The II Outlook

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | November 3, 2010

Cost-containment and pathogen kill are the key to success in the competitive industrial and institutional cleaning market.

The economic recovery has been tepid at best. During the past year, people were dining out less, traveling infrequently and commercial real estate was still slumping. Yet somehow, demand for industrial and institutional cleaning products remained positive. Seems as though folks can’t get enough of those disinfectants, sanitizers and all-purpose cleaners that keep offices, health care facilities and schools clean. At the same time, marketers are rolling out easy-to-use products that promise to deliver fast kill (in the case of disinfectants) or long-lasting shine (when it comes to floor care) or even extend the life of fabrics.

A Gain in Sales
Kline Group estimates that sales in the U.S. I&I market rose 1.7% last year to approximately $11 billion. The Little Falls, NJ research firm just issued the 7th edition of its Janitorial and Housekeeping Cleaning Products USA market analysis. As the U.S. economy slowly emerges out of the recession, the focus of the I&I industry has changed a bit, according to an expert at Kline.

Crews are always looking for more efficient ways to clean.
“The industry’s mantra is greener, cleaner, safer, but it (cleaning product) needs to be cost neutral in this economy,” observed Bruce Boynick, an industry analyst with Kline. “Green is real and authentic and dynamic. But are people focused on cost or sustainability? Can they have both?”

Less Hospitable Environment?
The Great Recession forced everyone in the I&I sector to review cost structure. For example, traveling volume fell sharply when the financial crisis began in 2007 and lodging operating metrics of revenue per available room and the average daily room rate (ADR) dropped accordingly. In response to the decline, hotel operators implemented cost containment programs and kicked off aggressive promotional activity. In fact, at one point in 2009, the average hotel room rate in the U.S. was declining faster on a percentage basis than the average hotel occupancy rate during that period.

“Obviously, business in the hospitality sector was weak last year because leisure and business travel was down,” noted Steve Kovacs, R&D section head, Procter & Gamble Professional. “Budget pressures have increased and operators are under pressure to lower operating costs.”

While they may be watching their greenbacks, hoteliers are also concerned about dingy sheets and pillowcases. Those concerns led P&G Professional to roll out Tide Whiteness Enhancer, a non-bleach rinse aid designed to enable whiteness rejuvenation, whiteness longevity and fabric strength, and help provide noticeably whiter linens in a single cycle. According to P&G, this new addition to the Tide Professional Laundry System can help improve customers’ bottom lines by reducing linen replacement cost due to worn fabrics by up to 55%, while keeping linens whiter and stronger for a longer period of time.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that a lodging industry rebound is underway, but the hospitality industry remains under siege.

“I’ve seen the reports that the recession is over, but the hotelier hasn’t seen that yet,” observed Kovacs. “The industry will continue to look for ways to reduce operating costs while maintaining a high level of guest satisfaction and room cleanliness plays a big role in guest satisfaction levels.”

If consumers are travelling less, they’re dining out less, too, note industry experts.

“If people were eating out three times a week (before the recession), now they’re eating out one or two times a week,” observed Boynick of Kline. “Or, they’re trading down from white linen establishments to the Red Lobster or Subway.”

So it pays to have a broad portfolio of customers, he said in regard to an I&I company’s client base.

According to data from the National Restaurant Association, restaurant industry sales are actually expected to grow 2.5% this year to $580 billion. That’s an improvement over the 1.2% and 2.9% declines in real sales that the industry experienced in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

Construction is booming in some emerging markets.
The economic picture is beginning to improve for hotel operators too. The U.S. hotel industry reported increases in all three key performance metrics during the week of Oct. 3-9, 2010, according to STR. In year-over-year comparisons, occupancy increased 6.5% to 63.6%, average daily rate was up 2.2% to $101.58, and revenue per available room ended the week up 8.8% to $64.62.

Among the top 25 markets, 21 reported occupancy increases for the week, with four markets reporting gains of more than 15%: Dallas, up 19.3% to 62.7%; New Orleans, up 18.7% to 75.7%; Atlanta, up 15.8% to 64.1% and Detroit, MI up 15.8%.

What’s New?
No matter what the economy is doing, Ecolab dominates the I&I market with a share in excess of 30% in the U.S., a percentage that easily tops the No. 2 player, Diversey. A few months ago, Ecolab launched Virasept, its first ready-to-use (no mixing required) hard surface disinfectant approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be effective against Clostridium difficile spores.

According to Ecolab, Clostridium difficile is a highly drug-resistant bacterium that causes diarrhea and severe lower intestinal inflammation, which can be life threatening. It is very difficult to clean and can remain on hard surfaces for months. Over the past few years the incidence of Clostridium difficile has been on the rise in healthcare settings with studies showing it affecting more than 7,000 patients in hospitals each day with an estimated cost of $18-$52 million.

