Quarantine restrictions have been implemented for over a month in most parts of the U.S. and personal grooming routines are starting to fall.
According to the Financial Times, Graeme Pitkethly, Unilever’s chief financial officer said hair washing, hair styling, and the use of skincare products are items typically used by people who go to work and to school every day. Since most Americans are working or getting an education at home, the demand for these products is falling.
According to Unilever, which makes Dove soap, deodorant, and Toni & Guy haircare products, quarantine restrictions are affecting the company’s haircare portfolio in China and India. Skincare sales and deodorant sales are also down after rising in the first three months of the year.
Pitkethly told the Financial Times he believes changes in consumer behavior will continue after quarantine restrictions and his company is quickly adapting.
“More time at home, more time cooking — which is good for us — and maybe less personal care occasions, this nesting idea,” Pitkethly told the Financial Times.
Unilever did report double-digit sales growth of cleaning products, such as cleaning wipes and bleach, indicating people are taking the virus and quarantine restrictions seriously.
Alan Jope, chief executive of Unilever, said that while people are shaving less due to being home, more people are shifting to cheaper, online brands such as Dollar Shave Club to meet their needs.
“We are almost certainly going into a period of low economic growth and we’ll adjust to that by prioritizing the value-for-money products in our portfolio — we’re going to be dealing with that for a couple of years,” Jope told the Times. “Secondly there is no doubt people’s concern about [household] hygiene has increased . . . and the shift to online digital consumption of media and online shopping is something that will be permanent. We will adjust our approach to reflect that.”
Some grooming companies are joining the fight against the coronavirus. Black haircare company Luster has expanded its operations to begin making hand sanitizer. Olive Branch Wellness Boutique, which makes scrubs and mud masks, has also begun making hand sanitizer.