Household Care

India’s $8.2 billion household care industry encompasses the categories of fabric care, dish soap, surface care, toilet care, home insecticides, and air care. 

Upper middle class families in India typically had affordable paid staff to clean the dishes and wash their clothes by hand. But the use of machines has become much more common in recent years.

Laundry care is a major category, accounting for 64% of the household care sector. The rise in disposable income has increased the desire for convenience in laundry services. Liquid and powder detergents are becoming more prevalent, as the Indian middle class prefers speedy and convenient household care. Hindustan Unilever, owned by U.K.-based Unilever, dominates this segment with its Wheel, Surf Excel, and Sunlight detergents, Comfort fabric softener, Rin bar soap and bleach. Michigan-based Amway Corporation established Amway India, which produces another popular detergent, the SA8 Gelzyme. Procter & Gamble’s Ariel and Tide are among India’s most trusted fabric care brands. Successful domestic firms in this category include Nirma and Godrej.

It is common in India for clothes to be washed by machine but then line dried, rather than dried in gas or electric drying machines

The dish soap category evolves as the Indian middle class gravitates towards dishwashers. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, dishwashers increased in popularity throughout India, since paid household staff were not available to wash the dishes. This reduces the need for traditional dish soap bars, while increasing the need for dishwasher-specific detergents. Hindustan Unilever’s Vim is one of the most popular products in this segment. Other significant brands include Jyothy Labs’ Pril line (purchased from Henkel). 

The surface care industry experienced a spike in demand due to the pandemic, but since has returned to a normal level of demand. This segment consists of household cleaners and antimicrobial products, and is now tending towards eco-friendly and sustainable products. Reckitt Benckiser’s liquid antiseptic Dettol and multipurpose cleaners Easy-off Bang, Colin, and Lizol(known as Lysol in the US) are the most prominent, followed by Hindustan Unilever’s Cif household cleaner.

In the toilet care category, Reckitt leads with its Harpic toilet bowl cleaner. Other products include Hindustan Unilever’s Domex germicidal cleaner and Dabur India’s Sani Fresh toilet cleaner.

The home insecticide category includes pest killers and repellents ranging from lotions to aerosol sprays. Godrej is a leader in this industry with its Good Knight mosquito repellent and Hit pest repellent. Reckitt’s Mortein insecticide is also prominent.

The air care category consists mainly of air fresheners. Dabur India is one of the leaders in this segment. Dabur’s Odonil, Procter & Gamble’s Ambi Pur, and Godrej’s AER are the most common air fresheners in India.

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