Industry Manager I&I Cleaning, Kline
Wipes are seen as an increasingly attractive product segment because end users appreciate the convenience they offer, better understand the risks of cross-contamination and seek a cleaning solution that does not require lots of time or training to use effectively.
Among the end-use segments, healthcare is a key segment for the growth of wipes—especially disinfectants and sanitizer wipes—and is expected to continue driving sales in the next four to five years. All healthcare facilities aim to reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Manufacturers are developing specialized wipes for healthcare that combine efficacious chemicals for broader sanitizing or disinfecting claims, are specific to different areas of a healthcare facility, have shorter dwell times, can clean a wider range of surfaces and materials and are more convenient for end users.
Manufacturers are developing specialized wipes for a variety of surfaces and cleaning tasks to bring value-added convenience to end users and compete against lower-priced and consequently lower-quality wipes. For some applications, such as cleaning electronic devices, wipes seem inherently safer for the equipment than conventional RTU spray bottles with messy liquids that might seep into the electronics.
The wipes industry is under increasing threat of regulation to meet difficult if not impossible goals to disintegrate in sewers, be recyclable or biodegradable, and/or further reduce plastic content. However, when surveyed, end users do not seem as concerned about various ecological factors in deciding to use wipes compared to more traditional cleaning methods. End users value wipes’ convenience and other value propositions and are willing to accept that “waste” is a relative term: Throwing a used wipe away is justified by the better cleaning it provides, and other cleaning methods consume resources in their own way. If the price is not increased and cleaning efficacy remains the same, any “green” factors added will be “nice to haves” but not essential.
END USER SURVEY RESULTS
Top 5 Surfaces Cleaned with Wipes
• Restrooms (counters, toilets, urinals)
• Counters, workstations, desks, conference tables
• Glass (mirrors, doors, windows)
Most Critical Wipes Buying Factors for End Users
• Cleaning efficacy
• Personal safety of person using wipe
• Number of germs/pathogens killed
• Type of germs/pathogens killed
• Convenience (ease of use)
Overall, the industrial and institutional cleaning wipes market presents growth opportunities in the future and particularly in specialized wipes and more efficacious wipes. Cleaning professionals across a wide range of end uses are expected to increase consumption of wipes, reflecting the need for superior cleaning products and to maintain clean, germ-free facilities. The ease of use and convenience that wipes offer end users will contribute to future growth across all end-use segments and largely for general-purpose and disinfecting and sanitizing wipes. End-use segments, such as healthcare facilities, foodservice and schools and universities, will continue to emphasize the importance of clean surfaces and hands in order to minimize germs and illness at their facilities. Wipes are expected to play a key role in this goal. In light of the global pandemic of the coronavirus or COVID-19 disinfecting surface wipes and hand sanitizing wipes are expected to see a strong surge in sales as the manufacturers of these products cope with out-of-stock situations and consumer hoarding as are the makers of hand soap and instant hand sanitizer.
KEY MARKET TRENDS: FLOOR PADS AND TOOLS
Diamond floor pads are expected to grow at a faster rate at the expense of cleaning, buffing and burnishing pads. But despite the supposed introduction of low-maintenance floors and the demonstrated shift of end users to reducing or eliminating floor finish and coating chemicals, floors still need to be maintained and water-only techniques tend to increase pad consumption. The increased use of floor pads alone or floor pads and water-only techniques has negatively impacted consumption of floor care chemicals. When asked how the usage of floor pads has impacted use of floor finish chemicals most end users in all market segments indicate they have indeed reduced or eliminated their use. This varied by flooring type and market segment, but on average 33% of end users with hard surface floors, 52% of end users with concrete floors, 36% of end users with wood floors and 35% of those with resilient floors are no longer using floor finish chemicals because they have substituted floor pads to keep floors clean and maintained.
In mop pads, disposables are gradually being adopted by more end users, at the expense of re-launderable mop pads, as prices drop and manufacturers and distributors educate end-user decision-makers about the true costs and limitations of re-launderable mop pads. Most end-use segments show a slow-but-steady shift toward disposable mop pads. Users of disposable mop pads mostly value their convenience and ease-of-use. Users of re-launderable mop pads mostly value their lower price point and perceived better cleaning effectiveness.
The portfolio of products that make up floor tools are not as subject to new technologies replacing older technologies, so it has less dynamic and has different growth rates between its constituent products.
The largest end-use segment is building service contractors, which are slowly but steadily increasing penetration across many industries. Many market segments use building service contractors especially for floor cleaning and maintenance because it requires special equipment and training.
Across most market segments, the main supply channels are general supply distributors (like HD Supply or Grainger), group purchasing organizations (like Premier, Novation, Amerinet, MedAssets, and Allied Buying Group) and retailers, which encompasses a broad category that ranges from warehouse clubs like Costco or Sam’s Club to home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowes to mass merchandisers like Walmart or Target. Many order products online, but despite the hype about Amazon, most buyers buy online from distributors or established “brick and mortar” retailers they already deal with.
Overall, end users have relatively little loyalty to specific brands so manufacturers and distributors must work hard to engender loyalty and learn what product or supplier attributes please or displease customers. Manufacturers seeking to steer customers towards disposable mop pads will note that perceived high price is a block, along with other reasons that may or may not be valid but warrant end-user education. Though it varies by end-use segment, a noticeable portion of re-launderable mop users are tied into laundry contracts but would be willing to abandon that when the contracts are renewed in favor of disposables.
In 2019, Kline & Company published two market studies that cover the nonwovens and tools segments of the industrial and institutional cleaning market: Industrial & Institutional Cleaning Wipes and Floor Pads and Tools: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities. These market studies include insights from Kline’s B2B in-depth interviews and our extensive structured survey data from end users.
For more information about Kline’s Industrial & Institutional Cleaning reports please contact Laura Mahecha, Industry Manager I&I Cleaning at Laura.Mahecha@klinegroup.com or visit our website www.klinegroup.com.