Bar Soap Market Review



On review of the recently published ‘Category Insight: Bar & Liquid Soap’ Mintel Report we were delighted to note a resurgence in  NPD within the European bar soap market compared with a decline in the liquid soap NPD activity.


This resurgence in the bar soap market was quantified further in the Euromonitor ‘Bar Soap Category’ report which showed year on year growth in bar soap from 2014 and 2015, and the good news is that this trend is predicted to continue.


Whilst the more economical and longer lasting nature of bar soap when compared to liquid soap is cited as a contributing factor to this trend the many positive attributes of bar soap will, no doubt, also be purchasing influencers. Bar soap is a naturally derived cleanser, has minimal packaging and can be formulated, designed and packaged in a multitude of options to meet each brand’s needs.


Across European countries between 50% to 74% of consumers purchase bar soap, with fashion conscious Italy having the highest penetration. On a more global scale the more mature markets such as the US show a decline in sales yet bar soaps still account for 32% of market sales during 2014. In developing and emerging markets bar soap sales dominate the category with sustained growth forecasted.


The Mintel report offers a clear insight into consumer habits across the globe and a key trend which is becoming increasingly prevalent is consumer’s interest in artisan and heritage formulations. Today’s consumers are more educated than ever before, and the provenance and sustainability of key ingredients, along with where and how products are made are all important purchasing considerations. With nearly 30 years of expertise in soap manufacturing, a strong CSR story and Sedex registration, few companies are as well qualified to assist on your soap development needs as Soapworks.


It is also clear that one way to add value to bar soap is through organic NPD – in Europe organic soaps accounted for 12% of NPD with many aimed at the infant market. At Soapworks we are certified by The Soil Association for the manufacture of organic soap tablets so can provide the necessary support to our customers who wish to explore this area further.


Luxurious formulations using natural ingredients, aromatherapy oils and tapping into skincare trends are contributing factors to the re-positioning of bar soap to a premium position.


Whether you are interested in exploring new product opportunities for bar soaps or simply want to understand the bar soap market further, Soapworks are uniquely placed to help. Please contact Claire Caddis for further information (