Haviland Combats Hand Sanitizer Shortage

Appears in Print as: 'Haviland Adapts to Neighborhood Needs'

Haviland Products Company retooled its Kalamazoo manufacturing location to produce hand sanitizer for non-profits in need. It has since expanded its disinfectant line and found it a significant growth segment.


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Earlier this spring, Haviland Products Company (Grand Rapids, MI) began producing and donating critically-needed hand sanitizer to community organizations.

Haviland employee fills hand-sanitizer jugs

A Haviland employee based in the Kalamazoo facility fills large containers with hand sanitizer. Haviland retooled the manufacturing location last spring to facilitate hand sanitizer production.  Photo Credit: Haviland Products Company Inc.

“We had access to the raw materials needed to make the hand sanitizer and the ability to retool part of our manufacturing facility in Kalamazoo,” said Haviland senior sales director Jim Knape. From there, as Haviland chief financial officer Meg Post added, “our first priority was to help those in need of protection from COVID-19 but lacking the necessary resources. We identified organizations in West Michigan that had no access to federal stockpile or national procurement organizations.”

Haviland Products Company vice predient Rob Pawson packs hand-sanitizer jugs

Rob Pawson, vice president of Haviland Products Company, surveys a load of donated hand sanitizer scheduled for delivery to local non-profit organizations in the greater Grand Rapids area.  Photo Credit: Haviland Products Company Inc.

Haviland delivered more than 13,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to local non-profits, and has since sold more than 70,000 gallons directly to customers, distributor and repackaging businesses.

“If you told me in January that our company would be manufacturing, donating, distributing and selling hand sanitizer, I would say you had us confused with another industry,” Knape said. “Now it’s becoming a segment of our growth strategy along with alcohol-free hand sanitizer and various hard surface disinfectants.”

One-gallon jug of Havaclean Hand Sanitizer-E

Havaclean Hand Sanitizer-E has sold more than 70,000 gallons since production started last spring.  Photo Credit: Haviland Products Company Inc.

Haviland was well-equipped for this strategy shift because of its R&D facility’s ability to test and examine the quality of raw materials as well as the manufactured product. As the company looks to expand its hand sanitizer product line, members of the Haviland team continue to pursue necessary regulatory requirements to advance market position.