Bearded man in suite smiles as he crosses his arms

Many jan/san distributors got out of hotel amenity sales long ago. The continual shuffle of hotel ownership, logo rebranding and changes in brand loyalty meant the products distributors were selling quickly became out of date. When products are no longer relevant, they sit in the warehouse as dead stock — something no distributor wants. 

Savvy distributors were able to get around this problem and continue selling to the hospitality market by offering wall-mounted shampoo and soap dispensers. Some products offered refillable reservoirs of body wash, shampoo and conditioner, while other models used sealed cartridges. Both types allowed for 100 percent use and eliminated the need for housekeeping staff to collect and replace partially used bottles — both contributing factors to substantial cost savings for facilities. 

Amenity dispensers have been around for years, so why is now the right time for distributors to promote them? Politicians and even hotel facility executives are finally waking up to the environmental benefits these dispensers provide. In June, California’s state assembly passed a bill that would ban the small containers starting in 2023. In addition, InterContinental Hotels Group, which owns Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotels, plans to remove the amenities even earlier, by 2021. It wouldn’t be surprising to see more hotels follow this lead and look to change out their amenity offerings, too. 

In a time when the waste of plastic straws grabs national headlines, eliminating the small plastic hotel amenity bottles can also make substantial waste reductions. One cartridge replaces 200 small bottles. Most of the time, these bottles aren’t recycled and end up in landfills and oceans instead. 

After years of slow adoption, the market for wall-mounted amenities seems ready to catch on. Distributors should revisit this product category with their vendors and recapture the dollars they used to get from the hospitality market.