Covid side-effect: Immunity-boosters in demand

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on August 02, 2021

The segment grew by as much as 38% in volumes in the 12-month period ended-May

While demand for hand sanitisers may have witnessed peaks and troughs during the two waves of the pandemic, Indian consumers’ purchase behaviour has been firm on buying immunity-boosting products in the past few months.

According to household data by Kantar, immunity is the fastest growing segment in the overall health and hygiene space. The segment, comprising products such as Chyawanprash, honey and immunity teas, grew by as much as 38 per cent in volumes in the 12-month period ended-May 2021 over the same period in the previous year (All India Urban). In comparison, the segment had registered a growth of 16 per cent in the 12-month period ended May 2020.

At the same time, external hygiene segment, consisting of products such as handwash, hand sanitisers, soap bars and floor cleaners, witnessed a volume growth of 17 per cent in the June 2020-May 2021 period.

The insights and research firm pointed out that the immunity segment seemed to be unfazed by the panic sentiments associated with the waves of the pandemic as consumers’ focus has strongly shifted to overall well-being. Among the immunity-boosting products, Chyawanprash alone garnered a volume growth of 132 per cent during this period. Honey segment’s volume growth was pegged at 29 per cent, while immunity tea segment’s volume growth was estimated to be at 35 per cent.

The survey

In a Kantar survey done in May, while 74 per cent respondents said that building immunity was important, nearly 90 per cent of respondents felt their immunity improved after using immunity-boosting FMCG products last year.

K Ramakrishnan, Managing Director- South Asia, Kantar Worldpanel Division, said, “The immunity segment has been a strong performer over the past few months and the immunity wave is here to stay. We knew that factors around immunity are going to be important during the pandemic. But the extent to which consumers have latched on to immunity-boosting products, has been one of the key surprising consumer behaviours during this period.”

Companies have been reaping benefits from Indian consumers’ focus on health and wellness. According to Dabur India’s annual report for FY20-21, Dabur Chyawanprash clocked nearly 80 per cent growth in revenues while Dabur Honey’s revenues were up by about 40 per cent. “Penetration of some Ayurvedic products like Chyawanprash increased significantly during the year with a growing number of young consumers adopting this time-tested remedy to build their immunity,” the company said.

Published on August 01, 2021

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