The Toilets Market in China
Hygiene and access to toilets is a burning issue in today’s world, and especially in the developing countries such as China, where tens of millions of Chinese have no access to toilets, and where 45% of them lacked access to decent sanitation facilities. More generally speaking, it is estimated that half of the world’s population don’t have proper access to toilets and only 30% of the world uses toilet paper.
As a consequent, and for the reasons further developed through this report, it is undoubtedly true that Hygiene and Toilets market in China represents a huge range of opportunities for worldwide companies. Investing in such booming market will significantly contribute not only to the global improvement of the sanitation system in China, but it will also support higher living standards.
Facilities’ Improvement in China
Over the past 20 years, China has made drastic improvements in its sanitation facilities all over the country and it continues to get better. China is buying 19.5 million toilets each year, about twice the number sold in the United States. Moreover, according to the statistics, the sales of toilets have risen at an annual average rate of 10% for the past decade. In the next 15 years, it is believed that China will become the world’s biggest toilets market.
A rise driven by the Boom of the Real Estate Industry
Development of the real estate industry in China is a key point one should not underestimate. In fact, more and more Chinese tend to buy properties such as condominium or villas, with a much bigger surface area, contributing to a significant increase in urban housing. In fact, toilets sales are closely dependent on the level of real estate development. Hence, demand for toilets will continue to increase as urbanization continues to expand. Plus, it is expected that urbanization will continue to go even faster in the next coming years since China decided to end its one-child policy from January 2016. As a consequence, the consumer base is getting bigger and bigger.
Apart of this political reform that is likely to benefit the toilets market in China, we are of the view that the constant expansion of this industry is mostly carried by a major change in social behaviors. Toilets have become more than a random bowl used for defecation and urination…Toilets have become a sign of prosperity, a place where users need to feel comfortable and relaxed. More, toilets are even considered among Chinese as a sign of social distinction. China’s housing boom has created a bull market in high-tech toilets with automatic flush and deodorization, heating seats, climate control and television sets etc. This major social trend reveals the insatiable desire of millions of Chinese people to enjoy their better standard of living. It is estimated that ‘’fancy toilets’’ represent roughly 5% of the toilets sold in Mainland China, a number that is likely to increase due to the rise of Chinese upper class. It shall also be noted that adapting devices to local trends and customs is a major step to better suit the Chinese market. For instance, one can imagine that toilets could be made shorter than in France or the US. Plus, it is a common and popular practice in China to smoke on the toilets. Therefore, it would be advisable to create a flushing system powerful enough to suck out the cigarette butt or any remnant of an ashtray.
The Public Need
This flourishing market of private toilets shall not lead us to forget or underestimate the huge demand for public toilets. For example, Shanghai has more than 24 million people but only 1000 public toilets, which mean 1 toilet for 2400 people. Similarly, Beijing, a capital with 21 million people, has less than 7000 public toilets. All in all, it appears that the demand in both public and private toilets in China is huge. With the surge in per capital income, toilets have become more affordable for everyone willing to improve their quality of living, boosting sales of such products. This social trend is mostly based on greater public awareness of hygiene, with the goal to keep the toilet clean. For most of the Chinese families, cleanliness is a culture. The importance of this virtue is underscored by the expanding toilet care industry in China, with its 14% growth rate in current value term last year, reaching more than CNY 2 billion. It is expected to reach CNY 3.8 billion by the end of 2020. One of the main drivers for sales of toilet care products is found in the increasing incomes, which in term will increase consumer’s hygiene awareness. The launch of a number of measures by the National Tourism Administration would further boost the domestic travel industry. Indeed, the developmental measures launched include improvement of public toilet facilities.
By way of conclusion, we see in the toilets industry a bunch of opportunities for companies willing to implement and develop business in China. The market’s prospects look all the more attractive for investors as more and more consumers have an insatiable appetite for better standards of living.
Daxue Consulting has conducted a Consumer Panel for an International Toilet care brand for their toilet care liquid product. Daxue has gather feedbacks and insights of consumer’s, mostly Chinese housewives. It helps us to understand and produce accurate results from the selected audience. The results show that Chinese consumers not only clean their toilets on a regular basis but also provide disinfection and keep want to keep their toilet bacteria-free. Toilet care market in China is today driven by a strong influence of international brands such as S. Johnson & Johnson or Unilever in which Chinese consumers place a great amount of trust.
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