May 11, 2021
The number of hand sanitizer units in foodservice, healthcare, industrial, lodging, and office facilities nearly doubled since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, increasing from an average of 23 units to more than 40 units per facility, according to a spring 2021 survey conducted by GP PRO.
The greatest increase occurred in office facilities, with the average number of units tripling, but the highest number of total units occurred in healthcare and lodging facilities, with each averaging 85 per facility.
The survey results also found that 85 percent of those responsible for buying or maintaining hand sanitizer units within the five facility types plan to keep most or all of them once the pandemic is over. Julie Howard, vice president and general manager of GP PRO’s towel, skin care and air care categories, noted that this suggests they recognize the importance of hand hygiene in reducing cross-contamination and slowing the spread of harmful viruses and bacteria.
“Although we knew early on in the pandemic that there was increased demand for our sanitizer and dispensing products, this survey makes clear that those involved in facility management have come to greatly value the role hand sanitizer plays in improving hygiene,” Howard said.
Additional key survey findings shed light on hand sanitizer unit growth by facility-type as well as post-pandemic sanitizer unit plans.
- Hand sanitizer units increased by more than 50 percent on average in healthcare facilities. Post-pandemic, 91 percent of healthcare respondents expect to leave most or all of their hand sanitizer units in place.
- Hand sanitizer units increased by 200 percent on average in office facilities. Post-pandemic, 90 percent of office respondents expect to leave most or all of their hand sanitizer units in place.
- Hand sanitizer units increased by 180 percent on average in industrial facilities.
- Hand sanitizer units increased by 100 percent in foodservice facilities. Post-pandemic, 79 percent of foodservice respondents expect to leave most or all of their hand sanitizer units in place.
- Hand sanitizer units increased by nearly 85 percent on average in lodging facilities. Post-pandemic, 70 percent of lodging respondents expect to leave most or all of their hand sanitizer units in place.
According to Howard, the survey further found that automated wall-mounted dispensers are the most common hand sanitizer format, with 61 percent of survey respondents using them in their facilities.
“Touchless dispensing and closed-system bottles make the process of using hand sanitizer itself hygienic,” she said. “It’s reassuring to see this prioritization of long-term hygiene across such a wide range of facility types. Maybe the old handshake will return sooner than we thought”