Due to the increasing consumer demand for products in the health and hygiene segment because of the Covid-19 fear, many leading consumer goods companies like Godrej, Dabur, ITC and Marico have launched more than three dozen products in this category.
Initially, hand sanitizers were launched by most of the companies, then they expanded their portfolio by entering categories like disinfectant sprays, floor & surface cleaners and immunity building products.
Dabur India launched new products such as all-purpose disinfectants, immunity building juices and air sanitisers. Mohit Malhotra, CEO of the company said that with the spread of the pandemic, there was growing need for such quality immunity building and hygiene products for consumers. A number of these initiatives were already in the pipeline and they advanced the launch to meet the emerging need gap in the market.
As per Nielsen, hand wash segment expanded 60% in March compared to 7% in the preceding three months, floor cleaner growth rate doubled to 24% while hand sanitiser ballooned by 340% in March compared to 24% in December to February. Immunity booster sales surged in March from the preceding three months – Chyawanprash by 81% from 2%, branded packaged honey by 35% against 10% and turmeric by 38% from 7%.
ITC extended its Savlon brand in hand sanitiser and disinfectant spray. Sameer Satpathy, Chief Executive (personal care products business) at ITC said that the innovation teams in the company are identifying these unmet needs and racing against time to craft effective and innovative products in the health and hygiene space to serve these requirements.
Saugata Gupta, CEO of Marico feels that the health, hygiene and immunity market will expand tremendously. Consumers could shift some of their discretionary spends like eating out and travelling to the products in these segments.
For Reckitt Benckiser and Hindustan Unilever, who largely dominated India’s hygiene segment with brands such as Dettol and Lifebuoy, this could mean increased competition.
Anirban Banerjee, Global Head, Innovation, at Godrej Consumer Products Ltd that will expand its Protekt brand said that the increased need for germ protection in-home and out-of-home is leading to a wider sensitivity towards disinfection. They are cognizant of the changes taking place across the markets and are taking steps to organise their categories and new product portfolios effectively to meet this demand in an agile manner.
Arvind Mediratta, MD at Metro Cash & Carry India that is witnessing in-house disinfectants and floor clear sales surge over the past few weeks is of the opinion that while brands are taking advantage of this opportunity, established brands have built trust over the years and it’s not easy to replace them.