HUL’s Comfort Fabric Conditioner Focuses on the Need for Gender Sensitivity : Bonafide Research

The latest campaign from Hindustan Unilever’s for Comfort – ‘Chota Step, Badi Baat’ – looks to drive home the message that both boys and girls should be associated with doing laundry.
In the ad, a mother notices that her children are conditioned to think that laundry is something that only her daughter will have to learn. She astutely changes this mindset by getting her son involved in the washing process, thus demonstrating that it is equally important for both the son and daughter to learn this chore. The campaign seeks to lead by example and make an impactful change in the future. Comfort fabric conditioners continued to lead market development with sustained high growth. However, Fabric conditioners contribute very little to the fabric care market but represent one of the fastest-growing market segments.
The overall market for fabric care is growing at 10% CAGR respectively. The market is further expected to grow rapidly in the next five years. Fabric care is broadly divided into two segments namely fabric whiteners and fabric conditioners. Fabric whiteners dominate market revenues whereas fabric conditioners have less contribution to the overall fabric care industry. Previously, Indian consumers were hesitant to use fabric conditioners along with detergents as it was not viewed as a need. But with growing awareness people are now currently moving to conditioners for their delicate clothes. fabric conditioner infuses the clothes with a fresh scent and it makes clothes soft. There are additional benefits using fabric conditioner as it reduces the static clinginess of your clothes, and can also help fabric dry quicker, and make clothes easier to iron. Ezee and Genteel from Godrej, Vanish from Reckitt Benckiser, Comfort from HUL, Safewash from Wipro, Bambi from Dabur and Revive from Marico are the major brands operating in this category.
Fabric whiteners, which are classified as ‘laundry aids,’ complement the use of detergents by making clothes whiter. Fabric whiteners can be further classified as bleaches and blues. Bleaches whiten and brighten fabrics and help remove stubborn stains by converting the dirt into colorless, soluble particles that can be easily removed by detergent. Jyothy Laboratories is the prominent brand in the fabric whitener market, along with Rin (HUL) and Robin Blue (Reckitt Benckiser). The popularity of blues in India is rooted in the country’s societal system and cultural values. The cleanliness of clothes has traditionally been regarded as an indicator of the efficiency of the housekeeper, that is, the lady of the house. Consequently, most of the detergents in the country were sold on the ‘our product washes the whitest’ platform.
A majority of the detergent and washing soap advertisements emphasized whiteness and featured literally ‘shining’ white clothes as a symbol of the housewife’s prowess. Fabric whiteners have become more popular in rural areas and are registering more growth as compared to urban as urban consumers are now upgrading to premium detergents which do not require any additional whitener. Hence, the rural market will be the next focus of fabric whitening manufacturers in the forecast period.
Major companies operating in the fabric care market of India are Hindustan Unilever Limited, Jyothy Laboratories Limited, Godrej Consumer Products Limited, Reckitt Benckiser (India) Limited, Marico Limited, Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting Limited., Pidilite Industries Limited, and Dabur India Limited.

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