In its Q1 results, GSK cited the impact of retailer shutdowns in India on its Consumer performance, and the outlook for India’s CHC market in 2020 remains uncertain. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, India reported slower growth for its consumer healthcare market in 2019 (+8.2%) compared to previous years, owing to India’s macro-economic weakness leading to slowing consumption. This has resulted in some marketers, such as Emami, to rethink launch plans and spurred others, including Dabur, to implement strategies to overcome the slump.
Two weeks ago, it was also reported that Blackmores has paused plans to enter India pending clarity about Covid-19 in the country. CEO Alastair Symington announced the decision at the Macquarie Australia Investment conference. He also stated that Australian sales of immunity products – such as vitamin C supplements and practitioner-only BioCeuticals ArmaForce – have boomed since the beginning of the pandemic, with Google analytics showing an upturn in online searches for information on boosting immunity as Australian households focus on maintaining good health.
With India in the grip of the Covid-19 outbreak, Dabur has brought forward the launch of a range of Ayurveda-backed preventive healthcare and personal hygiene products. These include Tulsi Drops, a mix of five types of rare Tulsi leaves. With antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, the product claims to help boost immunity, relieve cough & cold symptoms and build respiratory health. In an interview with BusinessLine, CEO Mohit Malhotra said he believes the importance of personal hygiene and healthcare products for boosting immunity will grow in the global consumer mindspace, even post-pandemic.
In addition, several marketers have diversified existing derma brands into hand sanitisers to cater to increased demand. Emami has extended its flagship skin care brand BoroPlus with the launch of BoroPlus Advanced Anti-Germ Hand Sanitiser, the company’s first foray into that segment. Along with immunity supplements, antiseptics & disinfectants is clearly among the CHC categories in India achieving accelerating growth, with RB reporting in its Q1 results that Dettol was growing strongly in both Developed and Emerging Markets in Q1, with Covid-19 demand fuelling greater product penetration in UK, Australia, India and China.
Whether growth in Covid-fuelled categories like immunity supplements and antiseptics & disinfectants is enough to offset wider macroeconomic trends in India and supply issues caused by retailer shutdowns remains an issue of great interest for marketers active in India’s CHC market. At present, however, we’re forecasting a further moderate slowdown in the market in 2020.
Nicholas Hall’s New Paradigms for CHC 2019: Over the Horizon includes chapters on How to Innovate, Rx-to-OTC Switch, e-Commerce and Digital Engagement, to name just a few of the key trends explored in the report. Written by Nicholas himself, you can also upgrade your purchase to include a customised webinar. To find out more or to purchase your copy, please contact melissa.lee@NicholasHall.com.