Arrive at the supermarket half an hour after it opens to the public, go straight to the cleaning and household items section, and meet the absolutely deserted lye rack, with a “they have taken everything first thing” as an explanation by the employee on duty; or, include it in the online shopping cart and, days later, discover with resignation that the only thing they haven’t been able to take you home are the cleaning products. This scene, quite common in recent weeks, is practically traced to what was experienced at the beginning of the crisis with toilet paper. Now, bleach is the most popular item in Spain.
In fact, this is confirmed by the latest data from the Spanish Association of Distributors, Self-Services and Supermarkets (Asedas), which states that “the categories of drugstore and cleaning and perfumery and personal hygiene “have doubled their sales since the alarm state started two months ago now. These categories include from toilet paper – which continues to be one of the most demanded products, despite the accumulation of the first weeks of crisis – to bleach, which has increased its demand by 150% as a result of sanitary recommendations.
These articles “represent, approximately, 15% of the products found on supermarket shelves, with between 1,200 and 1,800 references depending on the size of the establishment. Especially those corresponding to the first [droguería y limpieza], have acquired an unprecedented role during the Covid-19 crisis due to the need to take extreme cleaning and disinfection measures to follow the recommendations of the health authorities, “Asedas explains.
One of the main reasons for this shortage is that precisely drugstores were forced to shut down with the state of alarm as it is not considered as part of the essential services authorized by the Government. In this sense, all the stores where they usually dispense products such as bleach, detergents, or toilet paper the shutter was lowered in neighborhoods throughout Spain, causing a transfer of consumption to the food sector, which continues to be overwhelmed at times before the very high demand for this type of products.
“Since the health crisis began, there have been growths in the total demand for drugstore products that exceed 15% on average compared to the same weeks of the previous year. The main protagonists are the bleach and disinfectants, who experience a average demand of more than 100% compared to the same weeks of the previous year. Although with more moderate growth, the household cleaners They also maintain dynamism with average values that exceed the 30% during the last two months “, they explain from Asedas.
In recent weeks, consumption – in general, not just cleaning products – has gone stabilizing towards pre-crisis levels. However, “although the trend is towards moderation, the evolution of demand continues to be positive in both lyes and household cleaners; especially in the former, which continue to register growth of over 50%. The highest peaks occurred during the ‘collection week’ – from March 8 to 15, when the demand for bleach exceeded 150% and that for cleaners 80% – “, says Asedas.
But how has it been possible to cope with such growth in demand? The association explains that “the work of manufacturers, who have been able to quickly solve problems related to the lack of raw materials and the provision of packaging, as well as reprogram products and advance orders, together with the rapid logistics adaptation of distribution, has managed to avoid shortages in these products, which are essential at this time. Furthermore, through the initiative cleanright.eu, producers are giving consumers practical advice on how to use detergents and maintenance products safely and sustainably “.