Palm Oil Developments No.37 (Dec 2002) p4-8

The Future of Palm-based Soap in Asia Pacific

TAN Luck Pheng

The development of the oleochemical industry in Malaysia in early 1980s also marked the fast take-off of the soap making industry in this country. This was inevitable because soap is the most immediate downstream product and the most widely used body cleanser today since its production dated back to 2500 BC. In spite of the challenges from other non-soap personal cleansers such as facial, shower, bath and other liquid preparations, the sales of soap in the world, as a whole, is still increasing. On price and performance basis, a soap bar costs less per unit weight, has more surfactant content and longer shelf-life compared to the liquid preparations. It is easily transported with minimal damage and it occupies very little shelf-space, an advantage in competing for display in valuable supermarket shelf-space. With increasing consumer demand, soaps are becoming more personalized than ever before. Manufacturers today have to create all kinds of soaps with different concepts, properties, functions and variations to satisfy this great demand.

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