Nitrile gloves are made up of nitrile butadiene rubber, a rubber derivative that contains butadiene and acrylonitrile. They are usually manufactured with roughened fingertips for better grip. Nitrile gloves are increasingly replacing latex gloves since they are more durable, provide a toughened coating and reduce chances of an allergic reaction.
They are considered vital for healthcare industry workers since they serve as a barrier against transmittable diseases. However, they also find use among biotechnologists, chemists and workers from several other industries who handle products and equipment whose components can have harmful effects on humans.
The nitrile gloves market is highly fragmented as several players operate across the globe. Relative ease of manufacturing and open cross-border distribution channels have contributed to increasing market fragmentation in recent years.
The growing lucrativeness of the market has also led to established players from the healthcare industry participating in the market to expand their overall healthcare market share; Kimberly-Clark, 3M Company, Ansell Healthcare, Cardinal Health, HPC Healthline, Paul Hartmann and Medline Industries are some such companies.
East Asia and Southeast Asia have been a manufacturing hub for nitrile gloves due to easy availability of raw materials; notably, a disproportionate majority of manufacturers (in terms of percentage population and consumer demand) are based in Malaysia. Prominent Malaysian companies include Latexx Partners, Top Glove Corporation, Kossan Nitrile Industries, Hartalega Holdings and Supermax Corporation.
Mergers and acquisitions and competitive marketing through product launches have been key strategies for expanding their market share. Some recent developments in this regard include Ansell Healthcare’s 2020 acquisition of Careplus Group and 3M Company’s 2017 launch of the 3M Comfort Grip and Gripping Material work gloves, whose USP is that it provides physical protection from cuts.
Some of the key players in the market include Ansell Healthcare, 3M Company, United Glove, Top Glove Corporation, Barber Healthcare, Hartalega Holdings, Cardinal Health, Adams Gloves, BM Polyco, Synthomer, Kimberly-Clark, Aurelia Gloves, Dynarex Corporation, Davis Schottlander and Davis, Microflex, Carolina Glove, Rubberex, Unigloves, Kossan Nitrile Industries, Fannin, Paul Hartmann, Riverstone Holdings, Medline Industries, Adventa, Southern Glove, Supermax Corporation, Robinson Healthcare, Semperit, Illinois Glove, HPC Healthline, Renco, Shermond and Latexx Partners.
Some of these firms focus on various types of nitrile gloves, while others focus on specific segments, such as healthcare, or more nuanced subsegments; for example, Davis Schottlander and Davis is a company that specialises in dental nitrile gloves. Firms have also steadily moved away from powdered gloves to powder free gloves as the harmful effects of powdered gloves have become known.
Drivers of the Nitrile Gloves Market
Increasing awareness about the benefits of nitrile gloves over other available glove-types has been a key driver for the market. Overall growth in the healthcare, food processing, automotive, construction, petroleum, research and other sectors has also contributed to the market’s growth.
Impact of Covid-19
Given that the healthcare sector accounts for the largest application segment for the nitrile gloves market, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to significant bulge in sales due to their advantages over other types of gloves. While this bulge will reduce in the near future as the pandemic recedes, the increased awareness about healthcare and protection of healthcare workers will lead to the growing demand for nitrile gloves continuing.
However, the nitrile glove market will be one of the few exceptions and the overall economic downturn caused due to the pandemic will result in economies contracting significantly. This is likely to lead to increasing protectionist trends in governmental policies across the globe. As a result, countries are likely to encourage local producers of nitrile gloves, which may be detrimental to several key global-scale manufacturers.
The European region segment has accounted for the largest market share in the nitrile gloves market, accounting for over a quarter of the total market share. It is followed by the North American regional Segment. These segments have benefited from high healthcare awareness levels and positive government policies.
East Asia, South Asia and Latin America, respectively, have been the fastest growing regional segments on account of increasing adoption of safe healthcare practices. These dynamics are however slated to change significantly due to the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Middle East and Africa and Oceania are the other key regional market segments.
The nitrile gloves market can be segmented based on the following:
By End-Use Industry
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Regional analysis includes
The report is a compilation of first-hand information, qualitative and quantitative assessment by industry analysts, inputs from industry experts and industry participants across the value chain. The report provides in-depth analysis of parent market trends, macro-economic indicators and governing factors along with market attractiveness as per segments. The report also maps the qualitative impact of various market factors on market segments and geographies.