In 2012, the Indian laundry care market grew by 9% in current value terms to reach a value of Rs136 billion in 2012. The value growth between 2007 and 2012 was faster mainly due to the adoption of laundry detergents by a huge population of consumers.
Large numbers of rural consumers shifted to branded hand wash detergents such as Nirma and Ghari. In addition, many urban consumers switched to automatic and semi-automatic washing machines that led to the growth of standard and automatic detergents.
However, value sales in 2012 grew in line with the past five years mainly due to the growing uptake of high-priced automatic and standard detergents by urban consumers.
The growing shift of rural consumers from unpackaged and loose detergents to branded detergents contributed to the growth of laundry care in 2012. The uptake of branded detergents in rural areas including villages was driven by marketing campaigns organised by companies such as Rohit Surfactants Pvt Ltd and Fena Ltd which enjoy strong distribution and reach in rural areas.
Additionally, the growing penetration of washing machines coupled with the increasing acceptance of automatic detergents such as Surf Excelmatic by urban consumers, fuelled further growth.
Growing from a small base, fabric softeners increased by the fastest pace of 28% to continue outpacing in-wash spot and stain removers that grew by 23%. Fabric softeners witnessed further growth in popularity as consumers preferred to enjoy the soft touch and fragrances that fabric softeners such as Comfort Fabric Softener offered.
In 2012, Hindustan Unilever launched single rinse conditioner under the brand "Comfort One Rinse Fabric Softener" to cash in on the potential growth of conditioners.
India does not have an established network of organised laundrettes in any region. There are extremely limited branded outlets, like FabricSpa which is a chain operated by Jyothy Laboratories. Independent laundrettes continued to be found only in urban areas such as Delhi and Bangalore. Additionally, community-level laundry wash is usually done by common helpers who carry out laundry services for a group of people staying in the same area.
Dry cleaning continued to enjoy huge popularity in India and one can find dry-cleaners at every nook and corner of the city. People usually get their blazers, party clothes, woollen and other delicate clothes dry-cleaned.
Hindustan Unilever Ltd continued to maintain the lion's share of laundry care, at 38% in 2012. The company enjoys a long established presence in automatic and other detergents. Furthermore, it continued to offer various products at different price points that helped to cater to a wider consumer base. The company's offerings included Wheel for economy, mid-priced Rin, and Surf Excel at a premium price point.
For more information on the Indian laundry care market, see the latest research: Indian Laundry Care Market
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