There are a lot of niche needs in the manufacturing sector. However, once again the issue boils down to the job is more important than the industry. What matters most to your customers? Is it grip, thickness, chemical resistance? Do they still use latex but should be using nitrile?
It’s a complex question because the category is so large—but a few gloves will cover most needs across the widest spectrum of industries:
- X3 Black Nitrile (BX3) or Blue Nitrile (X3). For light-duty applications, especially those that require frequent glove changes: foodservice, jan/san, beauty & salon, auto detailing, and lots more. Only 3 mils thick so they are comfortable and offer great dexterity, but made of nitrile so you needn’t worry that they are deficient in barrier protection.
- Gloveworks Black Nitrile (GPNB). At 5 mils thick, this is just about the perfect glove. Great dexterity and versatility. Can bridge the gap between the X3 products and the next step up, which is:
- Gloveworks Orange Nitrile (GWON) and others in our Raised Diamond Texture suite: green, black, and royal blue. The ultimate in single-use hand protection. The texture channels away liquids for an excellent grip. Orange and green are 8 mils; black and royal blue are 6. In a recent survey, 100% of respondents say Raised Diamond Texture gloves deliver a strong grip, even when wet. (Argue with unanimity? Not us.)
The market is well on its way back
This year has the potential to be wildly successful for distributors selling disposable gloves. In 2023, the $15 billion-plus market will continue to evolve now that the worst of the pandemic behind us.
Glove manufacturers are flush with product—supply is, after the frequent shortages of 2020-22, especially for industrial nitrile, back to ample.
Prices have been stabilizing after the pandemic roller coaster, which sets up distributors to develop strong partnerships and emphasize high-quality brands to meet customers’ needs for hand protection.
People still need gloves. Period
And perhaps most important, demand is still strong and not going away. While other factors may drive financial choices—and we can expect contraction of the overall economy as businesses cut corners to maintain profit—workers in a broad cross-section of industries will still require hand protection.
With more gloves available and a market that continues to be robust, price competition will intensify. Distributors will have to offer a high level of customer service to capture new business.
The industrial disposable glove market has seen consistent double-digit growth over the last 40 years. Glove use for applications from plumbing to electrical to mechanical has increased annually.
We’re in this for the long haul
The market should keep growing at double-digit rates. Now that the labor shortages created by the pandemic are over, manufacturing capacity is once again substantial and availability is restored—even to the point where the surplus of gloves is driving down prices.
It’s also important to remember that the disposable glove market is a marathon, not a sprint. As a commodity, gloves do not lose their favor; once a worker gets used to them, he or she is not likely to return to bare-handing their work.
Learn as much as you can about how your customers interact with their gloves. The better you know and understand the jobs they do, the better you can provide them with the tools they need.