Plant and worker safety driving cleaning chemical sales - report

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Rising public awareness of the risk of foodborne illnesses due to highly publicized cases concerning ground beef and other products will spur growth in cleaning chemicals, according to a new report from Freedonia.

The Cleveland-based analysts predict that US demand for industrial and institutional cleaning chemicals will increase 3.4 per cent annually to over $10bn in 2012.

The group said growth reflects the popularity of ready meals and microwaveable foods, which require high sanitary plant and equipment conditions in order to provide effective quality assurance, to satisfy the stringent demands of retailers and to allow processors avoid product safety litigation.

Cost implications

However, Freedonia spokeswoman Corinne Gangloff told that, due to their lower costs, processors will continue to rely on general cleaners with conventional product formulations that meet regulatory and environmental standards.

“New formulations using plant-derived raw materials and other biodegradable components will show above average growth, but will remain a relatively small segment of the overall market as they can’t compete on price,” ​she​said.

Green profiles

Though, the analysts claim that product formulators are moving away from harsher caustic soda in favour of more benign chlor-alkalis such as soda ash and sodium bicarbonate that allow for milder, easier to use products with greener environmental profiles.

Mandatory employee hand-washing programmes are buoying demand for higher value antibacterial hand cleansers, according to the report, with a wider variety of cleanser formulations appearing coupled with the growing popularity of alcohol-based instant sanitizer products.


Disinfection products, used at all levels of food production, processing, preparation and sale, will be expected to grow by 6.7 per cent annually to reach $1.3bn by 2012, according to the firm.

The primary driver of disinfectant product gains, however, will be new types of disinfection equipment such as ozone and ultraviolet technologies as companies - particularly in the beverage industry - seek reliable, non-chemical means of ensuring that contamination risks are minimized.

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