Though the market for fairness cream has been increasing in India, both men and women are now shifting their preferences towards a more healthy cream. Whitening and fairness cream brands have been under the scanner of gender rights activists in the recent times and with increasing exposure to social media, the trend has been seen in India as well.
According to recently published report of Bonafide Research "India Fairness Cream & Bleach Market Outlook, 2023", men's fairness cream market is anticipated to grow with a CAGR of 6-8% during the forecast period of 2018-2023. Factors such as increasing disposable income, influence of Bollywood stars and cricketers on young generation, western life culture have robustly increased the men's fairness cream market in past some years. For generations, companies have been selling fair skin to young Indian women, promising better marriage and employment prospects. However, over the last few years, men have become a favoured target audience. Over the years, men have begun to accept that basic skin care and even make-up is a daily routine to keep the skin healthy and flawless. Moreover, rivalry among the workforce too has upscale the drive to look young and has prompted expanded interest for items particular to men. Seeing demand from men's side, players like Emami, Hindustan Unilever, L'Oreal jumped into marketing of men's fairness creams.
Till the mid-2000s, deodorants and shaving creams were the main prepping items publicized for men. But India’s largest consumer goods companies sensed an opportunity, and launched a slew of fairness products for male consumers. Indian men are increasingly gravitated towards lighter skin as more and more fairness commercials and branding populates the digital space. The notion of acting, being and looking more ‘Western’ has influenced a lot of young boys and men. Emami was the first company which launched men's fairness cream in the year 2004 and it has evolved as one of the largest purchased brand by men in the country. Additionally, the brand endorsements are intentionally done by the bollywood and cricket stars as everyone knows them, especially youths of the country who are rigorous followers. Emami Limited was one of the first few domestic FMCG players to realise the potential of celebrity brand ambassadors, especially in a price-sensitive market with a large rural base. The company roped into bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan who was initially sceptical about a men's fairness product but later agreed only after being apprised of the huge global market for men’s fairness products and the demand for such products in India. The sales of Emami's Fair and Handsome brand went very high after the product was endorsed by ace actor Shah Rukh Khan. Later, HUL came into the market with its brand Fair and lovely which was launched in the year 2007. But Emami still remains the leader in the men's segment with its much appreciated brand Fair and Handsome.
Traditionally, Indians correlate good looks with fair skin in women, but now even men are judged by the same benchmark. Westernization is one of the major factors which have elevated the demand of fairness cream in the country. The changing grooming behaviour of Indian men is largely due to exposure and access to international influences and trends. The younger demographic requires and demands to be well presented and attired. Also, competition among the workforce has scaled up the drive to look youthful and has led to increased demand for products specific to men. Every Bollywood celebrity and many public personalities tend to look fairer after a couple of years and thus young audiences are naturally drawn towards the same. Hence, increased competition from workplace, growth of social media, urge to appear well groomed and increased visibility of metro sexual men in pop culture will still garner the demand for men's fairness cream in the country. The growth may slow down in future but Indian people are unlikely to give up on these products - completely.
Major companies operating in the fairness cream & bleach market of India are Dabur India Limited, Emami Limited, Hindustan Unilever Limited, ITC Limited, L'Oreal India Private Limited, Nature's Essence Private Limited, Nivea India Private Limited, Procter & Gamble Home Products Private Limited, VLCC Health Care Limited, Patanjali Ayurved Limited, CavinKare Private Limited, Avon Beauty Products India Private Limited, VI-JOHN India Private Limited and Himalaya Drug Company Private Limited.
Report: India Fairness Cream & Bleach Market Outlook, 2023
Base Year: 2016-17, Estimated Year: 2017-18, Forecast Year: 2022-23
Pages: 120, Figures: 19, Tables: 24