“Environmental services departments continue to face increasingly more virulent and persistent pathogens as they work to keep healthcare facilities clean,” said Paul B. Chaffin, vice president, Ecolab Healthcare North America. “Developing effective methods to clean rooms contaminated with Clostridium difficile is particularly challenging due to the persistence of the spore in the environment. Virasept is an effective, non-bleach alternative that can help reduce the environmental transmission of challenging microorganisms like Clostridium difficile.”

According to Ecolab, Virasept works within 10 minutes of application against Clostridium difficile spores and in four minutes or less on a broad spectrum of other pathogens, including MRSA, VRE, E. coli, HIV, Hepatitis B, Influenza A (H1N1) and Norovirus. Its patented, non-corrosive chemistry is formulated for daily cleaning of high-touch room surfaces such as handrails, telephones, bathroom fixtures, sinks and tray tables without harming the equipment. Virasept cleans, disinfects and deodorizes in one-step, helping to reduce the need formultiple-product inventory, according to the company.

Meanwhile, Diversey has introduced Oxivir Tb Wipes loaded with a hospital-grade cleaner disinfectant. With accelerated hydrogen peroxide, the wipes kill various pathogens including Norovirus, MRSA and VRE in 60 seconds, and Tuberculosis in five minutes.

Under Foot
Within its institutional business, Ecolab rolled out StoneMedic, a system that is designed to deliver “near-factory” finishes on installed floors. StoneMedic includes products, equipment, abrasives and training needed to care for all types of natural and ceramic stone.

Two new Spartan floor care products, The Fixx and Step Down, promise to reduce down time within a facility. The Fixx is a high-solids floor finish and sealer with premium gloss and a long lasting response to burnishing, extending the time between recoats by as much as five months and strip outs by 18 months. The Fixx floors have amazing repairability, and the rapid recoat ability saves even more labor time, according to Spartan.

Step Down Low Odor Finish Liquidator is an effective floor finish remover designed to quickly penetrate and eliminate heavy finish buildup. The low odor formulation is ideal for use in facilities with confined areas and where strong finish remover odors are problematic, the company said.

The focus on cost-containment has had an impact on floor care operations.

“In this market, patterns around floor care have changed,” noted Boynick. “The frequency of stripping and refinishing floors has been reduced, and that requires more durable finishes.”

Spartan News
In addition to The Fixx and Step Down for floors, Spartan Chemical has rolled out an array of products

An aging population in developed markets presents new opportunities in elder care facilities.
during the past year. SparSan Q Disinfectant Deodorant is billed as a versatile, ready-to-use aerosol disinfectant deodorant. It is said to be ideal for convenient disinfection after spot clean up and for those areas not easily reached during routine disinfection procedures. Because it is an aerosol, there is no mixing or waste. It kills Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus hemolyticus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Mycobacterium bovis, Salmonella choleraesuis and Trichophyton mentagrophytes on hard, non-porous environmental surfaces; prevents mold and mildew on environmental surfaces in public places and meets EPA Efficacy Standards for hospital aerosol disinfectants. According to Spartan, SparSan Q Disinfectant Deodorant is an effective deodorant because it destroys bacteria—the initial source of odors—rather than covering them up. Deodorizers, which do not have disinfectant properties, merely cover one odor with another, the company said.

Within the food service sector, Spartan launched Sani T 10 Plus, which it calls a fourth generation quat-based, food contact sanitizer for use in food handling and process areas, federally inspected meat and poultry plants, fruit and vegetable processors, wineries, restaurants, bars and institutional kitchens. Sani T 10 Plus is said to be ideal to sanitize filling equipment, food processing equipment, meat and poultry or fruit and vegetable conveyors dishes, glasses, cooking utensils and eating utensils. Moreover, it is also a non-chlorinated option for eggshell sanitizing. Sani T 10 Plus is effective against a variety of organisms including Listeria monocytogenes, E-coli 0157:H7, salmonella, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.

Demand for disinfectants and sanitizers will outpace the industry’s overall growth, according to a new study by the Freedonia Group (see chart on p. 92).

“While manufacturers of disinfectants have ongoing challenges with pathogens becoming more resistant to traditional disinfectants, the ingredients that got floors clean years ago still do the job,” explained Mike Richardson, an analyst with Freedonia. “Meanwhile, the U.S. population continues to age and the health care market seems to be almost immune to the ebbs and flows of the economy.”

