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UK Soap, Bath and Shower Products market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Soap, Bath and Shower Products market, its consumers and the major players who make up the market.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

  • What are the key challenges facing the industry?
  • Who is the consumer and what do they want?
  • Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Market

Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Covered in this report

This report covers the UK retail market for soap, bath and shower products (including specific male, female and family products – ie can be used on children and babies) and includes the following:

  • Hand sanitisers
  • Toilet soaps in both bar and liquid form, including hand washes
  • Bath additives such as foam, crème, oil and bubble bath, bath pearls and beads and solid bath products such as salts, grains, crystals and cubes
  • Shower products such as gels, mousses, body shampoos and body washes
  • Products marketed as soap-free, such as Dove or Oil of Olay moisturising bars, as well as products such as Oilatum, which are formulated specifically for problem skin

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Hera Crossan, a leading analyst in the Household sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Although the soap, bath and shower category is under some pressure, there are plenty of bright spots that point the way towards future growth. The success of Baylis & Harding in convincing consumers to upgrade to a more premium product shows that products can still benefit from creating differentiation in the sector. Few mainstream brands have yet to capitalise fully on consumer interest in ethical and environmentally-friendly products, highlighting a way for brands to get ahead of the competitionHera Crossan
Household Analyst

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What's included

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
        • Excluded
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Growth accelerates but still muted
                • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of soap, bath and shower products, 2013-23
              • Companies and brands
                • Dove the big riser in shower and bath
                  • Figure 2: Brand shares in the UK bath and shower market, year ending November 2018
                • Baylis & Harding avoids soap category’s slide
                  • Figure 3: Brand shares in the UK soap market, year ending November 2018
                • The consumer
                  • Older men less invested in SBS
                    • Figure 4: Usage of soap, bath and shower products, by gender, December 2018
                  • Gender gap in bath usage grows with age
                    • Figure 5: Types of washing done, by gender and age, December 2018
                  • Youngest consumers spend longest in both bath and shower
                    • Figure 6: Duration of washing, December 2018
                  • Older people more likely to shower in the morning
                    • Figure 7: Time of washing, December 2018
                  • Men shower to de-stress and relax
                    • Figure 8: Triggers for taking a shower, by gender, December 2018
                  • Baths seen as more pampering and relaxing than showers
                    • Figure 9: Triggers for taking a bath, by gender, December 2018
                  • Men less likely to find handwashing important
                    • Figure 10: Reasons for handwashing, by gender, December 2018
                  • Consumers focused on ingredients
                    • Figure 11: Behaviours around shower, bath and handwashing, December 2018
                  • Consumers want to use less for the environment
                    • Figure 12: Environmental behaviours around soap, bath and shower products, by gender, December 2018
                  • What we think
                  • Issues and Insights

                    • Differentiation the key for brands as cuts reach their limit
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                          • Stressed young men may be a new growth market for bath brands
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                • Growth accelerates but still muted
                                  • Shower product sales continue upward trend
                                    • Supermarket domination creates price pressure
                                      • Stress levels may see young people take more baths
                                        • Climate change drives shower usage
                                          • Environmental awareness could trigger future growth
                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                            • Growth accelerates but still muted
                                              • Figure 13: UK retail value sales of soap, bath and shower products, at current and constant prices, 2013-23
                                            • Forecast for growth limited
                                              • Figure 14: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of soap, bath and shower products, 2013-23
                                            • Forecast methodology
                                            • Market Segmentation

                                              • Shower product sales continue upward trend
                                                • Figure 15: UK retail value sales of soap, bath and shower products, by segment, 2016-18 (est)
                                              • Bath product sales see stress-driven increase, but soap falls
                                              • Channels to Market

