Lesser-priced grey market products pose a challenge
Despite being present in the organised market for the last 10 years and growing by 11 per cent now, deodorants in India are still an urban trend and a growing category. Efforts by market players have succeeded in narrowing the gap between their products and those in the grey market only to a certain extent. And sprays remain the preferred mode of usage, though roll-ons are more effective.
Speaking to Business Line, Mr Ranju Mohan, Vice-President (Sales), Henkel India, said, "The organised market in deodorants is estimated at Rs 125 crore. Sprays account for 95per cent of the business. This is because people think of deodorant as a fragrance".
This summer has also seen a few launches. Henkel, whose Fa range of deodorants has an 8 per cent market share, has just launched two variants, Pink Paradise and Spicy Black. It is priced Rs 99 for a 150 ml can (with an introductory offer of `20 per cent extra' deo free). Hindustan Lever, which has about 58 per cent market share, sells the Rexona and Axe brands. It recently launched Rexona in 25 ml roll-ons for Rs 30 in a bid to increase penetration for roll-ons.
Prices are on the rise too. HLL hiked the prices of some of its deodorants from Rs 99 to Rs 105 and Rs 110 some time ago and Henkel too is likely to do so. The prices of raw materials, such as the aluminium cans, are on the rise, explains Mr Mohan.
Besides HLL and Henkel, the other market players in the category include TTK Healthcare's Eva, which accounts for 5-6 per cent share, Godrej's Cinthol, Charlie from Revlon, Gillette's brands and CavinKare's Spinz. The grey market continues to thrive — prices are lesser by almost 30 per cent, foreign fragrances continue to be perceived as superior, a larger range is available, and habit, of course, plays its role — even when the same brands are available in the organised market. The grey market itself is estimated at Rs 100 crore.