Deodorant market in India

When we think about personal care products, the image of a woman comes into our minds immediately. However, in the deodorant segment in India, men have overtaken the women with a significant lead. In fact, of the Rs 1,400-crore deodorant market, the male segment contributes Rs 1,000 crores, pegging the male to female ratio at 70:30. Greater usage of deodorants among Indians can be attributed to greater awareness of hygienic practices and affluence. Deodorants are used by both men and women in the middle and upper classes and with greater disposable income in these families, more and more people are able to afford personal care products that are not considered a necessity.

Hindustan Unilever is the market leader in deodorants, with 31.5% market share. Its flagship product, Axe, is highly sought after by both middle and upper classes. Other brands under Hindustan Unilever are Rexona and Dove, whose deodorants are popular in the Indian market too. After Hindustan Lever, Marico Co Ltd. and McNroe Chemicals are the biggest industry players in the deodorant segment. Hindustan Unilever’s Axe is the leading product in this segment, garnering 25% of the market value, followed by Marico’s  Set Wet, with 10% market value, and McNroe Chemicals’ Wild Stone garnering 9% market value.    

Deodorants come in various forms, including roll-ons, sticks, and sprays. There are a number of deodorants for males but there are very few deodorants for females. This is because deodorants and antiperspirants have recently been introduced to the Indian market. For decades, the Indian market has been relying on perfumes to enhance the scent of the body. And as such, females in the country continue to use perfumes instead of deodorants and antiperspirants. Also, deodorants are used by those who are constantly outdoors, and this is dominated by males. It is only in the last few decades that there has been an increase in the number of Indian women spending ample amount of time outdoors, which is why the deodorant market for females is still in the infant stage. Some of the deodorant brands that cater to the females are Nike, Fa, Dove, and Nivea. Experts predict that the deodorant industry will grow in the next few years. In fact, the deodorant market is projected to grow at 25% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) over the next five years. As net household income increases and with more disposable income, there is ample scope for the growth of the deodorant market in India.  

An increase in the usage of deodorants can also be attributed to the Indian climate, which is hot humid, especially between the months of March and September, forcing consumers to purchase antiperspirants and deodorants to keep their bodies fresh and cool. Deodorants were introduced to the market to help people eliminate body odour. However, some of these products contain toxic chemicals, many of which are carcinogenic in nature, which can be harmful to one’s body. Not many consumers are aware of the dangers of prolonged usage of deodorants; however, manufacturers are constantly experimenting with the ingredients in deodorants to ensure minimal risk to consumers. 

India perfumes and deodorants market stood at over $ 970 million in 2019 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 13%, to surpass $ 2 billion by 2025 on the back of rapid urbanization and emergence of online retail channel. Moreover, perfumes and deodorants manufacturers are offering a wide variety of innovative products such pocket perfumes, herbal perfumes, etc., which is further stimulating market demand across India.

Additionally, manufacturers are focusing on innovative branding and marketing of products, which is further anticipated to aid the growth of India perfumes and deodorants market in the coming years. Some of the leading players in India perfumes and deodorants market are Vini Cosmetics Private Limited, ITC Limited, Nivea India Private Limited, Hindustan Unilever Limited, Emami Limited, J.K Helene Curtis Limited, McNroe Consumer Products Private Limited, Godrej Consumer Products Limited, Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting and Marico Limited.

Pocket-sized deodorants launched by brands such as Engage, Axe, Set Wet and Yardley continued to gain traction in 2019 leading to the entry of more industry players seeking to benefit from the popularity of these products. These included Marico’s Set Wet and Wipro’s Santoor brands. The Fogg brand by Vini Cosmetics led the overall category in 2019 and benefited from the strongest brand recall. The company continued to see success with this brand due to its strong value proposition.

Sales of deodorants are now expected to grow by 3% in 2020 in 2019 constant value terms in light of the impact of COVID-19. This compares to an expected 5% rise forecast for 2020 during research conducted at the end of 2019 before the spread of COVID-19. In light of the economic uncertainty caused by the global pandemic, consumers are set to reduce their spending on deodorants in 2020, with many opting for lower-priced products. Deodorant pumps, deodorant roll-ons and deodorant sprays are set to suffer from lower physical activity during lockdown while replacement demand could normalise by the end of the year.

Demand for deodorants is likely to normalise to some extent by the end of 2020 although the category will continue to be impacted by ongoing economic uncertainty and fears over a second wave of COVID-19. Price sensitivity will make consumers more cautious in their spending, with sales of deodorants likely to be limited to replacement purchases rather than products for stock at home.

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