Description

To understand the broader industry trends within the soap, bath, and shower products market, purchase our complete market research report that features over 90 pages of statistics, market intelligence, and expert recommendations to help you interpret future consumer behaviors and anticipate what’s next in the market.

Soap, Bath, and Shower Products: Current Market Landscape

Consumer markets have faced an unprecedented level of turmoil in recent years, from the massive economic disruption in 2020 from COVID-19 to 40-year highs in inflation in 2022. Real GDP (the inflation-adjusted measure of GDP) increased at an annualized rate of 2.9% in Q3 2022 – the first in which the US experienced positive growth in 2022, following two quarters of decline. However, consumer sentiment remains near historic lows, with rising interest rates, stubborn inflation, as well as volatile financial markets continuing to erode households’ confidence. With wage growth stalling, consumers exhausting their savings, soaring credit card debt and stubbornly high inflation – all signs point to reduced spending heading into next year.

Bath and Shower Products Market Analysis

  • Soap market size:
    $8 billion in retail sales, an almost 2% increase from 2022 (estimated).
  • Soap market trends:
    42% of BPC users say brands need to do a better job at explaining what ingredients they use and why, showing opportunities for brands to lead communication on formulations. Especially among young consumers, knowledge is key in being able to participate in sustainable activities when shopping online and in physical retail. Brands can use options such as social media to communicate these efforts or even consider longer-form content such as videos on YouTube or documentaries.
  • Soap market share:
    Use of liquid body wash, bar soap and body scrubs remains consistent with years past thanks to the hygienic and essential nature of these products. While more than six in 10 adults are using either liquid body wash or bar soap, body scrubs may still be seen as discretionary or occasion-based to cleansing routines. Overall usage of different types of shower products has shown minimal to no change since 2019, indicating that consumers are not switching their choice of format.

Soap, Bath, and Shower Products Market Trends and Opportunities

  • With almost universal sentiment that taking care of the body’s skin is just as important as facial skin, body cleansing routines are becoming more important to consumers. Additionally, almost three quarters of category users say too much cleansing/ sanitizing will strip good bacteria away from the skin, a key concept associated with keeping a balanced microbiome and supporting skin health.
  • While the soap, bath and shower market is traditionally focused on hygiene with highly functional cleansing products, the importance of fragrance should not be discounted; almost 60% of adults want to make their skin smell nice from their body cleansing routine, showcasing the importance of having appealing fragrance in conjunction with quality cleansing properties.
  • Concerns over cost and pricing is apparent in the category, however, fewer than one in five adults say they prefer to invest more money in leave-on products than wash-off products, boding well for the category. However, leave-on inspired ingredients and claims should be explored to keep consumers invested in the category.

Read on to discover more about the soap, bath, and shower products consumer market, read our Suncare and Skin Protection – US – 2023, or take a look at our other Beauty and Personal Care Market research reports.

Quickly Understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 and inflation on consumer behavior and the soap, bath and shower products market.
  • How usage trends impact the soap, bath and shower products market.
  • How category players are innovating offerings to stand out from the competition.
  • What consumers want from category players and why.

Covered in this Bar Soaps Report

Leading Companies in the Soap, Bath, and Shower Products Market / Industry: Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, Hekel, S.C. Johnson & Son, PDC Brands, Johnson & Johnson, Naterra International, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps.

Leading Brands in the Soap, Bath, and Shower Products Market / Industry: Dove, Caress, Shea Moisture, Irish Spring, Dial, Suave, Axe, Old Spice, Olay, Native, Ivory, Aveeno, Softsoap, Tree Hut, Mrs. Meyer’s, Method, Dr. Bronner’s.

Expert Analysis from a Specialist in the Field

This report, written by Carson Kitzmiller, a leading analyst in the Beauty and Personal Care sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Traditionally seen as a highly functional and hygienic category, soap, bath and shower products have become a prominent part of consumers’ self-care routines as skin health remains top of mind and consumers seek physical and mental relief within their cleansing routines. While the market continues to rebalance after an explosive 2020, SBS products that offer benefits beyond hygiene will continue to gain traction in the market, and brands must prove value through a lens of cost, convenience and quality to remain integral to daily and occasion-based cleansing routines.
Carson Kitzmiller, Senior Beauty and Personal Care Analyst

Carson Kitzmiller
Senior Analyst, Beauty and Personal Care

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of soap, bath and shower products, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 2: Soap, bath and shower category outlook, 2022-27
    • Opportunities and challenges
      • Figure 3: Soap, bath and shower product usage, 2020-22
    • Sustainability attitudes are present, but may be an obstacle due to cost, time investment, knowledge gap
    • Despite household income, price increases may impact purchase behavior
      • Figure 4: Select shopping behaviors, by household income, 2022
    • Promote occasion-based usage through personalized needs
      • Figure 5: Select benefits sought from body cleansing routine, by age, 2022
    • Key consumer insights
  3. Market Size and Forecast

