New York (CNN Business)Procter & Gamble is introducing a new cleaning brand that the consumer product giant hopes will be its latest hit.
On Monday, P&G (, the manufacturer of big brands like Bounty, Charmin and Febreze, announced the launch of Microban 24, a line of surface antibacterial cleaning products that the company says kills bacteria for 24 hours. Microban 24 comes in both sanitizing spray and cleanser forms and as a bathroom cleaner. )
The new product is hitting the market as consumer interest in cleaning products may be set to grow. P&G says the timing is purely coincidental to the coronavirus outbreak, but the spread of viruses can lead to a pickup in disinfectant sales.
In 2009, when consumers were worried about the spread of swine flu, hand sanitizer sales spiked 70% over a six-month stretch, according to Nielsen.
In addition, earlier this month, Clorox executives said they are preparing for demand to spike in the wake of coronavirus.
“We are taking up inventory levels [to] be prepared for the potential increase in demand for some of our bleach products,” Clorox ( chief financial officer Kevin Jacobsen said on a call with analysts earlier this month. )
Clorox’s stock was among the small handful of stocks that were up Monday as the market tanked on coronavirus fears.
Most Americans believe that their current household antibacterial products kill bacteria after they apply it. This is incorrect, according to the company. Bacteria can grow on surfaces every 20 minutes and survive for several days.
Microban 24, however, uses a solution that provides protection against bacteria for 24 hours. It forms as consumers apply the solution to surfaces and allow it to air-dry. The solution then activates small amounts of bacterial-resistant ingredients over time.
P&G is trying to jolt a stagnating household cleaning category. Sales of antibacterial aerosol disinfectants and multi-purpose cleaners have been flat over the past year, according to Nielsen.
“The antibacterial surface category hasn’t seen a true product innovation in a long time,” Martin Hettich, vice president of P&G’s North America home care division. “We want to push beyond the status quo and offer families a new sanitizing product that keeps working around the clock.”
P&G worked with a company that has developed this type of product in hospitals. But this is the first time it’s available for consumer use, according to a P&G spokesperson.