Bath and shower products have been an essential commodity that needs to be included in one's daily hygienic routine. Consumers' hygiene awareness has increased the demand for bath and shower products in India. Product innovation and improved marketing initiatives by the manufacturer or brand owner are letting the consumers get attracted towards such products and letting them take care of their bodies. Consumers' ability to spend more on hygiene-related products has benefited their health, allowing the market to grow. Bar soap remains a very well-penetrated category in India, with people of all ages, genders, social statuses and geographies using them. According to the report, "India Bath & Shower Market Outlook, 2027-28" published by Bonafide research, the market has been growing in leaps and bounds with increasing hygiene awareness among the consumers, which has allowed the market to cross over the INR 27, 000 Crore mark at an effective rate. India’s bath and shower market comprises of two main segments that are bath soap and body wash and shower gel. The market has seen matured growth in recent years in India. The market has been highly dominated by bathing soap products, which are available in a variety of types and in various price ranges, from as low as Rs 5/piece to more than Rs 100/piece and also all small and big cities are in its distribution list. This flexibility in pricing attracts a number of consumers irrespective of their income tags. The bathing soap products are driving the bath and shower market currently and are expected to continue with a CAGR of above 7% in the forecasted years till 2027-28. On the other hand, shower gels, sometimes termed body wash products, are considered in one of the best personal care segments manufactured by many fast-moving consumer goods companies. Shower gel is the easiest way of cleaning the body while taking a shower. Body washes and shower gel products are considered premium range products which have restricted distribution to most of the top-tier cities. Irrespective of its premiumness, the market has picked up rapid growth in the last couple of years and has strong expectations to grow strongly in coming years with consumers' changing habits. In addition to that, the growth of the market is attributed to a significant rise in the demand for natural and herbal bath and shower products, a paradigm shift in customer behavior toward branded bath and shower products, the launch of innovative products by the market players, and burgeoning awareness about the importance of good hygiene.
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The rising population, significant economic expansion, rapid industrialization, and evolving lifestyles are some of the key factors driving the India bath soap market's growth. Subsequently, the inflating income levels have enabled consumers to afford premium products infused with exotic fragrances and moisturizing capabilities, which is contributing to the market's growth. In confluence with this, the shifting preference toward value-added products with attractive packaging, distinctive formulas for men and women, and enhanced convenience is acting as another growth-inducing factor. Rising environmental concerns have further led manufacturers to develop eco-friendly products containing natural and herbal ingredients, along with biodegradable and refillable packaging, which is creating a positive outlook for the market. Moreover, the establishment of an effective and efficient distribution network and the adoption of aggressive promotional strategies to maximize product reach are catalyzing the market's growth. Also, the trend towards value-added multi-benefit products is on the rise. Hence, manufacturers who were present in bath bar soap have now started manufacturing body wash and shower gels. The market is getting more and more competitive. Youngsters are experimenting with new products and are keen to use substitutes for standard bar soaps. Players are promoting these products through celebrity endorsements, promotional activities at various events, and awareness campaigns to make Indians aware of new products and variants. Due to the rise in disposable income, changing lifestyles of the rural and urban population and increasing awareness pertaining to hygienic conditions at home, sales of brands operating in the personal wash industry have increased tremendously in the last five years. Government policies and programs are under way to provide affordable and quality baby healthcare products. Such initiatives are anticipated to drive India's baby bath and shower products industry. For instance, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is one such commission that is playing a significant role in ensuring baby safety from harmful products. The bath and shower market has many local and international players in the fray, and they compete with each other armed with factors like superior quality bath and shower products that prove beneficial for the consumers. Many startups are also emerging on the horizon of the bath and shower market with unique products that meet the standards and preferences of the consumers. Consistent research and development activities fuel the bath and shower market with an exponential growth rate as discoveries and formulations lead to the introduction of new products that gel well with consumers. For instance, four startups from Bengaluru, a city in India, have come up with homemade soaps that cater to the product preferences of the consumers to a certain extent. This development highlights the startup trend that’s spreading rapidly across the bath and shower market.
