As Indians prioritize spending, personal care is reduced

Indians seem to be starting to color their hair, wear perfume, take care of their skin and shave their beards again, as offices open and people once again celebrate social occasions. At least that’s what the market data suggests.

Non-essential personal care products – among the hardest hit during the pandemic – have outperformed the overall FMCG category in terms of sales volume growth in recent months after around two years, according to data from goods trackers from NielsenIQ and Bizom consumption. Industry executives said sales were almost back to pre-Covid levels for most categories.

NielsenIQ data for the April-June period shows that while overall FMCG volume was down 0.7% year-on-year, the non-essential personal care segment was up 3.3% , even surpassing the food segment which grew by 1.8% with only impulse food categories, which are linked to out-of-home consumption, growing at a faster rate of 15%. Non-food FMCG volume decreased by 6.4%.

Most of the discretionary personal care categories are in the mid- to high-end segment. The growth in sales of these products defies the historical industry trend that consumers reduce their discretionary spending on consumer products during times of high inflation. Admittedly, the base effect, due to weak sales a year earlier, also contributed to the category’s highest growth rate.

NielsenIQ said categories such as scented deodorants and cologne saw volume growth of more than 40% last quarter, boosted by the summer season as consumers commute to work and entertain while they resumed their normal routines. Categories such as skin creams, coconut oil, hair dyes and talc also grew during the same period last year.

“The economy opened up during Diwali last year. So the base is low and therefore the growth is high. There are also factors like people returning from rural areas to urban areas to work after the reopening of offices. Modern commerce has also opened up and that is certainly having an impact,” said Nivea India Managing Director Neil George.

Bizom’s FMCG July sales by value data show growth of between 7.8% and 50% in non-essential personal care products compared to the same month last year, driven by health-related categories out-of-home use. Again, the fastest growth was for the perfume and deodorant category at 50%. Skincare sales increased by 18.9%, while the shaving category increased by 10.8% and hair color by 7.8%.

“Urban consumption is growing faster”

Akshay D’Souza, head of growth and insights at Mobisy Technologies, owner of Bizom, said an early trend is emerging of urban consumption growing faster with higher economic activity and an increase in out-of-home activities conducted. by schools, colleges and offices are getting back into action.

A spokesperson for the FMCG-to-hotels conglomerate

said beauty categories were showing a recovery and several sub-segments grew more than the pre-pandemic base. “These categories will grow as opportunities expand,” he said.

Reporting its fiscal first quarter results on Wednesday,

said there was strong hair color sales growth in April-June, driven by a rise in the category. , in its April-June quarterly update, said high-end discretionary categories fared relatively better due to a weak base and lower consumption decline in the consumer segment at high income.