Although sanitary protection continued to see solid retail volume and current value growth in 2020, the rates of growth were lower than those seen for many years. The factors preventing a stronger performance were mainly related to COVID-19.
Despite the slower growth rates for sanitary protection in 2020, rising sales were maintained in very difficult circumstances. For those that can afford these products and who already use them, they are seen as essential.
Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care and Johnson & Johnson (India) together continued to dominate sanitary protection in India in value terms in 2020, thanks to the strength of their Always/Whisper and Stayfree brands, respectively. These players have vast distribution networks, reaching even smaller stores, with Procter & Gamble in particular having expanded its reach into rural areas as awareness and acceptance of sanitary protection has increased.
After a year of slower although still positive growth rates due to COVID-19 in 2020, in 2021 sanitary protection is expected to bounce back to rates of growth similar to those seen pre-pandemic, with double-digit increases in both retail volume and current value terms. In a continuation of the trend seen in 2020, standard towels with wings is set to see the strongest increase.
Towels without wings do not account for notable sales within slim/thin/ultra-thin towels, and sales of standard towels without wings fell throughout the review period. Therefore, for the past couple of years bigger brands such as Whisper from Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care and Stayfree from Johnson & Johnson (India) have been reducing their SKUs with no wings.
Sanitary protection in India still has huge unmet potential – the second biggest in the Asia Pacific region after China. Although efforts to raise awareness were interrupted by COVID-19 in 2020, a key driver of growth in the review period was the government’s promotion of menstrual hygiene and its attempts to try and remove the stigma attached to menstruation.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Sanitary Protection industry in India with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Sanitary Protection research and analysis database.
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