    • The SBS market continues to rebalance to normalcy
      • Figure 6: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of soap, bath and shower products, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 7: Total US retail sales and forecast of soap, bath and shower products, at current prices, 2017-27
  4. Segment Performance

    • Liquid body wash and bar soap drive positivity in category
      • Figure 8: Total US retail sales and forecast of liquid body wash, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 9: Total US retail sales and forecast of bar soap, at current prices, 2017-27
    • Market rebalance on hand hygiene
      • Figure 10: Total US retail sales and forecast of liquid hand soap, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 11: Total US retail sales and forecast of hand sanitizers (excluding wipes), at current prices, 2017-27
    • The bath segment is expected to cool after a hot few years
      • Figure 12: Total US retail sales and forecast of bath fragrances/bubble bath, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 13: Total US retail sales and forecast of soap, bath and shower products, by segment, at current prices, 2017-27
  5. Market Factors

    • Tough economy could see further market consolidation and influence slower innovation cycles
    • Sustainability: Water and Packaging key topics of concern
  6. Market Share/Key Players

    • Unilever keeps top spot thanks to Dove’s personalized approach
      • Figure 14: Dove Body Love Body Cleansers with recognizable active ingredients
    • In a down segment, Dr Teals wins among bath consumers
    • Sales of soap, bath and shower products by company
      • Figure 15: Multi-outlet sales of soap, bath and shower products, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
    • Company/brand sales by segment
      • Figure 16: Multi-outlet sales of bar soap, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
      • Figure 17: Multi-outlet sales of liquid body wash, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
      • Figure 18: Multi-outlet sales of liquid hand soap, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
      • Figure 19: Multi-outlet sales of bath fragrances/bubble bath, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
      • Figure 20: Multi-outlet sales of hand sanitizers (excluding wipes), by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
  7. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • “Skinification” continues in cleansing with exfoliating ingredients
      • Figure 21: Sundae Body Australia whipped shower foam with natural AHAs
      • Figure 22: Medik8 Smooth Body Exfoliating Kit™
    • Romanticized hygiene: investments in spaces and gadgets elevate routines
      • Figure 23: #romanticizeyourlife bathroom routine TikTok
    • Skin benefits and sustainability to push hand hygiene forward
      • Figure 24: Eco-positioned hand soap launches
    • Fragrance and shelf appeal still important to keep customers
      • Figure 25: Method’s aluminum hand wash bottles
      • Figure 26: Bath and Body works’ ‘Neutral Territory’ products
      • Figure 27: Touchland Power Mist hand sanitizer with carrying case and lanyard
      • Figure 28: Multi-outlet sales of hand sanitizers (excluding wipes), Touchland LLC, Rolling 52 weeks 2021 and 2022
    • Join the intimate care conversation to appeal to female-specific needs
    • …through multipurpose offerings and recognizable ingredients
      • Figure 29: SweetSpot Labs Microbiome Balancing wash
    • …with period care washes
      • Figure 30: Saalt cup wash
    • …by providing relief for symptoms
      • Figure 31: Dr Teal’s Menstrual Relief Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution
    • …by supporting different lifestages
      • Figure 32: Woo Woo’s Manifesto collection
  8. The Soap, Bath and Shower Consumer – Fast Facts

  9. Liquid Shower Products, Bar Soap and Body Scrub Usage and Frequency

    • Prove skin benefits to win market share
      • Figure 33: Body cleansing usage, 2020-22
      • Figure 34: Usage frequency of liquid body wash or scrubs, by age, 2022
    • Encourage bar soap usage through upgraded gentle formulations
      • Figure 35: Select product usage, by age, 2022
    • Educate men on the benefits of scrub formats
      • Figure 36: Body scrub usage, by gender and age, 2022
  10. Hand Cleansing Product Usage and Frequency

    • Boost hand hygiene among men
      • Figure 37: Hand cleansing product usage, by gender, 2022
    • Despite a drop in sales, sanitizer usage remains consistent
      • Figure 38: Hand sanitizer product usage, 2020-22
      • Figure 39: Frequency of usage of hand soap or hand sanitizing products, by age, 2022
  11. Bath Product Usage and Frequency

    • Connecting bathing rituals to self-care is crucial
      • Figure 40: Bath product usage, 2020-22
      • Figure 41: Usage frequency of bath products, by age, 2022
    • Multifunctional bath products can bring eco-friendliness to routines
      • Figure 42: Select product usage, by age, 2022
    • Speak to skin conditions and physical wellness to win over bath consumers
      • Figure 43: Select benefits sought from body cleansing routine, by bath product usage, 2022
  12. Body Cleansing Benefits

