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Body wash and Shower gel are the two big promising segments in India's mature bath & shower market: Bonafide Research

Rising disposable income, change in preferences, trend of premiumization and strong advertising & marketing campaigns have changed the scenario of body wash and shower gel category in India. Players have been introducing number of variants in this category, which is acting as a major growth driver for the bath & shower market.

India bath and shower market includes products like bar soap, body wash and shower gels. Bathing products have shown huge potential in the country from last decade. Indian consumers are spending a lot of money over their grooming and care - be it men or women. They are getting more demanding even about dull activities such as their daily shower, with an increasing number of urban households beginning to use shower gels and body washes instead of standard bar soaps. However, tier-II and tier-III city consumers still prefer traditional beauty soaps over these new age gels. Affluent urban consumers and experimenting youth are the two major end users of body wash and shower gel in India and thus this category is majorly stick to the urban markets. Being premium, these products offer better margins and help companies to rein in their sliding profits.

According to recently published report of Bonafide Research "India Bath and Shower Market Outlook, 2022", bath and shower market size has reached over Rs. 18,000 crore in FY 2016-17, registering a healthy compounded annual growth rate in the last five years. In India, the market is dominated by HUL followed by players like ITC, Reckitt Benckiser, Godrej, Patanjali, Wipro and many more. These companies have strong presence in the personal care segment as well. In bar soap category, traditional beauty soaps are the highest selling soaps in India followed by herbal and health soap. Market leader HUL with its decade old brands like Lux, Lifebuoy, Liril, Pears, Breeze, Hamam and Ayush leads the bar soap category as well. However in the southern region, soaps like Margo, Medimix and Mysore Sandal are more popular than the leading brands. HUL and other major players operating in the bar soap category still find it difficult to sustain in this region, due to dominance of these age old soaps. On the other hand, market scenario has completely changed after Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Ayurved has made its entry into number of categories, including bath and shower. Patanjali Ayurved has fully diverted Indian consumers towards herbal bath soaps made from natural ingredients. To counterpart Patanjali, market leader HUL also came with its lost brand Ayush and re-launched it in 2017 as 'Lever Ayush'. Similarly, other soap brands are also trying to market their products as natural and herbal. Brand promotions and marketing strategies have become aggressive to capture a larger consumer base.

Soaps are divided into mass/ popular and premium category based on their pricing and positioning. Mass bar soaps still dominate in value as well as volume sales whereas body wash and shower gel are fast becoming a substitute for premium soaps. If players continue to increase the prices of premium soaps, then body washes and shower gels may fully substitute them in upcoming years due to high preference by consumers. Players of body wash and shower gels are coming up with small packaging sizes to promote these products in tier-II and tier-III cities as well. Some players are targeting the hotel and hospitality segment by supplying their products in bulk. India still has a very low penetration in shower gel category but now it is expanding fast in urban cities. Higher disposable income and change in lifestyle of younger generation are the key growth drivers for this expansion.

Major companies operating in the bath and shower market of India are ITC Limited, Hindustan Unilever Limited, The Himalaya Drug Company, Wipro Consumer Care Limited, Beiersdorf (India) Private Limited, Colgate Palmolive (India) Limited, Godrej Consumer Products Limited, Reckitt Benckiser (India) Private Limited and Karnataka Soaps & Detergents Limited.

Report: India Bath and Shower Market Outlook, 2022

Base Year: 2016-17

Estimated Year: 2017-18, Forecast Year: 2021-22

Pages: 132, Figures: 58, Tables: 27


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