Companies that manufacture cleaning products and disinfectants are betting that consumers will continue the sanitary habits created by the coronavirus crisis long after the pandemic subsides.
Laxman Narasimhan, the chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser Group that manufactures Lysol as well as other disinfectants, predicts the cleaning craze will persist, and that new and improved sanitizing products will hit the market in the near future.
As the coronavirus locked down most of the country, products like Lysol sprays and Clorox wipes went flying off the shelves, according to USA Today. The fear-fueled run on disinfectants had households stocking up to protect against infection. But Narasimhan said the unprecedented demand will set a trend for the future and his company is already ramping up production to meet those expectations.
“Over time, we fully expect there will be more fundamental changes happening as people will want to be in a cleaner environment,” he told The Wall Street Journal. His comments echoed those of Dove soap owner Unilever which said last week it also anticipates brisk sales of cleaning products for houses and hands to continue.
Reckitt has upped production of hand sanitizers and cleaning products for the last few weeks and is working with Hilton Worldwide Holdings to develop new Lysol products to ensure a more thorough cleaning of hotel rooms, according to the Journal.
Unilever launched a new germ-killing line of products called Botanical Hygiene and Proctor and Gamble, which owns Tide detergent and Swiffer dusters, introduced a product called Microban 24 late February, a new brand of cleaner that it says works for 24 hours by binding bacteria-fighting ingredients to surfaces.
Reckitt, Unilever and P&G all posted substantial gains for the first three months of this year from the skyrocketing sales of their products.
According to the Journal, Reckitt and Unilever have been advocating behavioral changes such as washing hands more often to their consumers through advertising campaigns for years. The pandemic has underscored their efforts, along with guidelines by the World Health Organization and government and national health organizations. Now, their efforts are paying off.
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