Consumer healthcare company Reckitt Benckiser is among the FMCG giants working around the clock to ensure a constant supply of hygiene products to Australian retailers amid growing fears over global health pandemic, COVID-19.
In recent weeks, consumers have flooded supermarkets to stock up on healthcare product and household essentials, leaving shelves of most supermarkets stripped bare for hours on end.
Glenn Cochran, regional director RB Health ANZ told Inside FMCG that the business is working globally to ensure supplies to retailers and end-consumers are impacted as little as possible during this “volatile time”.
“We have seen an unprecedented increase in demand for a range of products since COVID-19 began,” he said. “We have also seen demand increase across other RB Health products including Dettol household cleaners and personal wash solutions, as well as Nurofen and Nurofen for Children products.
“We are working around the clock with our various global teams to provide Australians with hand hygiene and analgesic products.”
Demand surged following the recommendation from the World Health Organisation (WHO) to practice good hand hygiene by frequently washing hands using soap and water and by using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, Cochran explained.
With consumers growing increasingly anxious over the limited access to health products, Cochran said the company is doing its best to ensure fair distribution.
“We are maintaining ongoing conversations throughout our supply chain to ensure ongoing supply is shared equitably among retailers so that consumers have accessibility to the available stock, while we expedite an increase in production.”
He also highlighted the importance of educating consumers on health and self-care during times like this.
“RB Health’s mission is to make access to the highest quality hygiene and wellness solutions for all Australians a right not a privilege. Our goal is for RB Health brands, including Dettol, to use its brand footprint to educate consumers on self-care and we will continue to do so throughout this current situation and for the long term,” he added.
Dettol runs a ‘Healthy Habits’ school education initiative to teach kids good hygiene practices.
Bubs Australia has also applied additional measures to its supply chain for its infant formula product range such as Bubs Goat Milk formula and Bubs Organic Cow Milk formula to meet increased demand from parents who need to secure supplies for their babies.
“We have greatly increased our capacity and are working to expand our inventory cover and meet the supply needs of our retail partners across both goat milk and organic grass-fed cow’s milk-based formula, moving to two shifts per day, with capacity to move to three shifts if required,” said Carr.
The infant formula maker is working with retailers such as Coles, Woolworths, Big W and Chemist Warehouse to ensure the supply of Bubs Organic 365 days Grass Fed Infant Formula range and Bubs Australian Goat Milk infant formula range.
Carr said Bubs has extended free shipping offer for all orders of baby food and infant formula via their website.
“As always, our first concern is for the health and safety of the Bubs Family. For our Bubs Corporate office, we have implemented arrangements to underpin business continuity and the continued health and well being of our people to the greatest extent possible in these testing times,” Carr said.
Earlier this month, toilet paper manufacturers including Kimberly-Clark were the first to ramp up production to meet the surge in demand from panicked consumers.
Supermarkets were forced to suspend online services this week as shortages hampered their ability to fulfill orders.