• Lisa Codespot

Build a Better Hand Sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer sales have skyrocketed in 2020 due to the on-going pandemic and it seems unlikely that consumer dependence on this product will wane any time soon. Manufacturers have responded with increased infrastructure investments, opening additional plants to improve supply. But increasing supply without keeping an eye on sensory performance can be detrimental.


Sensory Spectrum can help manufacturers quickly and accurately understand how their products perform in relation to the competition and to their own prototypes through descriptive analysis (DA). DA can also be useful in identifying qualities that consumers may perceive negatively, for example what may signal dryness. These insights, gleaned from checking immediate residues, can be key in building a product that will signal skin conditioning to customers.


Here is how this could look at the ingredient level. Products that deliver a "coated" residue which reduces the feeling of evaporation on the surface of the skin or those that contain aloe or glycerin may trigger soothing, comforting and conditioning signals to the consumer.


We evaluated several marketed hand-sanitizer products to better understand their performance and then we took a deeper dive into a new product, a hand sanitizer lotion, to understand how it is changing the product landscape.


Perceptual Maps of Hand Sanitizers : Focus on Dryness

Perceptual Map of Hand Sanitizers
Perceptual Map of Hand Sanitizers

The map above visually represents how a selection of current products perform in relation to one another. The products on the right provide a little more moisture both immediately and over time, while the products on the left tend to dissipate more quickly and leave the skin feeling cooler and more rough. This translates to those on the left tending to signal dryness to consumers.


Vaseline Clinical Care Hand Sanitizer Lotion

This product applies like a lotion to the hands and leaves the skin coated. Our descriptive results show a thin layer of grease, which changes to a thin wax, resulting in occluded skin. This in combination of attributes is often associated with the consumer perception of "protected skin", leaving it better than unprotected skin. A consumer might also say that this product makes their hands feel "softer" (decreased surface roughness, less skin texture visibility) or "smoother" (thin perception of waxy-powder, slippery skin).


At Sensory Spectrum we love helping our clients discover new ways to delight their consumers through innovative product development. One way we do that is by staying on top of new products in a variety of categories, and translating consumer needs into descriptive language to help our clients make precise adjustments.


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