Date : March 01, 2016
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By 2027-28, rural market will contribute more than 35% to the fabric whitener category in India: Bonafide Research

By 2027-28, rural market will contribute more than 35% to the fabric whitener category in India: Bonafide Research

Rising incomes in rural India, decreasing prices, distribution expansion, marketing campaigns coupled with brand equity will drive the rural market.

Fabric whiteners, which are classified as 'laundry aids,' complement the use of detergents. Fabric whitener or liquid blue is a household product used to improve the appearance of textiles, especially white fabrics. They contain a blue dye or pigment or a solution of fine blue powder. During the washing process, the fabric picks up the blue color, which makes it 'appear' whiter. Optical brighteners work on the principle that 'white with a little blue tint appears to be brighter. In India, the attractiveness of whiteners is rooted in the country's societal system and cultural values. The cleanliness of clothes has traditionally been regarded as an indicator of the efficiency of the housekeeper, that is, the lady of the house. 

According to recently published report of Bonafide Research “India Fabric Care Market Overview, 2022-28”, rural market will contribute more than 35% revenue to the fabric whiteners by 2027-28. White clothing signifies wisdom and uprightness in India and thus whiteners found wide acceptance in both urban and rural markets. Previously, the products were priced higher and hence the market was more inclined towards urban areas. However, with decreasing prices and growing awareness, rural areas started to outperform urban markets.

Rural consumers are particularly aspiring or striving to purchase branded, high quality products. Rural market is all about affordability and availability. Manufacturers have evolved a more need-based pricing strategy for fabric whitener which is vastly different from its urban pricing strategy, even if it is for the same product. Also, marketers are trying hard to set up a strong distribution network in rural areas and villages.  Moreover, the wider reach of media and telecommunication services has provided information to India’s rural consumers and is influencing their purchase decisions. In line with general trend, rural consumers are evolving towards a broader notion of value provided by products and services which involves aspects of price combined with utility, aesthetics and features, and not just low prices.

A decade back, multinational brands ruled the market and smaller brands had been content with a niche market. However, from the late 1990s onwards, smaller brands had started to threaten the bigger players in many product categories. Ujala was one of these smaller brands which had successfully overtaken the previous market leader Robin Blue. Today Ujala is the most selling brand in the fabric whitener category. HUL has also been unable to dent market leader’s position in this segment despite substantial advertising support for Ala and new marketing strategy under the Rin brand. In 2012, Hindustan Unilever repositioned and rebranded ‘Rin Fabric Whitener’, a second attempt to wrest the market leader crown. To maintain its market share, Jyothy Laboratories will have to increase its bandwidth across India as HUL has a far superior distribution system than most other companies.

Major companies operating in the fabric care market of India are Hindustan Unilever Limited, Jyothy Laboratories Limited, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd., Reckitt Benckiser (India) Ltd. and Marico Limited.



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By 2027-28, rural market will contribute more than 35% to the fabric whitener category in India: Bonafide Research

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