Ecolab Hygiene Awareness Index Reveals Kiwi Attitudes Towards Hygiene — One Year into the Coronavirus Pandemic

March 17, 2021

Quality hygiene protocols play a critical role in consumer confidence as Kiwis anticipate a return to travel, according to the Ecolab Hygiene Awareness Index 2021, which tracks and benchmarks Kiwi attitudes and behaviour around hygiene during COVID-19 and beyond.

The Index reveals that hygiene is a top priority for Kiwi consumers compared to 12 months ago: 97% of Kiwis say hygiene is an important consideration when choosing venues, products and services, while 84% are more likely to interact with a business, brand or service if they know it uses a trusted and globally-leading hygiene product and solution. 

“COVID-19 has brought the question of hygiene into sharp reality for Kiwis. They want to know that they can trust the businesses, institutions and people around them to practice safe hygiene with trusted products, practices and solutions,” says Craig Trigg, Country Manager of Ecolab New Zealand. “As a nation of travellers, it is not surprising to see the focus on rebuilding trust in travel providers and infrastructure as we start to anticipate a freedom to travel once again.” 

“We wanted to understand the scale and significance of hygiene in terms of the trust and reliability it engenders in places, products and services. We hope the first Ecolab Hygiene Awareness Index will help Kiwi businesses to better design and communicate their hygiene protocols to give consumers the confidence to re engage with them.”

Key findings of the Ecolab Hygiene Awareness Index 2021:

  • 97% of Kiwis say hygiene is an important consideration when choosing venues, products and services, across the age spectrum.
  • 85% of Kiwis are more aware of the importance of good hygiene versus 12 months ago, 43% are ‘much more aware’ – yet 20% of Gen Z say they're ‘not at all more aware’.
  • 84% feel it is important for businesses to disclose the types of hygiene solutions they use, while 47% say this is ‘very important’. Females and parents feel most strongly about disclosing hygiene products and procedures, while 89% of Kiwis agree that hygiene solutions should be sourced from trusted and globally-leading brands.

The three most valued attributes of hygiene solutions are: efficacy against bacteria and viruses (including COVID-19), scientifically proven, and safe and harmless to use.

The Index reveals Kiwi’s biggest concerns when physically interacting with a business or service are:

  • Being in crowded places
  • Others practicing good hygiene
  • The health of other customers 

Kiwis demand the highest standards of hygiene from the following five ‘hygiene hotspots’: Hospitals and Healthcare, Supermarkets and Food Retail, Airports and airlines, Public Transport and Aged Care facilities.

“The Index reflects the current mindset and mood of our nation and the places people are most sensitive and keen to return to with Airports and Air Travel in the top five interactions of concern. It suggests that if businesses and transport providers communicate quality hygiene solutions and safety protocols clearly, the more confident consumers will be to interact with them.”

Ecolab specialises in various multi surface disinfectant products and solutions that kill COVID-19 in as little as 30 seconds – the fastest, scientifically-proven solutions available in New Zealand today. Ecolab is used by leading businesses across New Zealand including 97% of supermarkets, as well as, airline lounges, restaurants, hotels, food manufacturing and dairy processing.

The Ecolab Hygiene Awareness Index 2021 is based on a nationally representative survey of 1,000 Kiwis aged 18-75+. It was conducted between 1 to 3 March 2021, and will continue to track changes in attitudes and behaviour over time.

For more information on Ecolab and the Ecolab Hygiene Awareness Index 2021, please contact:

Carrie-Ann Jefferies, Senior Communications Specialist 
(+61) 418 518 903

About Ecolab New Zealand

The Ecolab Hygiene Awareness Index is published by Ecolab, the global leader in hygiene safety, water and infection prevention solutions and services. With annual sales of USD13 billion, its 45,000 associates service nearly three million commercial customer locations worldwide. Partnering with many of New Zealand’s biggest and most important businesses, institutions and brands, Ecolab helps ensure healthy environments and food safety for customers, employees, patients and partners. Ecolab hygiene safety products and solutions span all aspects of society and industry, including Hospitals and Healthcare, Aged Care, Public Transport, Schools, Emergency Services, Restaurants, Hotels, Retail, Food & Beverage Manufacturers, Dairy and more. Ecolab is "everywhere it matters”. Trusted in New Zealand. Number one around the world.

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