Singapore, 22.05.2019

Heat wave, haze, and air pollution almost doubled the spending on air treatment products in four Southeast Asian countries in first quarter of 2019

Consumers spent USD 60 million on some 345,000 appliances; Thailand drove strong demand

Air treatment products flew off the shelves in the first three months of 2019 across Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Consumers in each market turned to air treatment products to improve the air quality in their homes as they experienced heat wave, haze and air pollution during those months.

According to GfK’s Point of Sales tracking, the air treatment market in three of the four markets surged significantly within the range of 34 and 134 percent, led by Thailand which contributed to almost three-quarters of the overall value.

A heat wave that hit the shores of Malaysia early this year also contributed to the surge as Malaysian consumers spent over USD 7 million on air treatment products.  Air coolers, which form the dominant segment in this market accounted for nearly half of the total air treatment sales in the first three months as consumers snapped up cooling appliances to counter the intense temperature which soared to 36 degrees in some Malaysian states.

Overall, GfK also observed a growth of 62 percent in sales volume of air treatment products in Southeast Asia in Q1 2019 compared to Q1 2018. Unusual weather, air pollution, high rainfall and compromised air quality due to volcano eruptions are some reasons driving the uptake of air treatment products in Asia.

“In addition to the usual demand for cooling air treatment products to combat the heat, air cleaning also became an important feature due to seasonal air pollution, like the severe haze which hit Thailand earlier this year,” highlighted Alexander Dehmel, Regional Market Insights Manager at GfK.

In Thailand, the sales of air cleaner combination products (cleaning and cooling) spiked in March, registering growth of more than 250 percent in volume over the same month in the previous year, while the mono air cleaner segment (products with cleaning as a single function) also grew by 150 percent.

Looking at the first quarter of 2019, among the various types of air treatment appliances in the four markets, mono air cleaner products form the biggest segment, contributing 36 percent of turnover, followed closely by air cleaner combination products at 35 percent.

“For retailers and manufacturers, the unpredictable weather and changes in air quality are often an unforeseen combination, posing several challenges such as the availability of the right product, logistics, pricing and marketing strategies” continued Dehmel “as only timely reactions will satisfy the consumers’ immediate need for the products”.


  • ASEAN markets included in the study: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia
  • POS tracking and comparison period: Jan – March 2019 versus Jan – March 2018
  • GfK’s Air Treatment category includes air cleaners, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, coolers, aroma diffusers, and any combination of these products 

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