The BCMPA, the association for contract manufacturing, packing, fulfilment and logistics, has reported that significant increases in enquiries for personal care products are showing no signs of tailing off.
Enquiries to the BCMPA for personal care items rocketed by over 500 per cent shortly after the coronavirus lockdown was implemented, while enquiries across all sectors in April 2020 went up 60 per cent compared with 2019.
In the same month, interest in the production of hand sanitiser and antibacterial products represented 90 per cent of the total enquiries for personal care items.
While the proportion of new hand sanitiser enquiries fell slightly in May, figures remain unseasonably high and the BCMPA predicts that similar levels of demand will continue for the foreseeable future.
There is also a major new requirement for members to collate and contract pack sanitation “kits” containing items like hand gel sachets and face masks, as schools, shops, airlines and businesses open again, and as restrictions ease and the country prepares to get back to work.
Most current enquiries are for personal care products, with a significant increase in white label and private label enquiries – combined with a string of new members operating in the hand sanitiser or personal care sector.
The BCMPA has been hugely impressed by the speed at which its members have changed filling lines to cope with the increased volumes and different requirements and specifications, altering their production to supply much-needed PPE.
Rodney Steel, chief executive of the BCMPA, said: “The Covid-19 situation has created an inevitable shift in production and enquiry trends, right from the beginning.
“Although some sectors have obviously suffered, personal care has gone through the roof, and we believe that trend is here to stay.
“Not only have enquiries shot up and remained high, but the size of production orders has seen a massive increase. Orders that were typically for 20 or 30,000 units are now in the hundreds of thousands or millions.”
Mr Steel said that one BCMPA member had to take down its website after struggling to cope with the high demand for hand sanitiser.
He added: “The increase in enquiries, membership and the positive trend towards outsourcing is a reflection of changing consumer behaviour. The excellent relationship we have with our members means we are fortunately in a very good position for matching new enquiries with the right suppliers, and so easing the whole supply chain process at a time when it’s most needed.
“The manner in which our members have responded, demonstrating incredible flexibility and quickly adapting to new lines while prioritising staff safety, has been exceptional.”