The importance of keeping hands clean and hygienic is often a lesson targeted at children, however it seems that UK adults have also been busy scrubbing up their hand washing routine. New research from Mintel reveals that over a third (35%) of adults are washing their hands more frequently than they were three years ago, rising to 42% of mothers with children under 16. Further showing that consumers are lathering up more often, the proportion of Brits buying liquid hand soap at least once a month has risen from 56% in 2013 to 62% in 2014. Whilst overall Brits are more likely to purchase liquid soap than bar soap (71% of Brits buying bar soap compared to 87% choosing liquid), it seems that the genders are divided when choosing how to keep clean.

2013_Mintel_hi-resThe vast majority (91%) of UK women buy liquid hand soap, compared to 83% of men, whilst men are more likely to buy bar soap with three quarters (75%) buying this variety compared to 68% of women. Showing that consumers are also choosing to fight germs on the go, today over half (58%) of Brits purchase hand sanitiser gel, with a third (33%) buying hand sanitiser gel once a month or more. It seems that young consumers are even more enthusiastic over keeping hands spic and span with three-quarters (75%) of 16-24s purchasing hand sanitiser gel and one in 10 (11%) buying it once a week or more. Despite the growth in handwashing, overall the soap, bath and shower category has experienced declining sales over the past two years, falling from £660 million in 2012 to an estimated £638 million in 2014. Moreover, as consumers have shifted towards more economical bathing routines, the sector may be faced with further stormy waters.

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