Jun 02, 2016

    Eco-friendly soap sales shoot up in South Korea


    SALES of eco-friendly soaps are on the rise in South Korea as consumers continue to be wary of potentially harmful household supplies after the Oxy toxic humidifier disinfectant scandal, data showed yesterday.

    Sales of natural and eco-friendly dishwashing soaps rose 74 per cent in April and May compared with the previous year, according to data from online open market Auction.

    This reflects a growing demand from retailers and consumers over natural replacements for chemical soaps.

    Supermarket chain Lotte Mart said that sales of natural cleaners like baking soda, citric acid, sodium percarbonate and vinegar rose 17.4 per cent last month from the previous year.

    Meanwhile, sales of chemical soaps and disinfectants fell between 14 per cent and 20 per cent in their respective categories.

    Sales of eco-friendly and imported soaps for young children saw even more significant growth. This may not be surprising, given that the largest group of victims of toxic humidifier disinfectant made by Oxy Reckitt-Beckinser were pregnant women and young children.

    The humidifier sanitiser Oxy Ssak Ssak is blamed for causing 70 deaths and over 100 more injuries in South Korea.

    According to Auction, eco-friendly soaps for babies and toddlers have risen 120 per cent compared with last year.

    Discount retailer E-mart said that sales of Canadian-made Nellie's laundry detergent, which was popular among new mothers in South Korea, nearly doubled its average monthly sales last month despite costing nearly twice as much as domestic brands.

    According to a spokesman for E-mart, premium all-natural household brands cost an average of 10 per cent to 20 per cent more than regular brands.