The hand sanitizers market has boomed, but will we continue to use it?
Entrepreneur Petter Jonason founded his premium alcogel label during his paternal leave in 2019 — long before the pandemic — and as his plan was to launch in the spring of 2020, the timing couldn’t have been better. Or could it?
4 Aug 2021

The global hand sanitizer market was valued at USD 2078.80 million in 2020. That was also the first year running for alcogel label Atlas, founded by Petter Jonason, a 38-year-old living in the Atlas area (hence the name) in Stockholm. That’s also where the products are produced and bottled by hand.

— It’s been a ride, to say the least, he summarizes the first year, continuing,

— As COVID hit, the demand for hand sanitizers skyrocketed. There were reports all over the news about how the whole country of Sweden was out of hand sanitizers, how people were harvesting bottles, and selling them for ten times the price. It seemed like selling hand sanitizers would be like cutting gold — but not for me, really… Due to all the fuzz, deficient new products, and unreasonable pricing, advertisement for this type of product was banned from social media. No ads for ” COVID-related products” were allowed. We were building a premium product for the long haul focusing on e-commerce and carefully selected retailers so it was frustrating to not be able to communicate properly about the products. We saw the demand for a great product but couldn’t really talk about it. Ironic, huh? Anyways, one by one, regulations are finally being let off, and things are running more and more smoothly.

Tell us about the range.

— It’s real craftsmanship, using the best essential oils with carefully selected scents. We have spent countless hours balancing the formula so it’s completely how we want it — richly moisturizing, great texture, and not too much smell of alcohol. Right now we have three different bottle sizes; 500 ml, which is perfect for the office, 250 ml, to keep on the bathroom or kitchen counter, and a 100 ml spray bottle which is ideal to keep in your jack pocket when you’re on the go. They’re available in three scents — Bergamot, Palmarosa, and French Lavender, out of which French Lavender is my personal favourite. There are two types of sanitizers — one disinfection that’s easily flowing alcohol and one that’s a gel. We use both. For our bottles with pump, we produce an alcogel that’s a bit thicker in texture than most hand sanitizers as we don’t want it to be too runny when using a pump. For our small bottles on the go, we’ve made it a little more easily flowing so it’s ideal for a spray and quick and easy to use wherever you are.

Will the consumer habits of sanitizers change or remain the same?

— We definitely see a permanent change in behaviour and truly believe that hand sanitizers have come to be a natural part of the daily hand care routine, says Jonason. After all information we’ve been fed about how bacteria and viruses spread and how much of it that actually stays on our hands, the awareness among people is much higher, and people’s level of hygiene has definitely increased.

Is it possible to further develop the product to make it even more relevant? If so, how?

— Of course! We’re constantly discussing how we can take the product to new levels and we have many ideas. New types of bottles for other needs, packaging, wipes, scents, products for other areas, and much more. Nevertheless, at the moment we have a product we truly believe in, one that is 100% vegan, nearly completely organic, and locally produced. We are building a sustainable brand so these are cornerstones we’d like to keep whatever we do in the future, Jonason concludes.

Petter Jonason