Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the most consistent piece of advice that health experts continue to give is to wash your hands. According to Trendalytics, during the first week of April there were 2.2MM searches for hand sanitizer. That’s a year-over-year increase of 29X.
The pandemic was accompanied with a run on hand sanitizer. Shelves at retail were empty and there was a mad dash among brands to launch sanitizing products—some for altruistic reasons, and others because they saw an opportunity. Many new hand sanitizers come in basic stock packaging that reinforce the utilitarian purpose. Three brands are taking a high-design approach to this utilitarian product that has become integrated into our daily lives.
Sanikind: Miles Pepper, the 25-year-old inventor of FinalStraw, the sustainable straw that was launched with a $1.89 million Kickstarter campaign, is at it again. This time Pepper, along with co-founder Aman Khan, are tackling the plastic problem associated with hand sanitizer with a new Kickstarter campaign. Sanikind, the patent-pending eco-friendly sanitizer mist for hands and surfaces, is made from ocean-bound plastic collected in partnership with ECSSA and sold with 16oz refills packaged in 70% recycled aluminum.
“We developed Sanikind because you shouldn’t have to choose between clean hands and clean oceans,” said Pepper, co-founder of Sanikind. “Experts believe COVID-19 has set us back 10 years in terms of reducing plastic consumption and use. Our Kickstarter supporters can help prevent millions of tiny plastic hand sanitizer bottles from ending up in our oceans, which are already being clogged by single-use coronavirus-related waste.”
To date the business has raised $126,000 with 22 days to go on their Kickstarter campaign.
Olika: An innovative company that launched in 2017 with the mission of reinventing personal care and household staples, Olika means “differently” in Swedish, and innovation is in its DNA—and at the moment they are laser-focused on hand sanitizer. Their first product, Birdie, shook up the design and formulation of the hand sanitizer category to bring consumers a product that was both functional and fun.
Alastair Dorward, Olika’s CEO, acknowledged the record-breaking sales and rapid growth as a direct response to the coronavirus pandemic and the “new normal” further defining the hand sanitizer category. “In March, we sold more hand sanitizer in four days than we did in all of 2019. The juxtaposition of a rapidly growing company in unprecedented economic conditions is not lost on us. We’re humbled to expand and remain committed to helping consumers stay healthy and most importantly, staying kind and compassionate in uncertain times.”
“I think it’s impossible to predict the future right now. We’re seeing strong tailwinds in ‘essentials’ categories like hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies, yet overall economic headwinds will be very substantial. With experts not predicting vaccine availability until 2021, we’re expecting consumer behavior will be driven by a focus on hygiene, the concern for safety and perhaps a fear of new strains emerging,” he continued.
Touchland: The personal care brand known for its iconic packaging and massive waiting lists—the brand recently had a 34K waiting list for its skincare-grade hand sanitizer. They started the year securing a $1.75 million in its second round of funding and launching nationwide in all 1,200+ Ulta locations. The brand announced a record-breaking 1,032% increase in Q1 quarterly sales compared to Q4 2019. The brand saw a 2,194% increase in quarterly sales year over year (Q1 2020 vs Q1 2019). Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Touchland’s sales growth outpaced the hand sanitizer category with more than $2 million in products sold in 2019 (the first year of sales).
“As Touchland was already growing at a very rapid pace prior to this unprecedented situation, I am proud that we are quickly rising to the occasion to meet current demand,” said Andrea Lisbona, founder and CEO of Touchland. “With increased production, additional shipments, and new product innovations coming soon, we are setting Touchland as a leader in the beauty industry.”
Touchland projects an additional 1,500% sales growth for Q2 2020, driven by ongoing demand for the Power Mist Hand Sanitizer (which, after selling out in March, developed a waiting list of 34,626 orders), new retail partnerships for the brand’s commercial unit, the KUB hand sanitizer dispenser, and new product innovation launching in June.
Photo: via Sanikind