Increasing penetration of washing machines, growing urbanization, rising disposable incomes and effectiveness of premium products over standard ones are attracting Indian consumers.
In India, laundry care market consists of detergents and fabric care. A detergent is a surfactant or a mixture of surfactants with cleaning properties in dilute solutions. There are three forms of detergent namely powder, bar and liquid detergent. On the other hand, fabric care includes fabric conditioners and fabric whiteners.
Fabric conditioners are liquid compositions added during the rinse cycle to make clothes acquire a soft touch. These products work by depositing lubricating chemicals on fabrics treated to make them feel soft, reduce static cling, and impart a fresh fragrance. Fabric whitener or liquid blue is a product used to improve the appearance of textiles, especially white fabrics. They contain a blue dye or pigment or a solution of fine blue powder. During the washing process, the fabric picks up the blue color, which makes it 'appear' whiter.
According to recently published report of Stats and Reports “India Laundry Care Market Outlook, 2021”, the laundry care market was growing with a CAGR of more than 12% over last five years. Detergents are widely used in India as compared to fabric care products. Detergents are usually classified into three segments viz. premium, mid-range (economic) and popular. From last few years, economic and mid-range segment are registering heavy sales as products under this segment are affordable to Indian consumers. However, consumers are now gradually shifting to high-value products like premium detergents and liquid detergents.
Growing penetration of washing machines in the country is driving the demand for washing machine powders and liquids. A few years back, liquid detergents were almost unheard of. But in coming years, the industry will witness more and more companies producing liquid detergents alongside powder detergents and laundry bar soaps. There is a rise in the need to move away from manual handling of chemicals which is not in the case with powders. The liquid detergent is as effective as the powder detergent. What makes liquid more popular is the ease of operation and improvement in productivity with the automated dosing system.
Similarly, fabric conditioners which are priced premium and used along with detergents, have started growing. Although the products are supplementary products, demand is generating from urban and semi-urban areas. Softening of fabrics, extending life of clothes, prevention of musty odour on clothes, reduction in the formation of wrinkles, enhancing the clothes endurance ability against stains and enabling efficient glide of iron during ironing are some of the benefits of fabric conditioners which are driving sales in this category.