Port Washington, NY, March 10, 2020 – Amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, in-store and online sales of hand sanitizers have increased significantly in the U.S., according to global information company The NPD Group.* Coinciding with the World Health Organization’s announcement on January 30 declaring the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern,” hand sanitizer dollar sales grew by 67% in the four weeks ending February 22, 2020 over the same period in 2019. Online sales alone grew by 170%. Hand wipes also saw a rise, with sales up 11% overall and 47% online.
Hand sanitizer accounted for $14 million or just over one-quarter of total hand cleaner sales at retail during these weeks, with 19% of those sales occurring online. Product sales within the commercial B2B channel followed a similar path; compared to previous months, sales of hand sanitizers and wipes saw a bump in sales during this past January, up 28% and 5%, respectively.**
“If we look more broadly over the past 26 weeks, sales of hand sanitizers and hand wipes have seen a lift in sales coinciding with the progression of flu season and coronavirus developments, as families, companies, and schools boost their efforts to stay healthy. Hand sanitizer sales have surpassed where they were during the 2017-2018 flu season, which the CDC reported as the most severe season since 2003-2004,” said Leen Nsouli, executive director and office supplies industry analyst, The NPD Group.
Source: The NPD Group / Weekly Retail Tracking Service, Dollar Sales, 4 weeks ending February 22, 2020 versus same weeks in 2019
*Retail sales exclude Food & Drug channels
**Source: The NPD Group/ Commercial Tracking Service, Dollar Sales, January 2020