Meeting the Surge in Demand for Hand Sanitizer During COVID-19
By Marie Redding, Senior Editor | 03.19.20
Beauty companies, retailers, indie brands, consumers, and even NYS are making hand sanitizers due to surging demands — but stick to FDA-approved formulas.
Since news of the coronavirus began to spread across the world, the demand for hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes has surged. Demand for hand sanitizers spiked 1,400% from December to January, according to market researchers at Adobe Analytics.
Manufacturers aren't producing hand sanitizing products fast enough, causing empty store shelves and price gouging on Amazon. Reacting to the shortage, consumers are searching on Google for DIY formulas, and brands are sharing recipes.
Beauty companies are switching over factories -- LVMH and L'Oreal are now in the hand sanitizer business, for the time being.
Brands need to follow the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's (CDC) guidelines, as well as the FDA’s -- and be careful about the wording of your claims on labels. Scroll down below to read more about this.
NYS Clean Sanitizer Ships
New York City is even making its own hand sanitizer now, NYS Clean -- and the first 100,000 gallons shipped this week to local goverments that requested it. It is being produced in the Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Comstock, Washington County, NY.
The sanitizer is available to New York state residents free of charge, and distribution will be prioritized according to need. It is 75% alcohol-based, and packaged in gallon bottles, which cost $6.10 to produce, as well as 7-oz and 1.7-oz sizes, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.
See it in the photo above, on the left -- it looks like it has a stylish foaming pump.
By the Numbers: NPD Reports
The NPD Group reports, "Amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, in-store and online sales of hand sanitizers have increased significantly in the U.S."
NPD says that since the World Health Organization announced on January 30, 2020, that "the outbreak was a public health emergency of international concern," hand sanitizer dollar sales grew by 67% in the four weeks ending on February 22, over the same period last year.
Online sales alone grew by 170%. Hand wipes also saw a rise, with sales up 11% overall and 47% online. And this was before the coronavirus became a pandemic in the U.S.
Leen Nsouli, executive director and office supplies industry analyst, The NPD Group, says, “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.”
FDA’s Guidelines During COVID-19: Proven Effective Formulas
If you are marketing a hand sanitizer as effective against coronavirus, follow CDC’s recommendations as well as the FDA’s guidelines, or you may get a warning letter.
A warning letter was sent to GOJO, maker of Purell. Back in 2014, Young Living received this warning when its sales reps claimed certain essential oils were effective against Ebola.
CDC recommends the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol, as the preferred form of hand hygiene in healthcare settings. At home, hand washing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water is effective.
To help enable more manufacturers to produce hand sanitizers, the FDA released a new Guidance Document in March 2020, available for download - the Policy for Temporary Compounding of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency.
It states, "Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) has received a number of queries concerning compounding of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. The Agency is issuing this guidance to communicate its policy for the temporary compounding of certain alcohol-based hand sanitizer products by pharmacists in State-licensed pharmacies or Federal facilities and registered outsourcing facilities (referred to collectively in this guidance as compounders) for the duration of the public health emergency."
Illustration above via Pixabay by Mo Hassan
Updates on the Hand Sanitizer Shortage & FDA's New Guidance for Manufacturers: As the U.S. faces a hand sanitizer shortage, bloggers such as Lab Muffin help spread the word about the most effective alcohol-based formulas for COVID-19.
News: L'Oréal Ramps Up Hand Sanitizer Production
Online Exclusive: Google Searches For Hand Sanitizer Spike