In the past two months, the disinfectant industry has been somewhat magical.
In the past, more than 2500 domestic disinfection product companies were registered and established in February, and skin care product manufacturers Shell Pie, Meichen and other companies transformed their production lines. Later, there were companies that "unachievable" such as BYD and LVMH Group "cross-border" production.
As the new crown epidemic spreads to the world,
It rotates 24 hours a day and the employees work in 3 shifts. In order to donate materials to the epidemic area as soon as possible, Liby had its production base resumed on the fifth day of the first month. Its factory production started the "full load" mode, and the production capacity of disinfectant was changed from the original 165 tons. /Day increased to 375 tons/day. The extreme supply-demand gap caused the shell pie, which responded to the government's call for "epidemic prevention and control", to run overloaded for half a month, almost "exploding."
Almost at the same time, in Songjiang, Shanghai, 460 kilometers away from Hefei, all the executives and employees of Maison, as well as customers, went directly to the production line.
Looking back in history, such a "prosperity" in China's disinfectant industry is not the first to appear. During SARS in 2003, the disinfectant was also out of stock. But as the epidemic came to an abrupt end, the disinfectant fell to the "sacred altar." Although Dettol and Welsh have risen in China and have entered thousands of households, in most cases, countless small and medium-sized manufacturers have a large backlog of disinfectant, which has fallen into the ground.
"Can you buy alcohol sanitizer? Where can I buy it?" "A bottle is so expensive!" "Slow hands are gone."
“你能买酒精消毒剂吗？在哪里可以买到？” “一瓶太贵了！” “慢手不见了。”
Overnight, the disinfectant that has been neglected in daily life has become a new demand for epidemic prevention after masks.
On February 19th, consulting companies Bain and Tmall published a report comparing consumption data during the Spring Festival (the first to the thirteenth day of the first month) in 2020 and 2019. Among them, the sales of household cleaning products increased by 316% year-on-year, and in this astonishing increase, disinfectant was the main target for snapping up.
Not only on the Tmall platform, Suning's hand sanitizer is also popular. Suning said that during the epidemic, the sales of hand sanitizers soared 23 times, with Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing having the highest sales. "The peak period occurred in early February, when the average daily order exceeded 200,000 orders. Some self-operated disinfectant products were basically sold out within 1 minute." Suning said.
Liby Group Vice President Xu Xiaodong said in an interview with the media that the sales of disinfection products such as sterilization and antibacterial products are not high compared to usual sales of products such as laundry detergent and detergent. However, in the past half month, distributors in various places have indeed continued to place orders for anti-virus and sterilization products.
As the Spring Festival coincides with insufficient inventory and a shortage of workers, a bottle of disinfectant is hardly destined to be included in the "historical annals" of epidemic prevention in February. In order to respond to the "blowout" demand of the people, manufacturers also worked hard during the Spring Festival.
February 1st was the day when the Shell Group Hefei factory started. From this day to the 6th, the shell pie was busy preparing supplies and coordinating transportation. At that time, almost none of the manufacturers of packaging materials such as bottles had ever operated. "We bought the inventory first, but the price of a bottle rose from a few cents to a few dollars." Jiang Lei said.
. "At that time, we grabbed packaging bottles, just like grabbing masks." She said, "A plastic bottle has risen from three or four cents to nearly one dollar, but you can't hesitate. The order will be gone one minute later."
. "At that time, no logistics company was willing, it was all transported by special vehicles." Recalling the scene at the time, Jiang Lei still sighed again and again: "The cost is extremely high, and the difficulties to overcome are still quite large."
The pressure is almost concentrated on the manufacturers. At the most extreme time, the gap between supply and demand of shell pie reached 200 to 250,000 bottles. Even in the case of 24-hour non-stop operation, the peak production capacity of Shell Pie is only 150,000 bottles. "Our normal performance is 20,000 to 30,000 bottles per day." Jiang Lei said.
In order to maintain normal operation, Shell Pie had to start rejecting some orders. You know, Shell Pie’s daily processing orders are saturated with only about 1,500 orders, but under the epidemic, 80,000 orders are the norm. At the same time, its warehouse area has been expanded again and again, from 800 square meters to 4,000 square meters.
为了维持正常运行，Shell Pie必须开始拒绝某些订单。您知道，Shell Pie的每日处理订单只有大约1,500个订单，但是在这种流行情况下，通常要处理80,000个订单。同时，其仓库面积不断扩大，从800平方米增加到4,000平方米。
"Making a miracle", this is Jiang Lei's summary of February's work. In the busy half-month, nearly 60% of Shell’s products were supplied to hospitals in urgent need of supplies, and only 40% of disinfectant products were sold through other channels.
