Companies in this industry manufacture soap and detergent products. Major companies include Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble (P&G), Ecolab, and Zep (all based in the US), along with Henkel KGaA (Germany), Nice Group (China), and Unilever (UK).
Population growth, particularly among households with children, drives demand in the consumer sector, and economic growth drives demand in the commercial sector. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations and effective sales and marketing. Large companies have scale advantages in purchasing, manufacturing, distribution, and marketing. Small companies can compete effectively by offering specialized products, providing superior customer service, or serving a local market. The US industry is highly concentrated: the top 50 companies generate about 90 percent of revenue.
Laundry detergent accounts for 25 percent of US industry revenue, soap for 15 percent, dishwashing detergent for 10 percent, and toothpaste for 5 percent. Laundry detergent comes in powder or liquid form, and may contain bleach additives or color brighteners. Dishwashing detergent comes in powder, liquid, or gel form. Soap comes in bars or liquids, and may have moisturizing, antibacterial, or deodorant benefits. Companies in the commercial sector may also sell dispensing equipment and provide related training.Buy Now