The Clorox wipes shortage is expected to last into 2021

Us Health Virus Disinfectant
This illustration photo shows a container of Clorox disinfecting wipes in a kitchen in Culver City, California, on April 24, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. - Top White House coronavirus advisor Deborah Birx shrank in horror and around the nation comedians sharpened their pens: President Donald Trump had just asked if virus victims couldn't be injected with disinfectant. Even as a new poll shows most Americans wish the former real estate magnate would leave science to the experts, Trump on April 23 evening hit a new high in the annals of amateur presidential doctoring. (Photo by Chris DELMAS / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Clorox, the world’s biggest maker of disinfectant cleaning materials, said consumers will continue to see a shortage of its wipes and other products into 2021 because of overwhelming demand during the pandemic.

While all kinds of disinfectant products have been flying off store shelves since March, wipes have been in especially high demand with consumers.

Clorox, which dominates the $1 billion disinfectant wipes market with a 45% market share, said it has aggressively ramped up production for its cleaning products, but it still won’t be enough.

“Given the fact that cold and flu sits in the middle of the year, and then we expect the pandemic to be with us for the entirety of the year, it will take the full year to get up to the supply levels that we need to be at,” Clorox President and CEO-elect Linda Rendle said Monday in a call with analysts to discuss the company’s earnings.

Separately, Clorox’s outgoing CEO Benno Dorer told Reuters that Clorox wipes, specifically, will be in short supply until next year.

“Frankly, we thought we would be in a better position by now, but demand in Q4 exceeded our expectations,” Dorer told analysts. “We’re certainly not at all happy with our service levels for our retail customers on many products. We have a high sense of urgency on this with all hands on deck.”

Still, the pandemic-fueled run on disinfectant products boosted overall company sales by 22% in the quarter.