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12 Handmade Soap Industry Statistics, Trends & Analysis

Handmade soap is a niche segment over the overall global soap industry. Bar soaps, body wash, and similar products make up a significant portion of the total sales. Studies published by Expert Market Research show that the value of the worldwide soap industry is currently $18 billion, with a surge to $24 billion expected by the year 2022.

Making soap has become a way to earn extra income for many households in the United States. It offers a low barrier entry when compared to other fast-moving goods and commodities, sells at a firm retail price, and is often a recession-proof industry.

People are returning to handmade soap over liquid products for a variety of reason. For some, there are sensitivities or allergies to the fragrances used in body wash products. There is also interest in the fact these items are handmade. Sold in boutiques, online forums, and even door-to-door, handmade soap could rediscover its roots over the next ten years to become the dominant force in the global soap market.

Fascinating Handmade Soap Industry Statistics

#1. Handmade soap must cure after it is made. Most products must cure at least 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the humidity and temperature of the environment. Longer cure times allow each product to last longer when used, so the anticipation of market demands is necessary. (Eight Acres)

#2. About 118 million Americans say that they use at least one type of moisturizing bar soap over the course of a year. (Statista)

#3. Over 8 million Americans use 13 or more bars of soap over the course of a year, according to 2018 figures released. (Statista)

#4. 60% of women say that the shower between 3-5 times each week. A majority of men (54%) say that they shower at least every day, with 13% reporting more than seven showers per week. (Reddit)

#5. Grooming preferences often dictate the amount of time spent bathing and using soap. 89% of people say that the ideal man has short hair, while 84% say the perfect woman shaves her legs. (SCA)

#6. Soap manufacturing in the United States has seen employment declined by 0.4% since 2013, yet the number of businesses currently operating in this sector has risen by 3.9%, partially due to the increase in single-owner handmade soap companies. (IBIS World)

#7. The U.S. segment of the bath and shower industry is valued at $5.5 billion. The bar soap category offers retail sales of $1.7 billion each year, which is larger than hand sanitizers, bath accessories, and the liquid hand soap segments combined. (Mintel)

#8. The global handmade soap segment of the worldwide industry is valued at $150 million. (Value Market Research)

#9. A handmade soap product holds the record for being the most expensive soap in the world. Produced by a family business based in Lebanon, their Qatar soap is enhanced with gold and diamond powder to retail at $2,800. (Dr. Squatch)

#10. 66% of American consumers say that they buy liquid soap regularly compared to the 64% of consumers who purchase bar soap as part of their routine. (Stephenson Personal Care)

#11. 6% of bar soaps on the market today promise exfoliating properties as one of their benefits. (Stephenson Personal Care)

#12. 61% of consumers are willing to spend more on artisan products like handmade soaps, but they want to make those purchases less often. Quality ingredients and luxury benefits, such as aromatherapy, are the top priorities in this segment. (Stephenson Personal Care)

Handmade Soap Industry Trends and Analysis

The soap industry saw its most significant surge in the early 20th century. Marketers played on the idea that new office workers, often in close proximity with each other, needed to be cleaning themselves with greater regularity. That meant the weekly bath turned into a daily shower and soap consumption skyrocketed.

This trend helps the handmade soap industry because consumers are looking for natural products which don’t contain fragrances or harsh chemicals beyond the lye used to create the product in the first place. Most handmade soaps contain herbs, essential oils, and organic items to create one-of-a-kind products. Handmade products also include glycerin, which helps to soften and moisturize the skin.

Although the $10 average price for a handmade bar of soap is too high for consumers compared to commercially produced items, this industry niche offers a lot of potential as an entry-level industry segment. With more people exploring this option as a business opportunity every day, the industry could reach a total global value of more than $220 million within the next five years.

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