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Wednesday, August 31, 2016Market

The decline of bar soap

© Thinkstock/L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques

It may be the most traditional of personal care products, but new research from Mintel conducted in the US reveals that the sales of bar soap decline 2% since 2014. It suffers from several negative perceptions and consumers banish it in favour of the liquid variety.

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Accounting for 30 percent of soap, bath and shower product sales, the market for bar soap continues to fall. Indeed, between 2014 and 2015, sales of bar soap slipped 2.2 percent compared to an overall market growth of 2.7 percent. What’s more, usage of bar soap is also sliding, as the percentage of households using bar soap dropped five percentage points between 2010 and 2015 from 89 percent to 84 percent.

Mintel research reveals that bar soap suffers from several negative perceptions. Today, almost half (48 percent) of all US consumers believe bar soaps are covered in germs after use, a feeling that is particularly strong among consumers aged 18-24 (60 percent), as opposed to just 31 percent of older consumers aged 65+. Meanwhile, over half (55 percent) of all consumers believe bar soaps are less convenient than liquid varieties.

While 45 percent of consumers believe traditional bar soap can be used to wash their face, men (53 percent) are considerably more willing than women (36 percent) to do so. Sometimes suffering from an old fashioned image, bar soap is more widely accepted among more mature Americans, with as many as 60 percent of those aged 65+ happy to use …

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