As of 2012, multinational Unilever still managed to hang onto the top spot of the Indonesia home care market despite the continued threat from local player Sayap Mas Utama which maintained its narrow gap to the global giant. In fact, both top players lost out value share in 2012 with a number of smaller players gradually growing in presence. However, there is still such a huge gap between the top two players and the rest of the competitors that the home care industry in Indonesia up to 2012 essentially remained a two-horse race.
A number of product categories clocked robust double-digit value growth in 2012 within home care, ranging from dishwashing products, air care and polishes to toilet care. Of these products, dishwashing registered the strongest increase in value sales as it already has more widespread usage in Indonesia. The strong performance of dishwashing stems largely from Indonesian consumers switching from multi-purpose cream detergents – classified within laundry care – to specific dishwashing liquid products. Meanwhile, air care and toilet care owed their stellar performance to the emerging middle-class phenomenon where more middle-class households purchase these products which are otherwise not seen as essential to have in the home. Polishes' surge in value growth during 2011-2012 meanwhile has come from the resurgence of shoe polish.
With nationwide usage, home care products were still most commonly sold through independent small grocers in Indonesia until 2012 thanks to the widespread presence of this channel across the archipelago. However, modern retailing development has been strong over the years, also affecting the home care industry. Hypermarkets in particular have been gaining value share in 2012 with increasingly more households making purchase of their laundry detergents and floor cleaners in their shopping trips to a hypermarket rather than buying from a nearby independent small grocer. The convenience of one-stop shopping and the variety of choices, as well as more competitive pricing offered by hypermarkets over independent small grocers, have all driven this shift.
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