Indian rural women will present an undying and untapped opportunity for feminine hygiene players in the country: Bonafide Research
Jun, 01

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Indian rural women will present an undying and untapped opportunity for feminine hygiene players in the country: Bonafide Research


The upper class of Indian women is trying to find high quality hygiene products, however, in rural areas, many women still haven’t started to use sanitary napkins or use it occasionally. It is high time that manufacturers should work to attract these young women's and start penetrating smaller towns and rural markets. Feminine hygiene products are used for maintaining personal hygiene during menstruation period, non-menstruation days for vaginal discharge, cleaning inner body parts and for removing unwanted hair over skin. India Feminine hygiene market consists of the product segments such as sanitary napkins, panty-liners, tampons, and other feminine hygiene products which include internal cleansers & sprays and disposable razors & blades. Increasing literacy level among Indian urban women, rising middle class population and growing disposable income of females are some of the drivers that have led the consumption of feminine hygiene products in urban India, especially sanitary pads/napkins. However, use of the product is still restricted in cities and towns. According to recently published report of Bonafide Research, "India Feminine Hygiene Market Overview", rural women's are now set to present an attractive opportunity for players operating in the Indian market. Majority of the population of India still resides in rural areas or villages, where awareness regarding feminine hygiene products is almost negligible. Deep in the villages, either the concept has not percolated or the users cannot afford it. Women in rural India still use cotton cloth as an absorbent during menstruation phase. The only alternative available to rural women is local brands of sanitary napkins, whose quality is not upto the mark. But as a practice, rural consumers always look for cheaper alternatives in small packaging so that they can spend on such products apart from their basic expenses. The media has provided a window into urban lifestyles creating aspirations for similar goods and services in rural India. As a result, FMCG companies have identified a latent demand in rural India which promises bright prospects. Sanitary napkin are also available in smaller and single packets but are used occasionally by rural women's due to their high prices. Rural consumers prefer goods that are low priced, or offer a good value for money. Hence, small-unit packets of regular sanitary napkins have started to find acceptance in tier II and III cities as they represent both convenience and affordability. Rural sales are also influenced by product availability and advertisement or campaigns. Advertisements and other forms of communication have to be modified suitably to suit the requirement of the rural women's. However, advertising in rural areas tend to be more expensive as communication and messages need to be translated in several local vernacular to create optimum impact. At present, companies are recognizing the potential of the Indian rural markets and gradually escalating their steps in this path. They still have a long way to go, but it is obvious that the players will eventually have to exploit the rural markets for further growth and opportunity. If an awareness drive is created, then more numbers can be brought under the users net. The market is pretty huge and there is enough room for new players. Major companies operating in the feminine hygiene market of India are Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care Limited, Johnson & Johnson Private Limited, Kimberly-Clark Lever Pvt. Ltd., Unicharm India Pvt. Ltd. and Emami Limited.