Hygiene is key

GROHE has reported unprecedented demand for hygienic touchless taps in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. At a time when the pandemic has pushed the everyday necessity of hand washing into the spotlight, it would seem finding solutions to optimise hygiene in both the workplace and at home is spurring the demand. 

Leading figures within the design community are also considering how hygiene will come to the fore in the interior spaces of the future. Coen van Oostrom, Founder and CEO of EDGE, a company that specialises in developing a new generation of buildings that focus on the health of people and the planet, predicts that new health measures will play a key role in a new generation of workplaces. “Together with sustainability, health defines the way we build and design homes, offices and places where people meet. Touchless products and speech-driven technology will play a key role in making healthy and safe offices. Consumers will want to minimise contact to surfaces as much as possible”. 

Having specified the healthcare, hospitality and commercial sector for many years, where hygiene-optimised products are already far more commonplace, GROHE is braced for the vast changes ready to hit the mass marketplace.  “With our wide range of touchless and hands-free products, we at GROHE have the right response to the increased need of hygiene in sensitive areas such as kitchens and bathrooms”, says Jonas Brennwald, CEO LIXIL Water Technology EMENA, Deputy CEO Grohe AG. “Currently, we can say that we are already experiencing a higher demand for our hygiene enhancing products – from both our private and business customers.”  In the UK market, the transition to a more hygiene-focused workplace and business environment has already been in motion since the beginning of the year.  Elina Enqvist-Twomey, Category Manager at GROHE UK says: 

“Feedback from the commercial market in the last three months tells us that hygiene is top of the agenda for specification, with a large proportion of projects specifying more hygiene-focused products such as infra-red  taps , infra-red flush plates, and shower toilets. In recent weeks, we have seen an increase in customers purchasing infra-red taps as a result. Likewise, in the kitchen, several of our tap designs which use advanced technologies to minimise physical interaction with the handle of the tap itself such as our SmartControl kitchen mixer and Zedra Touch range have also seen an increased interest. When the industry returns to asense of normality, we expect the increasing scrutiny of hygiene in the workplace and public buildings to continue. This pandemic has encouraged all of us in some way to rethink our hygiene practises and consider new lengths to protecting ourselves and those around us.”  

And it is not just the commercial market that will evolve in the wake of coronavirus. GROHE’s Head of ECommerce at GROHE UK, Phil Dixon, explains how consumer purchasing behaviour has changed over recent months: “From the start of 2020, we have seen extraordinary demand for our touchless sensor products, achieving significant YoY growth. In these challenging times, people are looking for new technologies to bring improved ygiene and convenience into daily life. Products like our GROHE BAU Cosmo E tap are at the forefront of this new surge of growth we have seen as they have been designed with easy installation in mind, so it is the perfect project that anyone with some basic DIY knowledge can take on at home. The battery-powered model completely eliminates the hassle and any uncertainty around the set up of electronics and it has a long-lasting 7 year battery life too. We are certain that this technology combined with an accessible price point are key factors in our recent growth. Now with the emergence of the coronavirus crisis, we are preparingto see unprecedented demand from homes and businesses alike in the coming months as we all prepare for post-lockdown life.

Alongside our touchless taps, we are also expecting to see a spike in the shower toilet sector. Sales of our award-winning Sensia Arena have been gradually increasing for a while now, but we can see its hygiene-optimising features such as automatic flushing, lid opening and anti-bacterial coating are likely to generate far greater demand in the near future. These products, along with many others we offer which promote hygiene and wellbeing, are designed to improve the daily lives of our customers and seek to instil changes in our habits for the better.” 

Why an infra-red touchless tap is more hygienic  

In recent years, the property market has seen a shift to include more alternative housing settings such as grandparents living with their children and families, or groups of young professionals co-habiting together. This is when infra-red technology first began to be demanded in the residential sector and its benefits have continued to strengthen demand ever since. Infra-red taps require minimal, if any, human contact with the tap itself, unlike standard taps where germs from unclean hands could linger on tap handles unless continual thorough cleaning was carried out after each use. The GROHE Bau Cosmo E, a strong robust design made using composite polymer, uses motion sensors to detect movement, which then activates the water flow. A mixing valve on the side of the spout can be used to adjust the temperature if required and a temperature limiter can also be installed if desired. Once the user removes their hands from the basin, the sensors will detect this and stop the water flow.  

Pictured: GROHE’s Bau Cosmo E infra-red basin tap has seen a strong increase in sales since the beginning of 2020.