COVID-19's Impact on HI&I

By Happi Staff | 05.21.20

The concept of cleaning has been altered forever, according to BASF.

Consumers' perception of cleaning routines has shifted dramatically and it will have a dramatic impact on marketers and suppliers to the global household and industrial and institutional (HI&I) markets in the years ahead.

In a blog on its site, BASF notes how sales of cleaning products are soaring and show no signs of slowing even as economies around the world open up. 

As BASF notes, before COVID-19, a family might have let a container of wipes languish in a cupboard for months. Now they’re wiping everything down multiple times per day, and monitoring online availability so they can purchase more as soon as shelves restock. The hockey stick growth seen in the wipes category in Q1 may not be sustainable, but it’s likely not going to experience a compensatory drop.

The liquid laundry detergent category is perhaps one of the more surprising growth categories, according to BASF. With many workers swapping professional clothing for sweatpants (and hoping for audio-only conference calls), a drop in the category during the COVID-19 quarantine would have been reasonable. And yet, the overall trend toward cleaning more often and more thoroughly has more than offset the sudden loyalty to sweatpants. BASF reasons that consumers are filling the detergent load line to the max even if it’s a partial load, or using two pods instead of one. If they've been away from home, they're dropping exposed clothes directly into a tub of detergent and water when they return. According to BASF, certain elements of this trend are likely to continue as consumers elevate their standards of cleaning for the foreseeable future.