Habitual use, the steady preference of consumers for bath soaps, the trend of premiumization, strong distribution channels, and the introduction of various variants by the foremost players are the responsible growth factors for the bath bar soap category within the Indian personal wash market.
Indian personal wash market consists of the products such as bath soaps, body wash & shower gel, and liquid hand washes. The market is mainly driven by the bath soap category, whereas body wash and shower gel are the fast-expanding categories in India. Also, the demand for liquid hand wash is progressively rising among Indian consumers. Bath soaps are traditionally used among Indian consumers for personal wash, which itself has a big market in India with huge penetration and strong competition. Indian consumers still prefer bath soaps where they have numerous options to choose their product according to their requirements. Herbal soap is the fastest-growing category in the Indian soap market. Moreover, premium and super premium soaps are gaining momentum among Indian urban consumers, whereas, mass and popular soaps are top-selling products in the rural markets. Thus, the soap market enjoys a positive response from rural as well as urban consumers in India.
The aggressive advertisers continue to catch consumer attention towards the various bar soap products. Expansion advertising along with transforming newer ads with old ones is one kind of promotional activity of manufacturers that aims to increase the usage of a mature product like bar soaps. Indian soap market is highly fragmented and hence brand loyalty is a major challenge for Indian soap manufacturers due to the high frequency of purchase and availability of the numerous brands in the market. Therefore, marketers are making every possible effort to build brand loyalty by communicating with consumers. The constant growth of the soap market is attributed to the strong distribution network of manufacturers as these products have high reach in urban as well as in every rural part of India. From small Kirana stores to big retail stores to modern retail, bar soaps can be easily accessible. Moreover, innovation and introduction of new variants in the soap market will never let down the consumer demand for soaps in India as now Indian consumers, especially in an urban areas, want to keep updated with the new products and trends related to them. Furthermore, buyers are gradually moving towards premium bath soap products mainly due to changing preference towards ultra-benefit offering products, and hence the premium soap segment is growing at a significant growth rate.
According to a published report by Bonafide Research “India Personal Wash Market Outlook, 2027-28”, the personal wash market is expected to register a CAGR of more than 8% in the next five years. The personal wash market is full of innovative and newer products and variants. Mainstream Indians rely on bar soap for a personal wash. Though body wash and shower gel products are gaining momentum in the market, bar soap products will sustain their popularity as it is hard for millions of consumers to quickly shift towards alternative products. Undoubtedly, liquid hand washes soap is entering households and now it became a part of the monthly product list. However, the consumption of liquid hand wash is still low in India. As a result, the body wash & shower gel, and liquid hand wash categories have a small proportion in the personal wash market.
Major companies operating in the personal wash market of India ITC Limited, Dabur India Limited, Hindustan Unilever Limited, Wipro Consumer Care Limited, Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited, Godrej Consumer Products Limited, Reckitt Benckiser (India) Private Limited, Pristine Care Products Private Limited, Karnataka Soaps & Detergents Limited, Beiersdorf (India) Private Limited, The Himalaya Drug Company, Herbal Strategi, Patanjali Ayurved Limited, Jyothy Laboratories Limited and Cholayil Private Limited (Medimix).