Clorox to ship 2 million disinfecting products a day by summer to meet demand: executive

March 11, 2021 7:19 PM EST

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By Siddharth Cavale

(Reuters) - Clorox Co will be able to meet the feverish demand for its disinfectants by summer, when it expects to ship 2 million disinfecting products per day, the company's chief growth officer told Reuters on Thursday.

It previously said it would meet consumer demand by the end of 2021.

"I use that 2 million mark to meet the longer term or at least in this fiscal year demand levels that we are seeing," said Tony Matta, who joined the company in October.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, consumers have frantically stocked up on various cleaning supplies, leading to a shortage of Clorox disinfectant wipes among other items, despite the company's efforts to ramp up manufacturing.

The company said it will start a second dedicated manufacturing line for wipes at its Atlanta production facility this quarter, after it had to push back the time frame for easing nationwide shortages several times over the past year.

Last May, Clorox said it would meet demand for wipes by mid-summer, but then told Reuters it would take at least until 2021.

Months later, on a post-earnings call in February, CFO Kevin Jacobsen revised the timeline again to the end of 2021.

While the company continues to crank out wipes at its factories 24/7, transportation hurdles that have plagued the consumer packaged industry have hurt Clorox.

"We have incurred significant increases in costs for shipping, but those were costs we were willing to bear to improve the supply situation," Matta said.

"By summer, there should be much more normalcy around the kind of supply that consumers would have expected pre-pandemic when they go into stores." (This story corrects headline and first paragraph to say shipping 2 million disinfecting products per day instead of 2 million canisters of wipes per day)

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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