How manufacturing is supporting the recent upsurge in cleaning products



It’s clear to see that the coronavirus crisis has already transformed our world in many ways almost beyond recognition – and the world of manufacturing has certainly been part of that.  

As consumers have rushed to supermarkets to stock up on hand sanitiser and disinfectants, so we’ve seen manufacturers both big and small – familiar and unfamiliar – move quickly to re-jig their supply chains and modify their production lines to meet the staggering rise in demand. 

Drastically altered habits have brought dramatic increases in demand 

Our day-to-day hygiene habits may never be the same again; according to consumer goods giant Unilever, people have more than doubled how frequently they clean in light of the pandemic. 86% of people have apparently changed the way they clean their home, while 66% of us claim to be washing our clothes differently, too. 

But these changes cannot happen in isolation without corresponding changes in the market to satisfy the altered demand. 

Unilever itself has certainly played its role in this, the President of its Home Care business – Peter ter Kulve – stating: “Our brands, suppliers and partners around the world have been working at a record pace to ensure we... provide essential products to people”. 

Another massive international name in cleaning products – Clorox – has had to be similarly agile as its goods have become more sought-after. 

As Andy Mowery – the company’s senior vice president and chief product supply officer – said of the situation with its famous wipes in August: “We’re pumping out record volumes from our plants and external manufacturers, but we are faced with a demand that is literally five times what we normally encounter.” 

In the immediate term, Clorox is extracting the best it can from its supply chains. Looking ahead to 2021, the firm expects to add production capacity to its Atlanta manufacturing plant

And of course, hand sanitiser has also been an exceedingly strong-selling product in the crisis – to such an extent that we’ve even seen the likes of breweries, distilleries and CBD firms launching their own lines. 

But there isn’t just the product – there’s also the packaging 

It’s easy for ordinary consumers to overlook that the process of manufacture for cleaning products in the COVID-19 era far transcends the raw product, also encompassing the finer points of how it is packaged and marketed. 

This helps to explain why leading packaging machine manufacturers such as KBW Packaging have also seen a marked rise in demand for their equipment and services as the pandemic has taken hold. 

The company offers an extensive range of liquid-filling machines, which have been pressed into action for the production of seemingly every conceivable category of cleaning product, from hand washes, shampoos and liquid soaps to hand sanitisers and detergents. 

With the global household cleaning products market tipped to reach $312.49 billion in value by 2027 – compared to $163.98 billion in 2019 – it’s a safe bet that both key and minor industry players will be kept busy throughout the immediate coronavirus crisis and beyond. Indeed, COVID-19 looks likely to upend the manufacturing landscape – and our everyday lives – forever.


*Guest post contributed by Ellie Seal. *Photo source Pexels 


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