    • Don’t discount the importance of fragrance
      • Figure 44: Benefits sought from body cleansing routine, 2022
    • Body acne support may appeal to young adults
      • Figure 45: Select benefits sought from body cleansing routine, by age, 2022
      • Figure 46: Select global BPC launches with anti-acne claims, 2018-2022
      • Figure 47: Acne-positioned body cleansing products
    • Appearance benefits crucial to multicultural spend
      • Figure 48: Select benefits sought from body cleansing routine, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
  13. Attitudes and Behaviors toward Soap, Bath and Shower Products

    • The body’s skin health is top of mind for consumers
      • Figure 49: Select attitudes toward soap, bath and shower products, 2022
      • Figure 50: Select attitudes toward soap, bath and shower products, by age, 2021-22
    • Promote health-based occasions to further usage
      • Figure 51: This Works “Morning Expert” and “Deep Sleep” shower gels
      • Figure 52: Select attitudes toward soap, bath and shower products, 2022
    • Trending: Cold or cooling attributes may entice male consumers
      • Figure 53: Select attitudes toward soap, bath and shower products, by gender, 2022
    • Aesthetic-focused attributes may prove different value
      • Figure 54: Select attitudes toward soap, bath and shower products, 2022
  14. Attitudes toward Sustainability in Soap, Bath and Shower Products

    • Sustainable efforts still in the minority
      • Figure 55: Sustainable attitudes and behaviors, 2022
      • Figure 56: Evolve Together dissolvable hand soap
    • Help consumers understand the importance of sustainable formulations
      • Figure 57: Attitudes toward eco-friendly ingredients, by age, 2022
    • Make water conservation and tracking easy
      • Figure 58: Select water conservation behaviors, by region, 2022
  15. Shopping Behaviors

    • Despite household income, price increases may be impacting purchase behavior
      • Figure 59: Select shopping behaviors, by household income, 2022
    • Gentle claims desired in cleansing category, too
      • Figure 60: Purchase behaviors toward gentle formulations, by age, 2022
      • Figure 61: Gallinée Cleansing Bar
    • Use recognizable ingredients to message “leave-on” inspired benefits
      • Figure 62: Preference to invest in leave-on products, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
      • Figure 63: Olay’s hand wash collection
  16. Trial and Interest in Nontraditional Products and Innovations

    • Facial skincare inspiration now the standard in SBS
      • Figure 64: Select trial and interest in nontraditional products and innovations, 2022
      • Figure 65: Foreo’s LUNA™ 4 body T-Sonic™ massaging body brush, 2022
    • Elevate the experience with fragrance and new formats
      • Figure 66: Select trial and interest in nontraditional products and innovations, 2022
      • Figure 67: Esker Beauty Aromatic shower steamer set
    • Dupes with fragrance can appeal in a cost-conscious time
      • Figure 68: Le Labo body wash dupe
    • Seek new opportunities with SBS accessories and tech
      • Figure 69: Trial and interest in smart shower heads, by age, 2022
      • Figure 70: hai smart showerhead, app and aromatherapy infusions with Fuse attachment, January 2023
  17. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms
  18. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 71: Total US retail sales and forecast of soap, bath and shower products, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 72: Total US retail sales and forecast of soap, bath and shower products, by segment, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 73: Average annual household spending on soap, bath and shower products, 2017-22
      • Figure 74: Total US retail sales of soap, bath and shower products, by segment, at current prices, 2020 and 2022
      • Figure 75: Total US retail sales and forecast of bar soap, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 76: Total US retail sales and forecast of liquid body wash, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 77: Total US retail sales and forecast of liquid hand soap, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 78: Total US retail sales and forecast of bath fragrances/bubble bath, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 79: Total US retail sales and forecast of hand sanitizers (excluding wipes), at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 80: Total US retail sales of soap, bath and shower products, by channel, at current prices, 2017-22
      • Figure 81: Total US retail sales of soap, bath and shower products, by channel, at current prices, 2020 and 2022
      • Figure 82: US supermarket sales of soap, bath and shower products, at current prices, 2017-22
      • Figure 83: US drugstore sales of soap, bath and shower products, at current prices, 2017-22
      • Figure 84: US sales of soap, bath and shower products through other retail channels, at current prices, 2017-22

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

Market

Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

Consumer

Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

Brand/Company

Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

Data

Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

Below is a sample report, understand what you are buying.

Click to show report

Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Also, our reports come in PDF, Powerpoint, Word and Excel Databook formats.

Trusted by companies. Big and small.

Bell Logo - Mintel client
Boots Logo - Mintel Client
Kelloggs Logo - Mintel client
Samsung Logo - Mintel client
Nike Logo - Mintel client
Walgreens Logo - Mintel client

Want to speak to us directly?

Contact us on via phone or fill out a form with your enquiry.

Contact Us