Sales volume of hand sanitizers in the Netherlands 2019-2020, by week

In week five and six of 2020, 220 thousand and 222 thousand hand sanitizers were sold, respectively. Compared to 2019, this is an increase of approximately 75 thousand and 85 thousand sold sanitizers. In contrast, hand sanitizer sales in weeks one, two and three were similar to, or lower than sales in the first weeks of 2019. Sales figures dropped off slightly in weeks seven and eight. This was not caused by a decrease in demand, but by a lack of supply.

Early stages of global COVID-19 spread

Hand sanitizers, as opposed to hand soap, can be used without water and a sink. This inherent practicality partly explains why they were an unusually popular disinfectant from week four of 2020 and onwards, around the time when the COVID-19 infection rate increased aggressively in China. The subsequent decrease in sales from week seven was a direct result of hand sanitizer’s popularity; their recent ‘clean sweep’ in supermarket sales resulted in a nationwide scarcity.

Concern among the Dutch

Extensive media coverage and emerging COVID-19 cases outside of China led to concern about the virus among Dutch citizens in late January and February, even though there were no reported cases of COVID-19 infections in the Netherlands until February 27th. Hand sanitizers were not the only products that were purchased at an increased frequency in the beginning of 2020, as hygiene products and food preserves enjoyed a spike in sales as well.

Number of hand sanitizers sold in the Netherlands in 2019 and 2020, by week

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Release date

March 2020



Survey time period

2019 and 2020

Supplementary notes

For further information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Facts and Figures page.

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