The same is true of Libai who had to resume work and production in advance to assist the affected areas. On February 10, after all factories in Liby fully resumed work and production, they successively donated 200 million yuan of disinfection and sterilization products to the epidemic area. At the same time, Liby also expanded its online sales channels to meet the needs of consumers during the epidemic.
Under the epidemic, the impossible has become possible. In fact, unlike Liby, which has been deeply involved in the field of disinfectants for many years, neither Shell Pie nor Maison started out as disinfectants, and their main products are skin care products. But relying on similar production lines and production ingredients, it is uniquely endowed to change the production of disinfectant.
Also "cross-border" is the LVMH Group. As the French epidemic prevention and control rose from Level 2 to Level 3, the LVMH Group temporarily changed the three perfume production lines of the group's brands Dior, Givenchy and Guerlain to produce hand sanitizer and other disinfection products on the 15th to alleviate the shortage of hand sanitizer in France. According to reports, production reached 12 tons in the first week.
When the global epidemic prevention materials are in emergency, the "epidemic prevention status" of disinfectant has been second only to masks. This industry, which has always been at the low end of the country, was also "overwhelmed" for a while.
According to the data from Tianyan Check, since January 1, there have been more than 3,000 domestic companies that produce and sell disinfection products. In February alone, more than 2500 disinfection product companies were registered, an increase of 42% over the same period last year.
The popularity of disinfectant in China is closely related to the prevalence of certain diseases. In the early 1980s, the hepatitis B virus was spreading across the country, giving birth to the now-known "84 disinfectant". Soon after it came out, "84 Disinfectant" played an important role in the hepatitis A epidemic in Shanghai in 1988.
消毒剂在中国的流行与某些疾病的流行密切相关。在1980年代初期，乙型肝炎病毒在全国蔓延，催生了如今众所周知的“ 84消毒剂”。 “ 84消毒剂”问世后不久，在1988年的上海甲型肝炎流行中发挥了重要作用。
During the SARS period, it became a must-have product for every family. At that time, Weilu Shi and Dilu entered the game one after another, "taking the opportunity" to build brands. Through a series of marketing and promotion, Weilushi and Dettol, whose sales have been tepid after SARS, have carved up most of the Chinese disinfectant market.
According to Euromonitor International's data, in China's household disinfection product market in 2019, the largest market share is Willis Group, which is owned by Willius, accounting for 45.1%. Li Jieshi, which belongs to Dettol, ranked second with a market share of 16.6%. In this COVID-19 pandemic, Dettol and Willows still performed well. On the Suning platform, among the three highest-selling brands, Dilu and Weilushi are both listed impressively.
Four occasions, the big brands "blessed in disguise" gained a firm foothold, and most of the remaining markets were occupied by small and scattered companies. Also from Tianyancha data, there are currently close to 140,000 companies that produce and sell disinfection products in my country, mainly in the wholesale and retail industries. In terms of registered capital, 23% of enterprises have registered capital within 1 million.
However, compared with foreign countries that have taken high-end routes from many subdivided application areas, such as toys, clothes, pets, hands and other disinfectants, the development of disinfectants in China has not been able to climb the vine-disinfection and sterilization products are still relatively small In general, the disinfectant product closest to ordinary people's life is 84 disinfectant. The daily household products are products with antiseptic effect, such as hand sanitizer, fruit and vegetable detergent.
In the past, Jiang Lei tried to declare new materials and visited a large number of intermediary agencies, even the Health and Health Commission, that did declarations of new materials for disinfectant, but they were basically broken. "The National Health Commission has always been more cautious at this level." Jiang Lei said helplessly.
. "The ingredients are all the same. Dettol only sells for a few dozen yuan. How dare we exceed it?" Gu Yiye said.
"Isn't it just sodium hypochlorite or alcohol mixed with water?" After more than 40 years of development, Chinese disinfectants still cannot escape the "stereotype" impression of the outside world. "This industry is still very chaotic." After more than ten years in the disinfectant industry, Jiang Lei is still cautious and pessimistic about the development of the industry in China.
According to statistics from Tianyancha, as of now, more than 8,000 disinfection products companies have received administrative penalties. Among them, there were more than 1,000 penalties related to "selling inferior drugs", and more than 100 penalties due to "false propaganda". During the epidemic, a wave of small and fragmented markets swarmed in, exposing production qualification problems again.
According to Jiang Lei's introduction, disinfectants are all products with a brand name. The so-called “elimination” refers to the sanitary batch number that needs to be reviewed and approved by the local health department. This type of product such as disinfectant can only be used for external disinfection and sterilization, and does not have the effect of regulating the physiological functions of the human body. "The difference between medical grade and non-medical grade disinfectant is only whether the alcohol concentration is 75%."
