NEWS RELEASE May 2021
Masks Will Continue to be a Big Revenue Producer
Mask use in the U.S. and countries with high vaccinated percentages will be reduced but the worldwide market will be robust for many years to come.
Wearing a mask has negative life quality impacts depending on the length of use. If you wear a mask 200 hours per year it is only 10% of the life quality reduction from wearing it all year long.
If you wear the mask on the subway when you are not conversing with others there is no communication life quality reduction. The flu surge is in the winter. So discomfort from heat is not a factor. On a cold day, the mask may be a plus as every skier knows.
Therefore mask discomfort can be minimized by the length of time it is worn and the setting.
The mask life quality benefits include reduction in sickness and death. Most mask wearers will also view avoidance of infection of others as a life quality benefit. This includes not only family, friends, and co-workers but also strangers. Most but not all people want to be good citizens. They want the approval of others. Therefore when they have this approval it is a life quality benefit. Many people just want to meet their own high standards of being good citizens.
Let’s take a grocery store setting at a time when 60% of the people are not fully vaccinated but masks are not mandated. Most unvaccinated people will want to follow the honor system and wear a mask. Others will not. These are life quality choices which in general need to be left to people unless there is substantial public risk.
Substantial public risk is a nebulous term. It meant a 55 mph speed limit at one point but then it was changed in many locations to 65 mph. Just traveling in an automobile statistically shortens an 85 year life by a few months. So we continuously balance life quality benefits against losses.
The average person is infectious with colds, flu etc. for 14 days per year. So mask wearing by these individuals will likely be customary. In the U.S. this will result in 30 billion hours of use per year. At $ 0.01 mask cost per hour mask revenues just for these sick individuals will be $300 million per year.
Twenty-five million people will elect not to be vaccinated. Twenty million of those people are likely to follow the honor system when in public places. Assuming that the average mask use is 400 hours per year for 20 million people, there will be 8 billion hours of mask wearing or an annual market of $ 80 million.
McIlvaine believes that the retail and leisure service market will be bigger than other markets and that workers in meat processing and other industries where product quality can be impacted by masks will also continue mask use.
The market for those with medical conditions or allergies will continue to be strong. Wildfires, dust storms, and air pollution will continue to generate significant mask revenues.
The U.S. market will be dwarfed by other worldwide markets. The immediate need in India is just one example.
The world mask market is forecasted in detail and continually revised. Details are found at