                                                • Supermarket domination creates price pressure
                                                  • Figure 16: Retail value sales of soap, bath and shower products, by outlet type, 2017-18
                                                • Discounters see their market share hold firm, online set to grow
                                                  • Sales through Boots fall after a tough year
                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                    • Aging population could impact market
                                                      • Figure 17: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2013-23
                                                    • Stress levels may see young people take more baths
                                                      • Figure 18: Stress experienced in the last 12 months, by age, February 2018
                                                    • Growth in employment creates need for speed in shower and bath
                                                      • Figure 19: Employment trends (thousands), by gender, 2013-23
                                                    • Price wars now a permanent part of retail
                                                      • Figure 20: Attitudes towards price and shopping at discounters, June 2018
                                                    • Rise of online retail could change shoppers’ habits
                                                      • Figure 21: Type of store where the most money is spent in a typical month, September 2016, September 2017 and August 2018
                                                    • Climate change drives shower usage
                                                      • Figure 22: Mean daily maximum temperature for July 2008, 2013 and 2018
                                                    • Environmental awareness could trigger future growth
                                                      • Figure 23: Love Beauty and Planet shower gel range, 2018
                                                    • Shower heads could influence category more
                                                      • Figure 24: Vitaclean HQ Vitamin C and Essential Oils filtered handheld shower head, 2019
                                                  • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Dove the big riser in shower and bath
                                                      • Baylis & Harding avoids soap category’s slide
                                                        • Foam-type shower products see NPD rise
                                                          • SBS brands seek to catch vegan trend
                                                            • Differentiated products receive higher share of adspend
                                                              • Carex widely known but lacking differentiation
                                                              • Market Share

                                                                • Dove the big riser in shower and bath
                                                                  • Figure 25: Retail value sales of shower and bath products, by brand, years ending November 2017-18
                                                                • Baylis & Harding avoids soap category’s slide
                                                                  • Figure 26: Retail value sales of soap products, by brand, years ending November 2017-18
                                                              • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                • Overall NPD continues to fall
                                                                  • Figure 27: New product development in the UK soap, bath and shower market, by product segment, 2015-18
                                                                • Foam-type shower products see NPD rise
                                                                  • Figure 28: New product launch examples of shower foam/mousse, 2018
                                                                  • Figure 29: Imperial Leather Foamburst x Skinny Dip limited edition launch, May 2018
                                                                • SBS brands lean into unicorn trend
                                                                  • Figure 30: Carex Unicorn Magic limited edition, November 2018
                                                                • Brands seek to catch vegan wave …
                                                                  • Figure 31: New product development in the UK soap, bath and shower market, by launch type, 2015-18
                                                                  • Figure 32: Examples of bar soap launches with ethical-animal claim, 2018
                                                                • … with ethical claims
                                                                  • Figure 33: Top 10 claims in the UK soap, bath and shower products market (based on 2018), 2017-18
                                                                  • Figure 34: Examples of new product launches with environmentally friendly claims, 2018
                                                                • Stress drives aromatherapy claims
                                                                  • Own-label NPD settles at a low level
                                                                    • Figure 35: New product development in the soap, bath and shower market, branded vs own-label, 2015-18
                                                                    • Figure 36: Examples of own-label new product launches, 2018
                                                                  • Unilever leads NPD due to size
                                                                    • Figure 37: New product development in the UK soap, bath and shower market, by ultimate company, 2018
                                                                    • Figure 38: New product and variety/range extension examples, by top 5 ultimate companies, 2018
                                                                    • Figure 39: Love Beauty and Planet UK launch, July 2018
                                                                  • DS3 offers a window into low-water future
                                                                    • Figure 40: DS3 product specs, 2019
                                                                • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                  • Brands continue to shed adspend
                                                                    • Figure 41: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on soap, bath and shower products, by category, 2015-18
                                                                  • Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive back away from SBS advertising
                                                                    • Figure 42: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on soap, bath and shower products, by leading companies (based on 2018), 2017-18
                                                                  • Johnson & Johnson leads reduced adspend totals
                                                                    • Differentiated products receive higher share of adspend
                                                                      • Figure 43: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on soap, bath, and shower products, by leading brands and others, 2017 vs 2018
                                                                    • TV advertising continues to fall
                                                                      • Figure 44: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on the soap, bath and shower products market, by media type, 2015-18
                                                                    • Notable advertising and marketing activity in 2018
                                                                      • Baylis & Harding targets men
                                                                        • Figure 45: Baylis & Harding’s partnership with Jenson Button, 2018
                                                                      • Radox hits controversy with ‘male’ adjectives
                                                                        • Figure 46: Radox men’s shower gel range, 2018
                                                                        • Figure 47: Dove limited edition bottles on ‘body diversity’, May 2017
                                                                      • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                      • Brand Research

