Sector Impact & Consumer Trends in a Post-COVID World

CPMA's feature in SOCMA's latest edition of its semi-annual publication, Specialty Insights.

At the onset of the pandemic lockdown and business restrictions, chemical manufacturers were quickly deemed essential infrastructure needed to provide Americans with necessary products such as cleaning supplies. Material suppliers in the specialty chemical value chain, such as color pigment manufacturers, continued to operate to supply key components for the production and packaging of cleaning, household, commercial and other products in demand.

Throughout the year, SOCMA affiliate – the Color Pigments Manufacturers Association – hosted a series of virtual Town Halls with industry experts from various sectors, providing insights about COVID-19 impact on the supply chain and evolving consumer behaviors.

Color pigments are necessary components of printing inks and coatings used in the packaging and labeling of products. As a result of the pandemic, product manufacturers and chemical suppliers have been tasked with meeting an increased demand for cleaning products necessary for supplying hospitals, the food service industry and households. According to a March 2020 survey by the American Cleaning Institute, Americans identified soaps, sanitizers and wipes as the top three products they used more since the pandemic began spreading. Packaging for food, beverage and pharmaceuticals also experienced increase in demand.

Color pigments are used in paints and architectural coatings. The quarantine became a driver for home improvement and do it yourself (DIY) projects, resulting in an unexpected home improvement retail sales growth. According to the National Association of Realtors, home sales dropped in April and May
but surged up in June to meet pent-up demand. In addition, residential and non-residential construction began to restart in the second quarter.

While some downstream sectors saw increase in demand, markets that experienced decline in the first half of the year were automotive, building and construction, wood, and services such as travel, restaurants and lodging.

As the only U.S.-based trade association dedicated to the color pigments sector in North America, CPMA serves as a source for industry intelligence about economic and policy trends impacting the color pigments value chain.

For more information, contact Executive Director David Wawer at

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