Although the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in border closures, movement restrictions, a dip in economic activity, high unemployment, and massive disruption to supply chains, it has also presented the Australian industrial and institutional (I&I) cleaning chemicals industry with an opportunity to amplify its profile and extend its reach.
COVID-19–driven reductions in core activities across a number of end markets (airports, hotels, restaurants, tourism, sporting and entertainment venues, university campuses) have forced significant drops in demand for cleaning chemicals. Similarly, work-from-home (WFH) approaches adopted by a range of businesses have led to reduced office occupancy and use levels (with most observers suggesting the unlikelihood of a full return to pre–COVID-19 attendance). Even businesses that were not adversely impacted by the pandemic have faced budgetary pressures that resulted in reduce operational expenditure, with some negative impact on cleaning chemicals procured. Finally, movement restrictions have made it difficult for cleaning chemicals companies to drive growth through onsite trials and demonstrations.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has made good hygiene practices a major priority and driven increased demand for hand sanitizers and surface cleaning chemicals. Growth in specific end markets (healthcare and food & beverage processing) is also driving overall Australian industrial and institutional cleaning chemicals market expansion. In addition, rising demand for green chemicals and innovation from suppliers support long-term market growth.
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