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Maintaining good hygiene has been heavily promoted as the best measure consumers can take to combat the spread of COVID-19. As a result, many consumers’ hygiene habits are now being driven by social pressure. 

According to Mintel’s latest research, the majority of Indian consumers (84%)* agree that personal hygiene, such as sanitising hands and wearing masks, is a social, rather than individual, responsibility. Moreover, three in five (60%) Indians say it does not matter if they keep good hygiene practices if others do not.

Triveni Kulkarni, Senior Beauty and Personal Care Analyst at Mintel said:

“For consumers, maintaining a good social image drives the use of more cleaning and personal hygiene products. It is imperative for brands to provide consumers with a sense of pride through brand and product ownership and help them appear at the top of their hygiene game by offering a sense of discernment through innovative features and sleek packaging. Brands can also focus on initiatives and promotional activities that help consumers display their cleaning efforts to their peers in order to embed behaviours and boost engagement with the category.”

Indians prioritise hand hygiene

Hand sanitisation is still believed to be the easiest way to protect against COVID-19. Two in five (41%) Indians strongly agree that using hand sanitisers regularly is still the best hygiene practice, even after the pandemic subsides. Moreover, Mintel research shows that consumers want sanitisers that are suitable for sensitive skin (50%), have natural ingredients (48%), and smell like they contain high-quality scents (46%).

Ease of use is the top growing claim in hand sanitiser launches in India which has significant grown from 3.7% to 39% between Oct 2018 to Sept 2021, according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD).

Triveni Kulkarni, Senior Beauty and Personal Care Analyst at Mintel said:

“With the hand sanitiser category now commoditised, consumer involvement doesn’t translate to brand loyalty. There is therefore an opportunity to create brand loyalty by offering differentiation. The continuous use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers can cause skin dryness and this negative user experience can impact frequent usage and brand consideration. Brands could enhance the application experience through sensory elements such as scents, gentle formulas and incorporating skin-conditioning benefits such as hydration or moisturisation to reduce discomfort and dryness and strengthen brand affinity.”

 

Notes to Editors

*3,000 Indian internet users aged 18+, August 2021

 

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