While summer is to a large extent
synonymous with companies introducing special product
variants, this time around the soap sector is
witnessing new launches with a slight difference.
VVF Ltd, which already has soap
brands DoyCare and Jo, introduced a new soap, Shiff,
which combines the properties of an anti-bacterial and
a beauty soap.
Piyush Jindal, vice-president
(personal care), VVF Ltd, said, “The soap sector has
not seen too much innovation, but if the sector has to
grow, companies will have to introduce need-based
products. Our studies showed that a product of this
sort would work well in the market.”
Earlier last month, Godrej Consumer
revamped its Vitamin E-based soap, Evita, to an
anti-wrinkle product. HK Press, president, Godrej
Consumer, said, “The idea behind Evita is to
substitute anti-ageing cream that the consumer uses
with a soap.”
The company changed the formulation
and is betting on consumers switching over from creams
to the soap.
According to analysts, the Rs
5,000-crore soap market, which has not grown as fast
as expected, will need more players creating unique
categories to fuel growth.
Jindal points out that the five per
cent growth witnessed by the sector has been value and
not volume growth.
This has been largely due to
consumers opting for an upgrade and using more
expensive products as well as a marginal increase in
the price of certain soaps. The volumes have remained
largely stagnant at about 4,500 tonne.
Figures show that there has been a
sharp increase in the number of small regional brands.
Larger players are seeing their
market share being eaten into either by the regional
players or the newer brands.
Earlier last year, Lux had embarked
on its 75th year celebrations by roping in actor
Shahrukh Khan and introducing special variants.
Analysts point out that this was
predominantly an attempt to boost its falling market
share, a ploy which worked well for the company.
Meanwhile, brands such as Dettol and Lux have just
introduced variants, Dettol Cool and Lux Aqua, which
are timed perfectly for summer.