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Manufacturing Industry Updates Retail Industry Updates

Is It Any Surprise That Sales of Liquid Hand Soaps Soared 246% in the Past Year?


It’s no surprise that sales of home health testing kits, including face masks, have climbed 314% in the past year compared to the previous year. Nor is it a surprise that sales of liquid hand soaps soared 246%, disinfectant cleaners 235%, personal moist towelettes 155% and household cleaner pre-moist wipes 129%.

Of course, the pandemic had everything to do with the increase in sales for these consumer packaged goods segments, which were the top five CPG categories for sales growth at grocery and drug stores for the 52 weeks beginning Feb. 16, 2020, and ending Feb. 13, 2021, according to data from St. Petersburg, Fla.-based shopper intelligence company Catalina.

Eight of the next 10 top-selling categories were either food or beverages, which Catalina said showed an increased appetite for convenience and/or comfort products. They were:

• refrigerated snacks/cakes in sixth place with sales up 87%,

• juice/frozen drink smoothies in seventh place with sales up 85%,

• frozen vegetables in eighth place with sales up 83%,

• powdered milk in ninth place with sales up 82%,

• frozen seafood in 11th place with sales up 71%,

• bacon in 12th place with sales up 65%,

• baking/biscuit mixes in 13th place with sales up 64%

• and breakfast drink mixes in 14th place with sales up 61%.

The other two categories in the top 15 were outliers. In 10th place was camping/sports accessories with sales up 77%. Catalina attributes this to consumer excitement to return to the outdoors as shelter-at-home restrictions were lifted when warmer weather set in. The other outlier, in 15th place, was fire logs with sales up 53%, which demonstrated the popularity of gathering around bonfires in summer and fall, while warming up in front of home fireplaces during colder weather, Catalina stated.

Adult beverage was another category that experienced increased sales, what with many bars and restaurants being closed, open only for takeout and/or offering limited seating. Sales of premixed cocktails/coolers were up 84%, domestic beer/ale up 31%, imported wine up 28%, domestic wine up 25%, spirits up 24% and imported beer up 23%.

Bathroom tissue, the subject of much publicized panic buying in the early days of the pandemic, ended up experiencing a 33% and 30% uptick in premium and value brand sales over the past 12 months.

Other CPG categories didn’t fare so well, especially with many Americans working and attending school from home. Catalina reported a noticeable decline in sales of personal care products, including:

• wrinkle reducers down 27%,

• breath fresheners down 26%,

• face cosmetics down 20%,

• cosmetics remover down 19%,

• eye cosmetics down 11% and

• hair care/styling down 9%.

For more information on Catalina’s research, see this graphic.