Hygiene Products Industry Analysis
Hygiene products (part of the body care industry) are used to maintain cleanliness and to prevent the spread of disease. Personal hygiene products are also bought to maintain well being and, increasingly, social acceptability. There are also ranges of products that cater to the hygiene needs of the medical, industrial and food industries.
Globally, individuals’ rising concerns about well being, together with advertising and frequent product innovation and modification, are influencing the growth of the hygiene products business. Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, Kimberly-Clark Corporation and the SCA Group are some of largest players, with well-known brands and comprehensive product ranges.
The following are the main segments of the personal hygiene product market:
- Personal cleanliness products are the largest segment of the personal hygiene industry. They include soaps, deodorants, hand washes, tissues and tooth paste. Among these, products related to toiletries and skin are the biggest sellers. In the USA alone personal hygiene sales are worth more than $8 billion annually.
- Medical hygiene products are used in the administration of medical care and treatment to prevent or minimize disease and the spreading of disease. Solvents, sterilization wraps, surgical gowns, drapes, face masks, head and shoe covers are some of the products used to maintain cleanliness in medical settings. A related segment is for cleaning products in care homes and similar institutions. The main buyers are hospitals, doctors’ practices and care organizations.
- Industrial hygiene is concerned with the assessment and control of disease-causing physical, chemical, biological or environmental hazards in the workplace or community. Products include disinfectants, disposable gloves, disinfectant tablets, odour neutralisers etc. Educational facilities, hospitality businesses, municipalities and operators of factories are the main consumers of these products.
- Food hygiene covers measures and conditions necessary to control hazards during slaughtering or harvesting, processing, storage, distribution, transportation and preparation of food. Food hygiene has a direct impact on a society’s wellbeing. Products that help maintain food safety include aprons, gloves, hygiene coats, and catering equipment. Food businesses such as supermarkets, delis, butchers, take-away shops and restaurants are the main buyers for these products.
Regional Market Shares
The USA and Europe have the most developed markets for hygiene products in all segments.
- USA: The USA is the largest consumer per capita of personal hygiene products, including soap: it accounts for about 16% of the global revenues of the soap market. In the medical segment, about 77% of US hospitals follow hand hygiene practices for protection against hospital-acquired infections. Again, the USA has the most active industrial hygiene sector in the world: for example, there are about 15,000 industrial hygienists in the USA with more than 100 schools offering degrees.
- Europe: Personal hygiene is also a significant market in Europe where it accounts for more than $15 billion per annum. The European Union as well as national governments set hygiene standards for the medical, industrial and food segments. Various organizations and associations are in place to promote healthy practices, for example the food industry formed a special working group to develop the European Good Hygiene practice guide for the collection, storage, trading and transport of cereals, oilseeds and protein crops, to ensure compliance with the European hygiene standards.
- Asia is another large and growing market for hygiene products. Because of their large populations India and China are the largest markets in the world for personal hygiene products, consuming 23% and 16% of the total volume, though consumption per head lags behind that of Europe and America.
Some of the factors and trends likely to promote the market for hygiene products include:
A growing awareness and emphasis on health, urbanization and higher disposable incomes are all contributing to the growth of the hygiene products market in the emerging economies. China for instance is expected to be a $47 billion market for personal hygiene products in the near future. A growing emphasis on personal presentation in these regions is expected to contribute to the growth of personal hygiene products.
The rising risk of outbreaks of epidemics like swine flu is likely to fuel growth in this industry. This risk will increase with the rise of international air travel, which means that infected travellers often arrive before they show symptoms.
Hand washing is the best known way to prevent infections. Therefore new technologies are emerging to improve hand hygiene especially amongst healthcare workers. For instance some hospitals in the USA have initiated the use of badges and smart watches that send alarms if the nurses and physicians enter patients’ rooms without cleaning hands. Another trend that is emerging is the use of no touch dispensers for hand washing. These are being used to prevent cross contamination. Hand sanitizers are also gaining popularity as a substitute for soaps.
List of Top Analysts
- JHPIA Japan Hygiene Products Industry Association
- The Indian Home & Personal Care Industry Association
- American Industrial Hygiene Association
- European Dental Hygiene Associations
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