Disposable Glove Market Less Likely to Feel Impact of Recession

2023 stylized with a bull's eye instead of the zero and economic goals written out in the background.

Second of two parts

Most economists are in agreement on one word to describe what 2023 holds for the U.S. economy: uncertainty. The divergence of views on what will happen is as large as it has been in many years.

A steady drumbeat of “recession is coming” rattled around the public consciousness for the last half of 2022. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates seven times last year in an effort to throttle inflation. Underperforming stock markets have not helped matters.

The good news for the disposable glove market, however, is that it’s not likely to be affected in the same way as the rest of the economy. As a need-based commodity, gloves are largely immune to economic downturns.

The current state of the market is still an outcome of the pandemic. Supply is vastly improved, pricing is stabilizing, and demand is strong. But is there a “new normal” yet? No—it continues to evolve while the pandemic continues to assert its influence, including the latest variant XBB.1.5.

Get started on the path to growth

In fact, past recessions have presented excellent opportunities to grow disposable glove revenue. Buyers will continue to need gloves, but they will likely re-evaluate their spending and push vendors to highlight value. If all goes well, glove sales could reach levels we have not seen since 2019.

One aspect of the pandemic that favorably affected the disposable glove market is bringing the personal protective equipment industry to the forefront of public attention. Gloves are widely accepted as crucial equipment rather than ancillary afterthoughts. The public interest in and need for single-use gloves will not diminish anytime soon.

Glove distributors need to be prepared to handle questions and objections driven by economic conditions. While inflation appears to be decelerating, its underlying causes remain: the supply chain problems that the pandemic created, and the reduction in food and energy production resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Take advantage of the tools available

This is an excellent opportunity to improve service levels and build deeper relationships with clients. The distributor who does more than just shaving a few dollars off a case of gloves—delivers product at scale, addresses quality concerns, provides true sales and marketing support—will sell more gloves.

This starts with having the right sales and marketing tools. Your sales rep can help with implementing support programs, including no-cost samples, sales kits, and marketing collateral. These assets are back to levels not seen in the last three years, and we encourage customers to use them in all client-facing conversations.

The current pricing environment is leading companies to “creative” solutions. Some manufacturers counter lower prices at the factory level by cutting corners and adding filler like calcium carbonate to gloves. Unfortunately, too much filler makes gloves rip. Some factories are also optimizing their capacity utilization rates by stopping production lines to reduce the number of gloves being produced and, in the process, control supply and costs.

Support you can count on

With post-pandemic demand changing, some distributors need help to procure a consistent supply of gloves. Others need help with compliance issues and more staff to provide high service levels.

This is where AMMEX provides excellent value: For over 30 years, we have helped our customers buy the right glove for the job and effectively reduced market risks with expert services and tools.

Our on-the-ground team inspects 100% of our factory shipments to guarantee product quality. Our global sourcing and supply chain teams have developed redundancies that enable us to predict demand and quickly respond to market conditions.

Our priority is to create the tools and services for our partners that help them succeed. Contact your sales rep today or visit ammex.com.

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