In India, approximately 60% of women are diagnosed with vaginal and urinary tract diseases and infections every year due to poor menstrual hygiene. Growing awareness about intimate hygiene and increase in preference for sanitary products like tampons and panty liners have garnered a huge demand for feminine hygiene products in the country. The entry of new players and start-ups is expanding the feminine hygiene products market in India, which was valued at INR 25.02 Bn in 2018 and is expected to reach INR 58.62 Bn by 2024, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of ~14.92%, during the 2019-2024 period.
Market Segment Analysis:
Segmentation based on product usage:
Out of the 365 Mn menstruating women in India, only ~18% of them use sanitary napkins and the rest ~82% of them, living in semi-rural and rural India, use unhygienic products like newspapers, cloths, rags, dried leaves, plastics, and wood shavings during menstruation. Most women living in urban areas are aware about menstrual hygiene, and can easily avail sanitary napkins from chemists, pharmacies and grocery stores. In rural India, women make use of unhygienic products due to lack of awareness and unavailability of feminine hygiene products. Further, they are often discouraged from buying sanitary napkins, since it is considered a luxury item.
Segmentation based on distribution channel:
Based on distribution channel, the feminine hygiene products market is mainly segmented into supermarkets, hypermarkets, pharmacies, drug stores, and online e-commerce websites, among others.
Key growth drivers of the market:
• Education has made women aware of the importance of feminine and menstrual hygiene. With improved literacy rate, women have become acquainted with the various alternatives to sanitary napkins available in the market, like tampons, menstrual cups and panty liners. As a result, demand for feminine hygiene products has picked up in recent years.
• The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan initiative of the Indian government involves the support of schoolteachers, and state and district administrations for the implementation of safe menstrual hygiene practices in semi-rural and rural areas. Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram, another initiative of the Indian government, was launched in 2014 to raise awareness about menstrual hygiene across schools. This program is aimed at ensuring access to subsidised sanitary products and encourage safe menstrual hygiene practices across the country, especially in semi-rural and rural areas.
Key deterrents to the growth of the market:
• Although the Indian government has launched several awareness programs across the country about menstrual hygiene, menstruation continues to be a taboo subject. As a result, women have reservations when it comes to buying feminine hygiene products from pharmacies or local shops, especially in rural areas, thereby impeding the growth of the market.
• The average price of a packet of sanitary napkin, consisting of six to eight pads, varies between INR 50 to INR 85. In a developing country like India, women in rural areas use traditional products like newspapers, plastics, cloths, rags, and other unhygienic products during menstruation, which cost much less than feminine hygiene products available in the market. This differentiation in price impacts the adoption of feminine hygiene products on a large scale, which may hamper the growth of the feminine hygiene products market in India.
In India, the feminine hygiene products market is dominated by a number of players like Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care Limited , Johnson & Johnson Private Limited, Unicharm India Private Limited, Kimberly Clark Lever Private Limited, Saathi Eco Innovations India Private Limited, and Sudh Plus Hygiene Products Private Limited. In 2018, among the major companies operating in the country, Whisper by Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health care Limited, held the largest market share (51.42%), followed by Stayfree and Kotex. This is because Whisper, Stayfree, Kotex have launched lower priced variants of intimate hygiene products, making them affordable for women belonging to the different social strata of the country.
• Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care Limited
• Elize Lifestyle Private Limited
• First Step Digital Private Limited
• Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited
• Heyday – Organic Biodegradable Sanitary Napkins and Pads
• Redcliffe Hygiene Private Limited
• Saathi Eco Innovations India Private Limited
• Shudh Plus Hygiene Products Private Limited
• Unicharm India Private Limited
• Johnson & Johnson India
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