The price of bath soap seems to have gone up in recent weeks. This is not great news as summer is almost upon us and given the mellowing weather, some might even argue that it is already upon us. While it is well known that people bathe less during winter the searing summer heat demands that we bathe more frequently in order to stay fresh. That is going to be a little hard given the significant increases in prices of bath soap. Even green bar laundry bars that are a traditional alternative for low-income sectors of the community have gone up too.

In our recent survey we observed the following prices:

  • Sona which is usually one of the cheapest bath soaps is going for US$0.70 in downtown tuckshops. Back in January Sona retailed for as little as US$0.40 in a lot of shops. A month ago the Sona bath soap was retailing for US$0.50
  • Sona is not cheap in supermarkets either where it is selling for between $520 ZWL and $700 ZWL which is almost US$0.90 if one uses the official rate which OK, TM Pick N Pay, Choppies, Food World and Spar and other supermarkets are supposed to be using.
  • Jade which is still 350g, compared to Sona which shed off 50g some months ago, is going for a full US$1 in most tuckshops. In supermarkets, the price of Jade was at least $620 ZWL which is more than a dollar at current official rates.
  • Before all this Jade and Geisha were selling for a mere US$0.60 and equivalent in ZWL.
  • Now Geisha which like Sona is smaller than Jade now has the same price as Jade with it selling for US$1 in tuckshops and $620 ZWL in supermarkets.
  • Lifebuoy used to be the cheapest bath soap for those who grew up in the 1990s. That changed some time ago when it rebranded into a hygiene soap that competes with brands like Dettol and Protex. At 175g the soap is now smaller than even Geisha and is half the size of Jade. It also now comes in pill form and in various colours instead of the memorable red bar. For that fancy new brand you are now expected to pay US$1 and sometimes be asked to top $100 ZWL for one or if you go to the tuckshops you will now pay US$1.60 for two.
  • Greenbar is not cheap either with most shops selling the famous laundry bar for US$1.40 and as high as US$1.60. In supermarkets, the price is currently $1 400+ ZWL

We didi no observe any changes in the price of washing powder. MAQ and Boom 2kg packs were selling for US$3.50 in tuckshops and a ridiculous $4 000 ZWL in supermarkets. Boom paste a popular tsaona (low income emergency) item was selling for between US$0.5 and US$0.60 for the 200g box and $450 ZWL in most supermarkets. The 400g version was selling for US$1 and $650 ZWL in tuckshops and supermarkets respectively.