Marico’s Veggie Clean aims to bridge gap in kitchen hygiene amidst COVID-19 outbreak in India, says GlobalData

Following the news that fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) giant Marico Limited has forayed into the vegetable and fruit hygiene category by launching a vegetable cleaner ‘Veggie Clean’  in India;

Shagun Sachdeva, Consumer Insights Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“With COVID-19 scare sweeping across the world and spreading consciousness about hygiene like never before, companies are making efforts to address the growing demand for hygiene products.

“There is no surprise when Marico announced the launch of ‘Veggie Clean’ in India at a time when the consumers in the country are reaching for hand, body, home and kitchen hygiene products to try and prevent the spread of COVID-19. The move by the company is part of its bigger plan to explore newer growth avenues in the health, hygiene and foods sector.

“According to GlobalData’s COVID-19 Week 5 (from 25 March 2020 and 31 May 2020) survey, 42% of Indian consumers are buying fresh fruits and vegetables more than before. In the wake of COVID-19 fear and evolving consumption patterns, Marico seems to be quick in identifying the unmet need for kitchen hygiene and emerging demand to sanitize fruits and vegetables.

“GlobalData’s COVID-19 consumer survey also reflects that 42% Indian consumers are buying household cleaning products more than before and 38% prefer buying personal care products more than before. While, 69% of consumers are going for healthcare, hygiene, toiletries from the middle to premium price range.

“As India begins reporting an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, FMCG companies are ramping up production, retooling their portfolios or doubling their distribution efforts to ensure availability of hygiene products to meet the massive spike in demand. Household goods and personal hygiene seems to be the winners from the pandemic, with widespread lockdowns and cleanliness concerns driving both a short-term spike and medium to long-term increase in the sector’s value. Companies have realized this and have been running strategic campaigns to create awareness around hygiene.

“Along with Marico, other FMCG companies such as Dabur, ITC, Godrej Emami and Pantanjali have also expanded their portfolio to include health and hygiene products. Most of these companies began with the launch of hand sanitizers, such as ITC Salvon’s hand sanitizer and disinfectant, Dabur Sanitize and Emami BoroPlus sanitizer. These companies now plan to expand their portfolio by exploring newer categories such as floor and surface cleaners, disinfectant sprays and immunity building products. Not only the established brands, but retailers are also betting big on private labels.

“All these companies seem optimistic and hopeful on the medium-term potential of a low penetration category and at the same time planning to take their products deeper in to the markets. In India, fruits and vegetable wash segment is still in the nascent stage. With few smaller players in the market, Marico is best placed to take early mover advantage.”

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