Interest in Antibacterial Products Rises Sharply

Searches For Antibacterial Products On ESP Increase 42%

Interest In Antibacterial Products Rises SharplyA severe 2012-2013 flu season appears to have markedly increased interest in antibacterial promotional items, a recent trend reflected in ASI product search data. In January 2013, there were 63,000 searches for antibacterial products on ESP, a year-over year increase of 42%. In all of 2012, ESP searches for hand sanitizer increased 8.9% over 2011.

"We have noticed a great increase in sanitizer sales," said Gregg Szpicek, national sales director for Tekweld (asi/90807), which counts anti-bacterial items as its number-one product category.

Szpicek said that Tekweld's sales of sanitizer items increased by 53% in 2012, and the trend is continuing into this year, with 2013 year-over-year sales of the items increasing by 20% so far. "It is a commodity product for everyday use," Szpicek said. "Distributors can call on many different markets when selling sanitizer products. People are becoming more health conscious these days and any form of virus prevention is a proactive way to stay healthy."

While suppliers are seeing greater sales of antibacterial items, distributors are making special pitches to clients to take advantage of end-buyer demand. Counselor Top 40 distributor National Pen (asi/281040) launched a promotional campaign in February, linking hand sanitizer to wellness.

"Hand sanitizer is a great option because Americans are becoming more conscious about health every year," said Gregg Kornfeld, senior vice president of merchandising at National Pen. "Businesses can put their full color message or logo on a convenient container that customers will want to keep with them year-round. It's a win-win."

This year's flu season has been especially harsh in the U.S., with senior citizens hospitalized because of influenza at the highest rate since 2008, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). While the flu vaccine is about 62% effective at preventing influenza, CDC officials recommend frequent hand washing or using hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of germs. – DV