US demand for janitorial equipment and supplies (excluding chemical products) is forecast to grow 2.2 percent per year to $6.7 billion in 2015, representing an improvement over the decline registered between 2005 and 2010. Gains will be driven by companies replacing their janitorial products with updated goods designed to improve ergonomics and worker efficiency. Even as the economy continues to recover from the recession, demand growth will be limited by the reluctance of companies to reintroduce cleaning and maintenance costs that they cut during the recession. These and other trends are presented in Janitorial Equipment & Supplies, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Manual cleaning products are expected to see the fastest gains of any major product segment through 2015. Growth in the number of US business establishments will drive much of this increase in demand. Product development will also aid market growth. For example, microfiber cloths, which require minimal cleaning chemicals, will support strong sales of cleaning cloths. Other products expected to post above-average gains include wipes, wet mops and squeegees. New versions of these items offer better efficiency and reduced risk of cross-contamination compared to traditional products.

The institutional building market is projected to post the fastest growth of any market through 2015. Elevated interest in improving indoor air quality and minimizing cross-contamination risks, especially in hospitals and other health care settings, will drive demand gains, as janitorial products used in these buildings are replaced by newer versions.  

Businesses will continue to turn to contract cleaners to reduce overhead costs associated with building maintenance.  Janitorial equipment and supplies purchased by contract cleaners are forecast to grow 2.5 percent per year to $1.9 billion in 2015, outpacing demand gains among in-house buyers.  The use of contract cleaners varies significantly by market; however, outsourced cleaning services are expected to become more common in each market.