C-stores selling hand sanitizer might bring in extra sales if they advertise it near the checkout counter, where customers are sure to see it and pick one up as an impulse item.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported this flu season to be the worst in a decade and customers are taking precautions. As the virus spread across the entire country, sales of hand cleaners, particularly sanitizer and wipes, have also gone viral, according to global information company The NPD Group.
Hand cleaner sales at retail reached $83.6 million in the first month and a half of 2018, a 16% increase over the same period in 2017. The fastest growth came from hand sanitizer, which generated $17.8 and grew sales by 37% versus last year. Hand wipes grew 30% to $11.2 million, and hand soap, the largest segment representing $54.6 million in sales, increased by 9%. Product sales within the commercial channel followed the same growth trajectory.
“Consumers are placing greater emphasis on health and wellness throughout the year, but during the colder, flu season months, individuals, companies, and schools ramp up their efforts to ensure their employees, students, and loved ones are healthy,” said Tia Frapolli, president of NPD’s Office Supplies practice. “Maintaining a clean and sanitary environment is important for health as well and school and workplace productivity.”
*Source: The NPD Group / U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Dollar Sales, YTD through Feb. 17, 2018 versus same weeks in 2017