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Dengue fears push up mosquito-repellent sales in Bengal

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 13, 2017

Anti-mosquito product manufacturers makinga killing in the East



As dengue fears loom, residents of Kolkata are frantically stocking up anti-mosquito products, with the result that the Eastern region has posted the highest growth in sale of mosquito repellents this year.

The flavour of the season continues to be vaporisers and out-of-home personal care products such as creams and roll-ons.

Justified fear

Compared with Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha, Bengal is worst-affected. And the fear is justified.

According to data from the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, there are 10,697 cases of dengue in Bengal (till October this year) and 19 deaths. In both cases, it is amongst the top 5 dengue affected states of country.

In 2016, there were over 22800 dengue cases and 45 deaths, making Bengal the highest in the country.

Both Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) – makers of Good Knight – and Dabur (makers of Odomos) confirm to a rise in numbers from the East.

Rising demand

According to Praveen Dalal, Head, Sales, GCPL India and Business Head, GCPL- SAARC, the company has seen an increase in consumer off take in Kolkata and its surrounding areas for Good Knight over the last 4-6 weeks. This is in line with the demand trends that are noticed in case of areas with higher infestation.

“Over the last 4-6 weeks, we have seen a significantly higher level of demand from our trade partners, across formats, including our recently introduced personal repellent range (fabric roll-on, patches, gel),” he told BusinessLine in an emailed response.

In fact, industry sources say roll-ons and patches have caught on the fancy of parents who often use these to protect their kids from mosquito bites.

“Over the last few weeks, we have seen an increase in demand for Goodknight personal repellents (fabric roll-on, patches, gel). This has led to our sales more than quadrupling in the last month,” he added.

Dabur too is has seen good growth here. “In terms of growth, the East has seen the highest growth this year,” Rohit Prakash Gupta, Marketing Head – Home Care, Dabur India said.

The company is also ramping up its distribution in the region; while it is planning to reach out to more outlets that spread across smaller neighbourhood stores and chemist shops.

Market size

The Indian home insecticides market is estimated at over ₹4,500 crore, sources say. And mosquito repellents are just a part of this.

While, Dabur’s Odomos continue to occupy over 85 per cent market share in the outdoor personal care category; Good Knight remains the only other organised player.

In case of the in-home offerings; vapourisers remain the more dominant choice over both coils and mats. Major brands that are into the in-home segment include Good Knight, All Out and Maxo.

Local stores have also upped stocks. Take for instance, the case of Naresh Jana of Adi Mahakali Stores, a neighbourhood store in North Kolkata. Jana was more happy stocking vaporisers.

But for the last three months, he has been stocking up on Odomos (mosquito repellent cream) and Good Knight cooling gels.

“The demand is more for creams, fabric repellents and vaporisers. Vapouriser sales have doubled for me,” he told BusinessLine.

A few kilometres away, Saroj Mukherjee of Sanjoy Medical Stores is busy making calls. He wants to place orders for Odomos, which has seen a near seven-fold-jump in sales.

“I hardly sold one or two Odomos tubes a week. Now I am selling at least 10 – 15 a week. I have even ordered the roll-ons now. People are asking for whatever is available,” he maintains.

Shortages

But, even then, there are pockets of shortage in the city. The shortage is more noticeable in south or east Kolkata; where maximum instances of dengue are being reported.

Companies agree and point out that they are taking corrective action.

“We follow a replenishment model that helps us respond to constantly changing consumer demand patterns. So, our teams are working to keep pace with this increased demand and ensure that our products are made available to consumers,” Godrej’s Dalal, said.

Published on November 13, 2017
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