Bar soap category is a matured market in India and has been historically used among Indian consumer as cleansing products. The contribution of body wash and shower gel is very less to overall bath and shower market but represents a fast expanding category in the country. Bath and shower product market comes within the personal care industry. The market is mainly bifurcated into two main segments i.e. bathing bar soap and body wash & shower gel. In India, the market for bath bar soaps is further segmented into four categories like beauty soaps, health soaps, herbal soaps and medicated soaps. Moreover, the bath bar soaps are also segmented according to their price range in which they belong such as popular, mass, premium or super premium. The bar soaps, which are available in various flavors, fragrance and packaging, have been traditionally popular among the Indian consumers. On the other hand, body wash and shower gel are forms of liquid soap. These types of soap are popular alternatives to traditional bar soap for cleansing.
According to recently published report of Bonafide Research “India Bath & Shower Market Overview, 2022-2028”, young population of India will shift from traditional soap to body wash and shower gel products in the coming years. Though having existence in the Indian market from 2005, body wash and shower gel is still relatively a new category for Indian consumers. With the increasing young consumer's fascination for spending money on health and skin care, new categories like body wash and shower gel will experience robust growth. Young urban consumers prefer using body wash and shower gels instead of traditional soap to keep up with market trends and to satisfy their urge to experiment with new products. Also, being liquid soaps they are easy to use and store. The wide variety of scents available in these products is also one of the major attractiveness.
HUL, Godrej, ITC, Reckitt Benckiser and Colgate-Palmolive have already established a strong foothold in the market. Other new players are also entering in the market with niche products, especially in the body wash and shower gel category. Organized body wash & shower gel brands face intense competition, not only from the top brands but also from the soap market. However, the growth of these products will be promulgated by the consumers' desire to switch towards premium products. In the rural areas, bar soap penetration will continue to grow as consumers are still not aware about these premium products. Rural India will still be fascinated by the long list of beauty soap brands. Awareness of beauty soaps has strongly increased in rural markets due to television commercials, celebrity endorsements, social media campaigns and print media. Major companies operating in the bath & shower market of India are Hindustan Unilever Limited, Wipro Enterprise Private Limited, Godrej Consumer Products Limited, Reckitt Benckiser (India) Limited and ITC Limited.