As the oldest brand producing household cleaning products in China, Blue Moon has always been dominant in the liquid laundry product market. However, in recent years, the company has gradually lost ground and show signs of deterioration.
According to Investor Network, Blue Moon’s Hong Kong-listed shares have been trending down since December 2020. Over the last two years, Blue Moon’s shares have plummeted by 67%.
The company’s stock prices tumbled from their peak at around $2 (HKD15.70) to hit a new all-time low at 0.64 cents on October 20, 2022.
The Hang Seng Index tumbled 38%, and Changjiang Daily Chemicals Index dropped 19%.
Blue Moon’s first-half revenue reached nearly $370 million, up 22.4% from a year ago. This figure contrasted with its net profit, which fell sharply last year to reach a new deficit of nearly $1.6 million in the year’s first half.
In addition, the operating loss in the first six months jumped to $31.9 million from $12.7 million, indicating a 250% increase in losses year-on-year.
As reported by Equal Ocean, Blue Moon manufactures a wide range of products, including fabric care, personal hygiene, and home care. Among them, fabric care accounts for 85% of its total products.
The firm has three main sales channels: online, direct, and offline distributors.
In 2017, Blue Moon made a mistake by ceasing cooperation with supermarkets as they took away too much of its profit margin, from 30% to 35%. After that, the
Chinese manufacturer mainly depended on online channels for most of its sales.
But the company made another mistake and “messed up product distribution on these two online channels causing heavy losses to resellers.”
Regarding direct sales, Blue Moon also has direct-selling stores called Moon Houses, but those were not successful.
Therefore, the laundry detergent producer decided to work with the supermarkets again in 2019.
However, Equal Ocean noted that while Blue Moon was away, other key players also took the chance to take a lot of its market share and “establish their products on the supermarket shelves.”
The previous wrong move cost the firm its edge in the liquid laundry market.
In addition, under the pressure of intense market competition, Blue Moon unveiled its milestone—condensed liquid laundry detergent. The company said that the entire market was following the trend of higher volume for lower prices. However, this didn’t suit the taste of Chinese consumers of its products as most of them are female.
The resultant physical burdens would impact their shopping experience.
Meanwhile, Blue Moon offered much lighter products but with the same quantity of clothes washable per bottle.
Higher quality comes with higher prices. Thus, the product still could not meet Chinese consumers’ needs as they still prefer to pay less.
Hong Kong Business Observer, citing Blue Moon’s mid-year earnings report, disclosed that the firm has wiped out more than $5 billion in market value since its Hong Kong listing in 2020.
Citibank, which has always been optimistic about Blue Moon, predicted its net profit from 2022 to 2024 would fall from 37% to 21%.