Covid-19 impact: Demand for personal hygiene, homecare products set to rise

Covid-19 spread has increased awareness for homecare and personal care products | Photo: Shutterstock
The demand for personal hygiene and homecare products is expected to rise further in the coming days due to the growing awareness among consumers in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Manufacturing companies believe that the pandemic has made consumers more aware of need to maintain hygiene, at a personal level as well as at home, to reduce the chances of infection and this is expected to become a trend in the long-run.

“This (trend) will continue going forward. It is expected that there will be an enhanced focus on wellness and demand for hygiene products is expected to expand. Consumers will also increasingly look for products they can trust and hence the role of strong and innovative brands that can meet consumer expectations will become significant”, said Sameer Satpathy, chief executive, personal care products business at ITC Ltd.

Satpathy said in the ongoing fight against the coronavirus, health stipulations have mandated two important facets to help protect against the deadly virus – hand hygiene and the hygiene of frequently touched surfaces. While hand hygiene is critical, the relevance and importance of surface disinfection is also increasingly being accepted now and will be more frequently used in days to come.

“We believe, that most of these behavioural changes will become habits in the long-run as everyone is concerned about personal hygiene. People have become more conscious about cleanliness, hygiene and keeping themselves and their environment germ-free”, said Priti A. Sureka, director, Emami Ltd.

Anshu Budhraja, CEO at Amway India said that although there has been a decrease in income and savings which is affecting consumers’ discretionary spends, people are seen allotting greater portions of disposable income towards personal and homecare purchases as consumer priority lists have suddenly been reassessed. 

“Our expectations are in line with the recent reports which state that 55 per cent of Indian consumers intend to buy more personal hygiene and safety products going ahead”, Budhraja said, adding that Amway India expects a 15-20 per cent growth in the near-term from its hand wash, hand soap and disinfectants portfolio.

During the lockdown period beginning March 25, companies noted that while the demand for hand sanitisers peaked, there was also a notable shift in demand towards wellness as well as homecare products.

“There has also been a demand for preventive care, and hence, our wellness products, including Himalaya Pure Herbs saw a significant spike in demand. We are also seeing a trend where nutrition-based products are seeing quick movement from retail shelves”, Philipe Haydon, CEO at The Himalaya Drug Company, said.

Companies are now stressing on growing the personal care and homecare portfolios, besides wellness products, even as they face challenges on the demand front for beauty products and cosmetics.

Nearly all of these companies have lined up new products and category extensions of existing brands, apart from strengthening the distribution channels.

While ITC is banking on its Savlon and Nimyle brands, which offer products in personal and homecare, Emami is bringing forward some launches in the personal hygiene category to solve specific consumer problems. Himalaya is setting up new facilities to specifically ramp up hand sanitizers and Amway is stepping up the supply and distribution of its existing products in these categories.

  • Covid-19 spread has increased awareness for homecare and personal care products
  • Sanitiser demand is at an all-time high
  • Companies are lining up new product launches to cater to an increased demand 
  • 55 per cent of consumers intend to buy more personal hygiene and safety products

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