Hygiene products sales fall during 2nd wave

Demand for hand sanitizers, hand wash and antiseptic liquids fell sharply in India while growth rate of immunity boosters and home hygiene categories tapered off during the second wave compared to last year.

Personal hygiene segments fell 19% during April-May this year, compared to a 400% jump during the first wave, according to the latest report by Kantar. Even floor cleaners, toilet cleaners and metal scourers grew just 9% during April-May this year, significantly lower from 21% a year ago while immunity products including malted foods drinks, chyawanprash and honey grew 11%, just a third of its earlier growth rate of 30%.

“During the first wave, a lot of consumers entered into the sanitizers and hygiene category and bought such products,” said K Ramakrishnan, MD, South Asia, Kantar Worldpanel. “That slowed down as the intensity of the pandemic dropped, it was directly proportional. Also, the base is substantially higher than the pre-pandemic level.”

Last week,

Hindustan Unilever

said its hygiene portfolio of sanitizer and hand wash declined during April-June quarter on an exceptionally high base last year. “If you take our portfolio, 85% consists of health, hygiene and nutrition. We are not much concerned with it, there is a good rhythm behind it and that is growing well,” HUL chairman Sanjiv Mehta told ET last week.

Experts said while the growth rate of such products plateaued, especially in the second half of the year, sales surged sequentially, especially in markets badly affected by the second wave of the pandemic.

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