Sales of hand sanitizers and similar products have swelled across several international markets since the COVID-19 outbreak began in January. The virus, which originated in China, has now spread to more than 60 countries.
According to data published Tuesday by market research firm Kantar, U.K. hand sanitizer sales saw a year-on-year increase of 255% in February. Meanwhile, British shoppers were buying 7% more liquid hand soaps and spent 10% more on household cleaners compared to February 2019.
Asian consumers have also been stockpiling personal hygiene goods in the wake of the outbreak, according to a report published Monday by Nielsen. Analysts found that sales in Malaysia of hand sanitizers hit almost 1 million Malaysian ringgit ($237,176) during the week ending January 26 — that’s 800% higher than the country spends on the product in an average week.
In Italy, where 2,041 cases of the coronavirus and 52 deaths have been confirmed so far, sales of hand soap were up 29%, Nielsen said.
Earlier this week, data from Adobe Analytics reportedly showed that demand for hand sanitizers in the U.S. spiked by 1,400% between December and January. According to Nielsen, hand sanitizer purchases in the United States were up 73% during the four weeks until February 22, with analysts predicting sales “won’t peak for some time.”