What you need to know

The soap, bath and shower market remains in flux (+0.6% from 2014-15), unable to tempt consumers to significantly increase spend due to an unwillingness to pay more for daily essentials.

Bathing, which is falling from favour as a regular activity, shows signs of strengthening sales and usage as it repositions as an area for treatment, encompassing health trends such as detox and mindfulness. In 2016 the shower market is set to replicate this beauty treatment positioning, with the emergence of in-shower treatments such as tanning products and skincare.

Products covered in this report

This report covers the UK retail market for soap, bath and shower products (including specific male, female and family products – ie those that can be used on babies and children) and includes the following:

  • Toilet soaps in both bar and liquid form, including hand washes

  • Hand sanitisers

  • Bath additives such as foam, crème, oil and bubble bath, bath pearls and beads and solid bath products such as salts, grains, crystals and cubes

  • Shower products such as gels, mousses, body shampoos and body washes

  • Products marketed as soap-free, such as Dove or Oil of Olay moisturising bars, as well as products such as Oilatum, which are formulated specifically for problem skin.


This report excludes facial cleansers such as scrubs and foams, which are included in Mintel’s Women's Facial Skincare - UK - May 2015 and Men's Facial Skincare - UK - May 2015 reports.

This report also excludes other bodycare products, used outside of a cleansing routine, as well as wash accessories such as sponges, loofahs, mitts etc.

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