A large chunk of consumers are also opting for cruelty-free products, that is, products that do not harm or kill animals. The antibacterial soap category may see a boost in sales across the forecast period as it is believed that these soaps kill bacteria or viruses more efficiently than normal soaps. Bathing products have shown huge potential in the country in the last decade. Indian consumers are spending a lot of money on their grooming and care — be it for men or women. They are getting more demanding about even 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 experiment-minded youth are the two major end users of body wash and shower gel in India, and thus this category is majorly confined to the urban markets. Being premium, these products offer better margins and help companies rein in their sliding profits. Consumers are now conscious of product formulations and are looking for natural and chemical-free products. It can now be seen that the hydrating and moisturizing claims are high in products made with natural ingredients. Apart from botanical and herbal products, products with cow-derived ingredients are also seen. Product innovations are seen across formats and textures like salts, granules, scrubs, liquids, and gels. Brands are coming up with solutions that are specific to certain demographic groups like men, products suitable during pregnancy, as well as innovative products that address specific skin-related concerns. Today, brands in India have an opportunity to address consumer demands by providing solutions made with natural ingredients, soothing fragrances, anti-bacterial properties, and gender-specific products. Format and texture innovations could aid the sensory experience and ease of use, in turn increasing the brand value. In the bar soap category, traditional beauty soaps are the highest selling soaps in India, followed by herbal and health soaps. 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. Due to the dominance of these aged soaps, HUL and other major players operating in the bar soap category still find it difficult to sustain in this region. On the other hand, the market scenario has completely changed after Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved has made its entry into a number of categories, including bath and shower. Indian consumers have fully diverted 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.
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 the shower gel category, but now it is expanding fast in urban cities. Higher disposable income and a change in the lifestyle of the younger generation are the key growth drivers for this expansion. On the other hand, bathing is considered a therapeutic activity in Ayurveda, and consumers are looking for products and wellness treatments that can help them relax their minds and bodies in the most natural ways possible. With busier lifestyles, Indian consumers are dedicating their time to relaxation in a bid to lead a healthy lifestyle. This creates an opportunity for brands to offer solutions that can help consumers heal and de-stress through bath and shower products naturally. Fragrances that help in enhancing the sensorial experience are likely to attract such consumers. As this market grows, brands have an opportunity to offer gender-specific products that suit the needs and requirements of male consumers. COVID-19 Impacts: The wake of COVID-19 has had a steady impact on market growth. The lockdown imposition has created panic buying among the customers, which resulted in product shortages in bathtubs and showers. This is due to the increasing awareness of the importance of hygiene for controlling the spread of the virus. However, the requirement for more frequent hand washing is set to lead to greater demand over the next year for bar soap and liquid soap, with the latter being particularly popular as a way of optimizing hygiene levels and avoiding the spread of the virus. Major Companies and their Brands The market for bath soap and shower market is rapidly growing in developing country like India. Companies weather small or big have been engaged in making their presence felt. Some of the major companies with their brands are stated as follows. • ITC Limited - Vivel, Fiama Di Wills, Essenza Di Wills, Superia • Hindustan Unilever Limited - Lux, Lifebouy, Dove • The Himalaya Drug Company - Himalaya Neem and Turmeric Soap, Himalaya Herbal Cucumber Soap, Himalaya Herbal Cucumber Soap, Himalaya Herbals Cream and Honey Soap, Himalaya Moisturizing Almond Soap. •Wipro Consumer Care Limited - Santoor, Chandrika, Yardley, Mitu. •Beiersdorf India Private Limited- Nivea •The Colgate Palmolive (India) Limited – Palmolive •Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL) - Cinthol, Godrej No.1 , Fair Glow, Godrej Shikakai • Reckitt Benckiser (India) limited – Dettol • Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited - Mysore Sandal Considered in this report • Geography: India • Base Year: FY 2016-17 • Estimated Year: FY 2022-23 • Forecast Year: FY 2027-28 Aspects covered in this report • Global bath and shower market with its value and forecast along with its segments • India bath and shower market with segment (bathing soap and body wash & shower gel) along with value and forecast • Product price and variant analysis • Bath and show products import and export analysis • Various divers and challenges • Ongoing trends and developments • Five force models • Top profiled companies • Strategic recommendation Segment covered in the report Bathing soap market • Premium soap • Standard soap • Herbal & health soap • Deo soap • Baby soap Body wash & shower gel Approach of the report: This report consists of combine approach of primary as well as secondary research. Initially secondary research was used in order to get the understanding of the market and listing out the companies that are present into the market. The secondary research consist of third party sources such as press release, annual report of companies, analyzing the government generated reports and databases. After gathering the data's from secondary sources primary research was conducted by making telephonic interviews to the leading players about how the market is functioning and then conducted trade calls with dealers and distributors of the market. Post this we have started doing primary calls to consumers by equally segmenting consumers in regional aspects, tier aspects, age group and gender. Once we have primary data with us we have started verifying the details obtained from secondary sources. Intended audience This report can be useful to Industry consultants, manufacturers, suppliers, associations & organizations related to bath and shower products industry, government bodies and other stakeholders to align their market-centric strategies. In addition to marketing & presentations, it will also increase competitive knowledge about the industry.