But the reality is that many manufacturers have privately changed their production lines to produce "disinfectants" without obtaining relevant records. This is illegal in Jiang Lei's view: "If the manufacturer only has cosmetics for the record, then it is illegal to claim that 99.9% of the bacteriostasis rate is illegal. Because the cosmetics are not allowed to claim the antibacterial function in the cosmetics record."
"Perhaps it is too late for supervision during the epidemic." Jiang Lei sighed. The chaos in the industry during the epidemic has become the epitome of the extensive development of disinfectants in China.
For many years, China's disinfectant market has been developing steadily with an annual growth rate of 5.5%. Data show that in 2019, the market growth rate has slowed down, with an output value of 10.34 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 0.6%, and the growth rate is down 6.3% from the previous year. However, affected by the new coronavirus pneumonia epidemic in 2020, the growth rate of disinfectant output value will increase significantly.
Liby believes that in the long run, due to the increased consumer awareness of health and hygiene, the market demand for disinfection and sterilization products will increase in the future, which may drive the development and more demand for disinfection and sterilization related industries. After the epidemic, consumers have a clearer understanding of disinfection and sterilization products and their choices will be diversified. "Portable sterilization packs, sterilization sprays, sterilization effervescent tablets, etc. will enter consumers' lives more. The future commercial disinfection market will also be a key development area."
Jiang Lei also believes that although Chinese people use disinfection equipment, there will be an increase and change due to the epidemic. However, how high the magnitude of the change is, his view on the future direction of this market is still relatively conservative.
In his view, apart from the problems in the industry itself, because disinfectant is considered a popular low-end product, many market and retail sides are unwilling to accept it, leading to a vicious circle. At the same time, consumer awareness is also a major constraint. "From the policy concept to the entire market, I have always been relatively pessimistic." Jiang Lei said.
The large backlog of disinfectant products after SARS is the "lesson of blood". Jiang Lei said that the production lines of large companies can be switched at any time, and many small companies that focus on the production of disinfectants will be prone to overcapacity.
In early March, as the domestic epidemic slowed down, the demand and supply of disinfectant gradually stabilized.
Liby said: “Affected by the previous epidemic, consumers’ awareness of health and hygiene has increased, and there is still a great demand for disinfection and sterilization products such as hand sanitizers and disinfectants. In the future, we will also increase scientific research investment in disinfection products. To provide consumers with a more efficient, easy-to-use, multi-scenario segmented disinfection solution."
Liby Group and its controlled Chaoyun Group will continue to focus on the disinfection field and strengthen R&D capabilities. On the contrary, after experiencing a "miracle" February, Shell Pie chose to actively reduce its production of disinfectant. Meichen also slowed down. Both companies said that the launch of the disinfectant is an improvement and transformation of the production line, but the disinfectant will not be regarded as the focus of production in the future.
"After the epidemic is over, we still mainly promote our own skin care and antipruritic products, and the disinfectant will be produced stably." Jiang Lei said. The same is true of Meichen. For these manufacturers that temporarily switch lines to produce disinfectant, they don't want to go deep into this market. Gu Yiye said: "Just do it normally, with one more product. Our skin care products are the most important."
As the country stabilized, the situation changed again-as the epidemic spread abroad, overseas anti-epidemic supplies were in a hurry, and China began reverse export.
Gu Yiye’s factory has recently received about ten customers who inquire about foreign trade orders every day, and the hand-washing disinfectant of Shell Pie is about to obtain FDA certification and CE certification. "With the certificate, we can export." Jiang Lei said.
顾义业的工厂最近接待了大约十个每天查询外贸订单的客户，Shell Pie的洗手消毒剂即将获得FDA认证和CE认证。 “有了证书，我们可以出口。”姜磊说。
Both companies pointed out that Europe and the United States are the next most important export markets. Liby said that although the production of disinfectant is concentrated in North America and Europe, China's disinfectant products are already in a stage of vigorous development in the global market, and the market penetration rate is gradually increasing, which has a huge advantage in the number of enterprises.
"After experiencing the epidemic, China and even the entire Asian region may experience a turning point in the growth of import and export trade volume, product structure adjustment, and consumption upgrade." This is Liby's view. After the epidemic is over, how far can the disinfectant industry go forward? The answer may not be clear yet.
Looking back at the end of SARS in 2003, the disinfectant industry was left behind, and the problem of chaos remains unresolved. Industry insiders believe that when all the problems are grouped together, it is difficult to expect that the epidemic will immediately make the disinfectant industry "fly on the branches and become a phoenix."
"I have forgotten when I bought this bottle of disinfectant. Does anyone need it? I won't be able to use that much in the future." Many people who only received the disinfectant express in March asked sincerely. This may be a situation that many disinfectant manufacturers must face after the epidemic is over.