Advances for specialty surfactants in all markets will be supported by a continued trend toward safer, more environmentally friendly products. Multi-functionality and compatibility with other chemicals are also important features, as many producers seek to decrease chemical and additive content in products such as personal care products, cleaning chemicals, and food and beverages.
However, specialty surfactants will continue to face significant competition from commodity surfactants, which are much less expensive and tend to be preferred in some high-volume markets such as cement and asphalt production and oil and gas production.
Consumer preferences offer opportunities
Consumer preferences for "natural" and/or "gentle" products favor specialty surfactants for personal care products. Specialty surfactants offer performance advantages over those commodity products that tend to be harsher on the skin and hair. Bio-derived surfactants and high-end products such as specially formulated silicone hair treatment products or improved hand soap formulations will drive demand in these markets.
In cleaning products, industrial/institutional and house- hold users are favoring chemicals that are safe and gentle on the skin while also being extremely effective. In household cleaning products, the rise in popularity of dishwashing and laundry detergent pods is promoting demand for specialty surfactants that are effective at the lower volumes in these small, pre-measured doses, and can be utilized in high-efficiency appliances which use smaller volumes of water at lower temperatures.
Environmental standards drive growth for specialty surfactants
Manufacturers seeking to meet environmental standards are switching to more expensive surfactants in the industrial market. Many of these products have more than one function, which reduces the total amount of chemicals needed. Moreover, effectiveness in specialty surfactants is generally higher than commodity products, so specialty surfactants may be utilized in lower dosages. However, many high-volume industrial markets are sufficiently price-sensitive that inexpensive commodities will continue to provide significant competition to specialty surfactants.
Specialty Surfactants presents historical demand data (2005, 2010, 2015) plus forecasts (2020, 2025) in personal care products (personal soaps, cosmetics/toiletries) and cleaning products (house- hold, industrial/institutional). Demand is also provided for industrial markets (cement/asphalt, oil/gas, lubricants/fuel additives, food/beverage processing, plastics, agricultural chemicals, paint/coatings, textiles/leather, other) and for product types (anionic, nonionic, cationic, other). Addition- ally, the study considers key market environment factors, assesses the industry structure, and evaluates company market share.
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