                                                                          • Brand map
                                                                            • Figure 48: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, December 2018
                                                                          • Key brand metrics
                                                                            • Figure 49: Key metrics for selected brands, December 2018
                                                                          • Baylis & Harding seen as worth paying more for
                                                                            • Figure 50: Attitudes, by brand, December 2018
                                                                          • Mass-market brands all considered accessible
                                                                            • Figure 51: Brand personality – macro image, December 2018
                                                                          • Soap brands suffering from an old-fashioned image
                                                                            • Figure 52: Brand personality – micro image, December 2018
                                                                          • Brand analysis
                                                                            • Simple resonates with higher earners
                                                                              • Figure 53: User profile of Simple, December 2018
                                                                            • Carex widely known but lacking differentiation
                                                                              • Figure 54: User profile of Carex, December 2018
                                                                            • Imperial Leather differentiated – but old-fashioned
                                                                              • Figure 55: User profile of Imperial Leather, December 2018
                                                                            • Sanex struggling for differentiation
                                                                              • Figure 56: User profile of Sanex, December 2018
                                                                            • Baylis & Harding set apart from the rest of the soap category
                                                                              • Figure 57: User profile of Baylis & Harding, December 2018
                                                                            • Palmolive a hit with older consumers
                                                                              • Figure 58: User profile of Palmolive, December 2018
                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                            • Older men less invested in SBS
                                                                              • Youngest consumers spend longest in both bath and shower
                                                                                • Men shower to de-stress and relax
                                                                                  • Men less likely to see washing hands as important
                                                                                    • Consumers focused on ingredients
                                                                                      • Consumers want to use less for the environment
                                                                                      • Usage of Soap, Bath and Shower Products

                                                                                        • Older men less invested in SBS
                                                                                          • Figure 59: Usage of soap, bath and shower products, by gender, December 2018
                                                                                        • Ease of use drives men’s 2-in-1 preference
                                                                                        • Bathroom Routines

                                                                                          • Gender gap in bath usage grows with age
                                                                                            • Figure 60: Types of washing done, by gender and age, December 2018
                                                                                          • Youngest consumers spend longest in both bath and shower
                                                                                            • Figure 61: Duration of washing, December 2018
                                                                                          • Older people more likely to shower in the morning
                                                                                            • Figure 62: Time of washing, December 2018
                                                                                        • Triggers for Shower and Bath Use

                                                                                          • Men shower to de-stress and relax
                                                                                            • Figure 63: Triggers for taking a shower, by gender, December 2018
                                                                                          • Women shower to shave
                                                                                            • Baths seen as more pampering and relaxing than showers
                                                                                              • Figure 64: Triggers for taking a bath, by gender, December 2018
                                                                                          • Reasons for Handwashing

                                                                                            • Men less likely to find handwashing important
                                                                                              • Figure 65: Reasons for handwashing, by gender, December 2018
                                                                                            • Older people believe more in handwashing
                                                                                            • Behaviours around Shower, Bath and Handwashing

                                                                                              • Consumers focused on scent …
                                                                                                • Figure 66: Behaviours around shower, bath and handwashing, December 2018
                                                                                              • … as well as ingredients
                                                                                                • Personal hygiene gets more important with age
                                                                                                  • Seasonal needs prompt routine changes
                                                                                                  • Environmental Behaviours around Soap, Bath and Shower Products

                                                                                                    • Consumer demand for sustainability not being fully met
                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Environmental behaviours around soap, bath and shower products, by gender, December 2018
                                                                                                    • Lush gets naked
                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Lush’s solid product promotion, 2019
                                                                                                    • Consumers want to use less plastic
                                                                                                      • Figure 69: Interest in reducing the number of products used and taking fewer showers/baths, by age, December 2018
                                                                                                    • Refillables present an opportunity
                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Carex refill range banner, 2019
                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                        • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                          • Forecast methodology