The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a global heightened awareness of hand hygiene, with a specific focus on proper hand washing and the use of hand sanitisers (HS) to limit the spread of the virus. During mid- 2021 BFAP and the Plant Pathology Division within the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Pretoria, conducted primary consumer research among a socio-economically disaggregated sample of 830 consumers. The project investigated South African consumers’ usage behaviour and perceptions regarding hand sanitisers, but also to assess their knowledge about its proper use. Selected findings:
Prefer hand washing or hand sanitiser? Hand washing was preferred by 49% of respondents, particularly among affluent consumers. More frequent hand washing than before the COVID-19 pandemic was reported by 80% of the total sample. Hand sanitising was preferred by 31% of respondents, particularly among low-income consumers.
HS perceptions: Respondents were generally in agreement that HS keep hands clean, that they feel safe after using HS and that HS kills the virus causing COVID-19. Respondents were most concerned about hand sanitisers in terms of dangerous ingredients, an unpleasant smell, being expensive and causing sticky hands.
Listen to the interview here.