The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in a surge of local brands launching hygiene products such as hand sanitisers and hand wash. A report published by Nielsen on the impact of COVID-19 on the FMCG market says that as many as 152 new hand sanitiser manufacturers entered the fray in March.
The value share of the new players has grown 46 per cent. While market leaders such as HUL and Reckitt Benckiser had an 85 per cent market share in February, this was reduced to 39 per cent by March, the Nielsen report says.
Apart from many local players entering the fray, a lot of bigger FMCG majors such as Marico, Cavinkare, Emami and P&G, which earlier were not present in hand sanitisers segment, have launched their respective sanitiser brands. "Local brands have entered the space to plug the short-supply. I don't see them staying for the long-term," says Retail Expert and former Shoppers Stop MD Govind Shrikhande. The demand for hand sanitisers during March went up by 340 per cent, while demand for handwash increased by 60 per cent.
While the beginning of the lockdown period saw consumers indulging in panic buying, the Nielsen reports shows a considerable slowdown in sales across traditional trade, modern retail and ecommerce by the end of March. The report says that traditional trade, which was growing at 5 per cent in value-terms during December-February period (vis-a-vis the previous year), grew at 10 per cent in the week of March 22, when the lockdown began (vis-a-vis the year ago). By March-end, the growth dipped to -8 per cent (vis-a-vis a year ago).
Similarly, the modern trade, which was growing at 24 per cent in value in the December-February period (versus a year-ago period), grew by 63 per cent (versus a year-ago period) in March 22 week. The growth slipped to 6 per cent by March end.
Similarly, e-commerce growth, from 103 per cent in March 8 week, dipped to -64 per cent in March 29 week (value growth versus average sales in February. "The panic situation has died out. People are now worried about what they can do for themselves, their families and the nation during this difficult period," says Prasun Basu, President (South Asia Zone), Nielsen Global Connect.