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Abrupt Rise In Personal Hygiene Market Gives Birth To New Startups

The increasing female population and rapid urbanization, rising female literacy and awareness of menstrual health and hygiene, rising disposable income of females, and women empowerment are expected to accelerate the growth of the feminine hygiene products market across the globe.

Photo Credit : Pic Courtesy: Pixabay

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There is no doubt that the pandemic has fuelled the personal hygiene products market, not just in India, but globally. According to Reporterlink, the global personal hygiene market touched a value of USD 508.5 Billion in 2020. Further, the market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.60 per cent between 2021-2030.

Post the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the personal hygiene products market was growing at around 11 per cent from November 2019 to January 2020. The demand grew exponentially once the pandemic spread. There is a surge in the personal care and hygiene market as consumers are apprehensive about hygiene. In fact, global leaders in the space appear to have recorded double-digit growth in categories – feminine hygiene and healthcare, both.

The increasing female population and rapid urbanization, rising female literacy and awareness of menstrual health and hygiene, rising disposable income of females, and women empowerment are expected to accelerate the growth of the feminine hygiene products market across the globe.

“Hygiene has been the focus of the government with programs like Swach India, Covid brought personal hygiene into focus. Consumers have become smarter. They not only trust the claims on the front of the label but also spend time reading the back of the label. The pandemic has had a habit-changing effect on personal hygiene,” said Reetesh Dhingra, Co-Founder, WiZ.

The shift in Consumer Behaviour 

During the lockdown, when offline retail remained shuttered across the country, consumers had no choice but to shop online. Everyone wanted to protect themselves from this deadly virus. People were using more and more disincentives for home and self-cleaning. As per trends, the graph shows that searches for hand wash, hand sanitizer, face mask, and feminine grooming products expanded colossally from March 2020 onwards. The pattern is relied upon to proceed even after the COVID-19, as the lockdown ends until the vaccine is accessible. 

While commenting on the consumer's behaviour Vikas Bagaria, Founder and CEO, Pee Safe said, “The consumer has become highly aware of the personal hygiene requirements and the products available in the market. While the panic that we witnessed during the early days of the pandemic that saw people buy anything and everything off the shelves has subsided, the demand remains high.”

In response to the same, Sujata Pawar, Co-founder, and CEO of Avni added, “People seem to have become more health-conscious after the pandemic. Personal hygiene is now an important part of the routine.”

Dhingra added, “The slow growth of personal care hygiene products was a catalyst to growth in the pandemic, there were many new launches like surface disinfectants, the vegetable was, fabric sanitizer. These products saw sales in the early stage of the pandemic but have since lost their acceptance with the consumer.”

Harry Sehrawat Co-Founder, Sanfe stated, “Consumers tend to look out for things online due to a halt in offline supply. With more time to spend with themselves, personal hygiene showed a spike in demand - with new categories like intimate skincare and body, grooming tends to grow as people start to limit their access to public spaces due to hygiene issues.”

Trends In The Indian Market

The Indian personal hygiene sector has undergone a transformation driven by the need to prevent the pandemic spread. Trends such as emphasis on touchless activities, and strong implementation of sanitization measures are now gaining momentum. While before the pandemic, not even half of the Indian public focused on basics of hygiene such as washing hands before eating or serving food, now, there is a majority adherence to even steps like wearing masks in public places and disinfecting surfaces in and around the living spaces.

“Since the onset of the pandemic, personal care, and general hygiene has taken on a whole new meaning. During the lockdown as almost all services were suspended, people have started investing in their intimate, personal, and period care routines more intently. They are more open to exploring innovative hygiene solutions that the market is offering. While the industry is rapidly evolving, so are its customers,” Deep Bajaj, CEO and Co-Founder at Sirona Hygiene said.

From the industry perspective as well, the manufacturers are becoming increasingly quality conscious and focusing on creating products that address the consumer needs and are easy to use on the go. For instance, disinfectant sprays have been gaining a lot of traction compared to liquids that require a lot of effort to clean the spaces. Going forward, there is going to be a greater focus on innovation and consumer-friendliness of the products.

Harry Sehrawat, 'For a D2C brand, it is important to focus on 2 key aspects to grow rapidly - Team and Brand, Team (When you have a good team and like-minded people around you, other things start falling into place) and Brand (Resonances with the consumer needs, as people tend to find their voice imbibed in the brand). We will be coming with a few new launches as well, which will cater to the unheard needs of Indian Millennial women.'

High on Demand Product During Pandemic 

Due to the pandemic, the bend was towards hand sanitizers, surface disinfectants, toilet seat sanitizer sprays. all aspects of personal hygiene & menstrual hygiene products were being focused upon. Apart from the hygiene sale of immunity booster nutrition supplements was quite high as there is growing awareness amongst consumers that prevention is always better.

“We ourselves have witnessed a growth in demand for our cloth pads. This is a result of rising awareness for hygiene practices post-pandemic. Also, with this awareness, there is a need for natural products. The market is going to grow at a faster pace. Things that were ignored earlier are now getting recognized. Consumers are able to relate to traditional practices that were followed earlier and all practices are being reintroduced in modern formats,” said Sujata Pawar, Co-founder, and CEO of Avni.

Road Map For Future 

Now people have started investing in their intimate, personal, and period care routines more intently. They are more open to exploring innovative hygiene solutions that the market is offering. While the industry is rapidly evolving, so are its customers. The surge in women and men both indulging in skincare and body care during and post COVID. Women started to explore skincare more extensively. Brands are witnessing tremendous growth. 

“With the transformation ushered in by the pandemic this year, the years ahead will see a major year of acceptance and expansion of the Indian hygiene industry. People have now become aware that all-around hygiene is their best chance of healthy living in the years to come. We have also persevered with various campaigns promoting different aspects of hygiene, predominantly menstrual hygiene and sanitization which will make an even greater impact in the future. We are looking forward to introducing new products and building upon our supply chains to reach out to a bigger audience on a pan-India level. My biggest wish is to facilitate hygienic and healthy living in as many households as we can reach,” added Bagaria.