Special Feature: Year In Review

Year In Review: Bleach

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December 29, 2020
by Shastri Mahadeo
2 Minutes

The following insights are powered by Nielsen in partnership with Unioncrate, an artificial intelligence demand planning platform that combines consumer behavior and historical shipment data to predict sales and inventory with up to 91.6% SKU-level accuracy.


Welcome to Day 29 of Unioncrate’s Year In Review, looking at the bleach category, which grew 37.2% this year.


  • There was a clear favorite for consumers in the bleach category, with chlorine bleach sales going up 45.3% in the 40 weeks since March, and non-chlorine bleach dropping 8.5% in the same period.
  • While most forms of bleach were fine by customers, powder form fell 24.5% during the pandemic.
  • In the 4-week period ended 3/21, bleach sales went up 120.7%, evidenced by the empty shelves that have continued to be an issue in the months since its surge.

The Best of Bleach

  • Cloralen bleach maker AIEn USA announced a partnership with food banks in Texas to provide families in need with cleaning supplies during these tough times.
  • In a realization that rocked the cleaning community, it came to light that the Splashless variety of Clorox bleach does not disinfect surfaces, and actually only claims to help whiten, brighten, and deodorize laundry—better to save this one for the washing machine.
  • In another learning moment for anyone buying bleach by the jug at Costco, health professionals reminded us that it’s only good for about six months before expiring. 
  • Clorox COO Eric Reynolds told NBC News that it wouldn’t be until well into 2021 that consumers can expect to see a steady flow of Clorox bleach on shelves again, as early 2020’s surge in demand continues to wreak havoc on the bleach maker’s supply chain.

Next Up: Dish Soap

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