Hoping to clean up in the hand sanitizer business, a horde of entrepreneurs have upended the category by attempting to capitalize on an opportunity driven by the COVID19 virus. In a buying frenzy, product flew off of store shelves creating massive demand. A simple formula and a ready supply of ingredients has allowed many small businesses to manufacture product for sale and distribution to consumers. As traditional manufacturers attempt to increase inventories including an increasing number of ad hoc opportunists, oversupply seems highly likely.
Considering the sheer number of online offers for product one might expect a glut on the market. On Amazon alone, we found 310 listings for “hand sanitizer” selling from $11,543 for a 265 gallon container ($2.94/oz.) to $7.00 for a bottle with a single ounce. By contrast, Dollar General Stores sells a 2 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer for as little as $1.00. These wide variations in pricing create much confusion for the public as they attempt to secure a continuing supply of the product. However, the demand appears undiminished.