December 17, 2009
Here’s an astonishing statistic to consider during cold, cough and sneeze season: searches for “hand sanitizers” by distributors via ASI’s products database jumped 439% for the period between October 2009 and October 2008.
That means hand sanitizers now rival pens as one of the most popular promo items – thanks in part to the swine flu (H1N1).
Only searches for pens – which for years have been the best-selling ad specialty – were higher that period. In addition, searches for sanitizer products of all kinds jumped by triple digits this year.
For more details, check the press release here.
We spoke to Larry Wilhelm, chief executive officer of Custom HBC (asi/47934), about this phenomenon and he told us sales have jumped. “Certainly, there’s been a dramatic increase in sales of sanitizer sprays, gels and other anti-bacterial products,” he said of the company that introduced a “Pocket SprayerTM” to the industry in 2005. The $1 item is now a best-seller, increasing since May from about 400,000 to 750,000 units a month.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that when soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used to help prevent the spread of germs.
Further, Wilhelm says sanitizing products aren’t just used as promotional giveaways. Increasingly, more distributors are wisely approaching company human resources departments, which buy sanitizers for employees to reduce absenteeism caused by illness.