (By Application)

    • South Korea (By Application)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)

  • Latin America (By Type and Application)

    • Brazil (By Application)

    • Mexico (By Application)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Application)

  • Middle East & Africa (By Type and Application)

    • Saudi Arabia (By Application)

    • South Africa (By Application)

    • Rest of Middle East & Africa (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 44,157.4 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 60,500.4 million by 2027.

In 2019, the market stood at USD 44,157.4 million.

Growing at a CAGR of 4.9%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2020-2027).

The home care segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

The increasing demand for homecare products owing to the high consumer inclination will drive the market growth during the forecast period.

Akzonobel N.V, Clariant AG, BASF SE, Kao Corporation Industries are a few of the leading players in the global market.

Asia Pacific dominated the global market in 2019.

The continuous growth in home care, food & beverages, and personal care Industries are expected to drive the product demand.

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