Spartans’ new Lite’n Foamy Counter Mount Dispenser is a premium system designed to deliver rich quality foam right from the countertop. The attractive chrome design and impact resistant body will fit the décor and demands of many upscale restrooms such as those found in lodging, restaurants, entertainment and office buildings.

The Lite’n Foamy Counter Mount Dispenser, which can be filled with any Lite’n Foamy Hand Soap, fills from the top. There is no need to crawl under the counter or on the floor to fill the dispenser. End users can utilize Spartan’s new gallon spout that attaches easily to any Lite’n Foamy gallon jug for the perfect pour every time, according to the company. And by installing the Counter Mount Dispenser over the sink itself, facilities and cleaning staff can eliminate messy drips and soap stains commonly found on restroom countertops.

Where the Growth Lies
Every year, it seems, there’s a new health scare in the U.S. The media coverage often provides an immediate boost to sales of hand sanitizers, and Gojo, which created the category, always benefits most from the concerns over germs. To keep demand growing, in August, Gojo’s Purell Green Certified Instant Hand Sanitizer became the world’s first alcohol hand sanitizer to achieve EcoLogo certification. It kills 99.99% of most common germs that may cause illness, and its formula and packaging set standards for sustainable hand hygiene products. The formula contains 100% naturally renewable, plant-derived ethanol in a biodegradable formula, according to Gojo.

Sustainability is important, but when the U.S. economy is in a slow-growth mode, opportunities lie outside national borders. Kline Group puts the global I&I market at $30 billion and estimates sales are growing somewhere between 5-10%, with some countries—China, India and Brazil in particular—posting gains in the low double digits. Other analysts concur. As Freedonia’s Richardson noted, the construction boom in China, India and Brazil has resulted in many more floors being installed in those countries.

“By and large, growth in places such as the U.S., Canada, Japan and Western Europe will be slow compared to world averages,” he noted. “Growth in developing countries will be explosive in comparison.”

Here's a list of new I&I ingredients. For more information on the materials listed here, contact the supplier directly using the information provided.

AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry LLC
Chicago, IL

Tel: (800) 906-9977 or (312) 544-7000.

Email: Linda.Terwilliger@akzonobel.com
Website: www.akzonobel.com/sc

Alcoguard H 5240
Chemical Description: Copolymer of polysaccharide and synthetic monomer
Applications: Automatic dishwashing and laundry detergents (powder or tablet)

Use levels: 1-5% depending on application and conditions

Comments/Attributes: Alcoguard H 5240 is an innovative hybrid bio-polymer developed by AkzoNobel. It combines the benefits of both synthetic and natural polymer components to provide effective performance with an environmental profile superior to that of traditional synthetic polymers. Alcoguard H 5240 is designed to prevent scale formation in applications where synthetic water-soluble polymers are typically used, including automatic dishwashing and laundry detergents.

Berol HD

Chemical Description: Liquid surfactant blend

Applications: Low-VOC heavy-duty cleaning and degreasing

Use levels: 2% - 15% depending on type and loading level of soil or heaviness of grease to be cleaned

Comments/Attributes: Berol HD is a low-VOC, surfactant-based degreasing blend that matches the heavy-duty performance of cleaners containing high-VOC petrochemical solvents on tough soils, such as asphalt, or on tar and bugs on automobiles without leaving behind an oily film residue. Readily biodegradable, Berol HD mixes easily with builders and water to form highly efficient, aqueous degreasing formulations for heavy-duty, low-VOC cleaning performance.

Stepan Company

Northfield, IL
Tel: 800-745-7837
Email: techserv@stepan.com
Website: www.stepan.com

Ammonyx CDO Special, Ammonyx LMDO, Ammonyx LO Special
Chemical Description: Cocamidopropylamine oxide, lauryl/myristylamidoproprylamine oxide, lauramine oxide
Applications: Dish detergents, bathroom/shower cleaners, degreasers, multipurpose/all-purpose cleaners, vehicle care, I&I cleaners
Use levels: 1-15%
Comments/Attributes: Compatible with hydrogen peroxide bleach, compatible with hypochlorite bleach (only Ammonyx LO Special), offers degreasing and viscosity building properties.

Bio-Soft GSB-9
Chemical Description: Proprietary nonionic surfactant blend
Applications: Hard surface cleaners, vehicle care, I&I cleaners
Use levels: 1%-10%
Comments/Attributes: Can be utilized as an NPE replacement.

Steposol M-10, Steposol M-8-10
Chemical Description: Di-substituted amides
Applications: Hard surface cleaners, degreasers, metal parts cleaners, ink removers
Use levels: 1%-5%
Comments/Attributes: Water-soluble solvent with degreasing proper ties.

Related End-User Markets: