Public Release: 

Household and personal care sectors hold strong despite environmental pressures and lifestyle trends

Technical Insights' Surfactants and Their Markets in Household Detergents and Personal Care Products: North America, Western Europe, and Japan

Technical Insights

Technical Insights

NEW YORK - June 19, 2002 - The household and personal care sectors are industrial juggernauts that roll on through the year, only briefly deflected from their paths by environmental concerns or changes in lifestyles.

This is good news for surfactant suppliers. The household and personal care sectors of North America, Western Europe and Japan represent the largest revenue source for surfactant chemicals.

The household detergent market has a combined valued of $30 billion in North America, Western Europe, and Japan. While the personal care sector has a market worth more than $50 billion.

Detergent products and laundry acids are among the leading product categories in the household sector. The personal care category has a diverse group of products, including soaps, hair care, skin care, and oral care products. This generally buoyant market is constantly influenced by novelty and lifestyle trends.

Although revenues remain strong, the past couple of years have been extremely difficult for the chemical industry and for detergent manufacturers. These challenges are likely to persist in view of continued economic uncertainty.

"The household and personal care markets have felt the strain of the slow growth within mature markets," says Peter Savage, Technical Insights Analyst. "The lackluster growth in this sector that has occurred in the Western countries is well balanced by good prospects in developing regions. Many of the best opportunities for growth are in regions with significant population growth and markets that are in a formative stage."

Environmental issues also continue to exercise much attention. Phosphates and alkylphelol products continue to attract a large amount of attention from legislative agencies. Some participants are beginning to grow weary of the battle, and are moving toward a commitment to green products, favoring the use of renewable resources.

"As global warming concerns grow, energy issues remain at the forefront of industry concerns," states Savage. "Detergent companies will focus more on new products that will evolve to meet developing requirements such as diminishing water usage, improved energy use in machines, and lower wash temperatures to minimize thermal requirements."

Tough market challenges lie ahead for the detergent industry, but based on past performance, detergent makers and their suppliers are fully capable to meet and overcome these obstacles.

Technical Insights will hold a conference call at 3:00 p.m. (EDT)/ 12:00 p.m. (PDT) on June 26, 2002 to provide a summary of the latest coverage on the surfactant market within household detergents and personal care products. Those interested in participating in the call should send an email to Julia Rowell at with the following information for registration:

Full name, Company Name, Title, Contact Tel Number, Contact Fax Number, Email. Upon receipt of the above information, a confirmation/pass code for the live briefing will be emailed to you.

New analysis by Technical Insights, a division of Frost & Sullivan (, Surfactants and their Markets in Household Detergents and Personal Care Products: North America, Western Europe, and Japan reveals that the highly competitive detergent and personal care industry will persist in its present form for many decades yet to come.


Frost & Sullivan is a global leader in international strategic market consulting and training. Acquired by Frost & Sullivan, Technical Insights is an international technology research business that produces a variety of technical news alerts, newsletters, and reports. This report is one of Technical Insights' Hewin International Series of chemical- and biotech-related studies. Ongoing research on surfactants is covered in Industrial Bioprocessing, a Technical Insights Subscription Service and in Nonionic Surfactants and Surfactant and Oil-Based Adjuvants in Agricultural Applications, Hewin International technology and market analysis reports. Executive summaries and interviews are available to the press.

Surfactants and their Markets in Household Detergents and Personal Care Products: North America, Western Europe, and Japan Report: D478

Julia Rowell
P: 210.247.3870
F: 210.348.1003

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