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Global Hand Sanitizer Industry Triggered by Rapidly Evolving Coronavirus Disease Pandemic

Hand sanitizer is an antiseptic or antimicrobial formulation that is applied on hands to remove various disease-causing pathogens. It mainly consists of ethanol, ethyl or isopropyl alcohol and other inactive ingredients, such as thickening agents, fragrances and emollients or humectants. Hand sanitizer acts quickly against bacteria and viruses and is considered as a more efficient and gentler option for the skin as compared to the commonly used soap bars. According to IMARC Group, the global hand sanitizer market size reached US$ 1.2 Billion in 2019.

The ongoing spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which has been declared as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), is one of the key factors driving the market growth for hand sanitizers. Since little is known about the virus causing the disease (SARS-COV-2) except that regular hand washing reduces its impact, there have been several initiatives and programs focusing on following a regular hand washing regime. While washing hands with regular soap and water is considered as the ideal preventive measure, healthcare professionals are also recommending sanitizing hands using alcohol-based hand sanitizers as the most effective alternative to soap and water. This has significantly accelerated the demand for hand sanitizers across the globe. The market is further driven by several companies, which are repurposing their production capabilities, owing to the shortage of the sanitizers and the introduction of counterfeit and substandard products. For instance, luxury brands, such as the France-based conglomerate, LVMH, are switching from the production of perfumes to sanitizers.

Furthermore, favorable campaigns endorsed by societal role models and celebrities promoting the usage of hand sanitizers is acting as another major growth-inducing factor. For example, WHO and FIFA jointly launched the “Pass the message to kick out coronavirus” campaign, which enrolls world-renowned footballers from around the world in a video spreading awareness about the preventive measures that must be taken to combat COVID-19. In addition to this, since any vaccine for this disease is yet to be developed, the emphasis on maintaining hand hygiene is rapidly rising. Other factors, such as the launch of innovative online challenges, including the #SafeHandsChallenge by WHO, which promotes regular hand washing for at least 20 seconds to slow down the spread of the virus, are also contributing to the market growth. Due to these factors, the market is further projected to reach strong growth by 2025.

Gels hold the largest market share across the globe

Based on the product form, the report finds that gels represent the most preferred product, holding the largest market share. Other major product forms are foam, liquid and spray.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers represent the most popular product type

The market has been bifurcated on the basis of the product type into alcohol-based and non-alcohol based hand sanitizers. At present, alcohol-based hand sanitizers hold the majority of the market share.

Departmental stores dominate the market

On the basis of the distribution channel, hand sanitizers are mostly distributed through departmental stores. Other significant channels of distribution are pharmacies and online stores.

Hospitals represent the largest end use segment

Based on the end use, the market has been classified into restaurants, schools, hospitals, household purposes and others. Amongst these, hospitals are the largest end use segment, dominating the market.

North America exhibits a clear dominance in the market

North America currently (the United States and Canada) holds the leading position in the market. Other major regions include Europe (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Russia and others), Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia and others), Latin America (Brazil, Mexico and others), and Middle East and Africa.

The competitive landscape of the market has also been analyzed with some of the key players being Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc, The Himalaya Drug Company, Procter and Gamble Company, Henkel AG & Company, KGaA, Unilever NV/PLC, Vi-Jon, Inc., Gojo Industries, Inc., Chattem, Inc., Kutol Products Company, Inc., Henkel North American Consumer Goods and 3M Company.

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