Coronavirus: Sales of hand sanitiser increase by 255% amid outbreak

‘It’s unsurprising to see shoppers prudently protecting themselves from illness,’ says data insights firm

Sabrina Barr
Tuesday 03 March 2020 11:21 GMT
Coronavirus: Four more people in England test positive

Sales of hand sanitiser in supermarkets have drastically increased amid the coronavirus outbreak, research has found.

Kantar, one of the world’s leading firms in data insights and consulting, released a report outlining the most up-to-date grocery market share figures.

The report highlighted the way in which fears concerning the spread of coronavirus have impacted consumers’ shopping habits over the past month.

According to the report, supermarket sales of hand sanitiser soared by 255 per cent in the four weeks leading up to 23 February.

Other kinds of liquid soaps have also seen a 7-per-cent increase in sales.

Reports have suggested that several Boots stores are limiting the number of hand sanitisers customers can purchase in one go.

A photograph shared on Twitter shows a sign in a Boots store that reads: “Hand sanitisers are currently limited to two per customer. Help us to support as many people as possible to keep their hands clean this winter.”

The Kantar researchers said the noted increase in hand sanitiser sales was “unsurprising” given the attention coronavirus, or COVID-19, has been receiving in recent weeks on a global scale.

“Given the media focus around the outbreak of COVID-19 in February, it’s unsurprising to see shoppers prudently protecting themselves from illness,” the report said.

The increase in hand sanitiser sales represented a rise in shopper numbers from 468,433 in the same period last year to 1,156,102 this February.

The company tracked the purchasing habits of 30,000 demographically representative households across Great Britain for its research.

Furthermore, an additional 10 per cent was spent on household cleaners over the past month.

Some 39 patients have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK.

Today, Boris Johnson said that thousands of cases of coronavirus can be expected in the UK, following the World Health Organisation’s warning that countries were facing “uncharted territory” in coping with the outbreak.

More than 80,000 people have been infected across the world, while more than 3,000 people have died.

For all the latest news on coronavirus, follow The Independent‘s live blog here.

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