Packaged foods, beauty, and personal care categories will be the key growth drivers for the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) major Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUL) over the next five years, according to Sanjiv Mehta, Managing Director and CEO of the company. 

Mehta, who retires on June 26, told businessline that both categories are under-penetrated and have substantial scope to grow.  In 2020, the market size of the beauty and personal care industry was valued at one trillion rupees in India. The market size for this industry is likely to increase to about two trillion rupees by the year 2025, according to market insights firm Statista.

Growth engines

“Beauty is still a very nascent category in India, and if you just look at the number of skin products used by Indian consumers versus some other developing country like Thailand, it will give you an insight into how much more we can develop the beauty industry,” Mehta said. The beauty and personal care segment accounted for ₹21,831 crore in revenue in FY 23 for HUL, which is a 12 per cent growth from the previous year.  HUL had reported a total turnover of ₹58,154 crore for FY23.

Also read: HUL now has 19 brands with turnover exceeding ₹1,000 crore

The other growth engine is packaged foods. “In India, while we consume the gross calories required for our daily needs, we are seriously deficient when it comes to vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients. So, there is a huge role to play in the overall health and well-being of the consumers,” said Mehta. 

In addition to these two segments, HUL is actively working on penetrating deeper into the home care segment. “Even categories that are fully penetrated, take, for example, laundry, there is huge scope to move up. From mass powders, you will move to enzymatic powders; from powders, you will move to liquids, from liquids, you will move to capsules. From just cleaning, you’ll move to adjacencies like fabric conditioners. There is immense room to grow in the country,” said Mehta.

Premiumisation agenda

Further, the company plans to continue with its premiumisation agenda across product categories. “India is going to develop, and everyone aspires for better products. And if India keeps growing, consumers will crave better products. So, we are today over-indexed on premiumisation compared to the market. That strategy remains unabated, as people who have more disposable income are relatively resistant to slowing down,” added Mehta.