Reckitt Benckiser ups presence in laundry and home cleaning segments in India

Stain removers in India are still a small category in a market. Photo: Bloomberg

New Delhi: Local arm of the British fast-moving consumer goods major Reckitt Benckiser has launched new products to boost its laundry and home cleaning categories in India adding more premium variants to some and re-launching some of its key brands here.

In the last two months, the maker of Lizol, Vanish, Harpic launched its global liquid laundry brand Woolite on e-commerce website Amazon to test the premium brand priced375. Then, last month, it also launched a more premium variant of its toilet cleaner Harpic under Harpic Platinum. On Friday, the company also re-launched its stain remover brand Vanish amid shifting consumer demand for cleaning products, said a top executive at the company.

Vanish will now be sold with a new formulation and be accompanied by a new campaign featuring Aparshkati Khurana across TV, Digital and Print. “The formula has improved, the product has improved and we’ve brought in a lot of expertise in the product after extensive research from consumers,” said Sukhleen Aneja, marketing director, south Asia, RB Hygiene Home.

Aneja added that with more consumers in India buying into fast fashion and extending their wardrobe to add more types of apparel, the need for fabric care products has increased.

“Fast fashion is growing, so more and more of us are wearing fabrics which are blended, which are synthetic. They are fragile, they are sensitive. Therefore, garment safety is perhaps the most important to us today than it ever was,” she said.

The new Vanish will be sold in both powders and liquids formats and across different sizes ie 100gm to 800ml; starting from Rs. 59 onwards.

Stain removers in India are still a small category in a market where consumers typically use washing powders, bars and liquid detergents to wash clothes either manually or using washing machines. RB that globally leads the category with its brand Vanish has been making the brand more accessible in India where for instance it launched it in a powder format and sachets starting at 15. The country’s laundry cleaning market is dominated by the likes of Hindustan Unilever, and Procter & Gamble that sell brands such as Surf Excel, Rin, and Ariel. Globally RB sells Vanish in over 70 countries.

“We’re at an inflexion point in India for stain removers. Category penetration is typically in the range of 35-40% globally. In India, it’s in a very nascent stage. To improve that, we have to have the right insights and the right product strategy catering to the specific needs of Indian consumers,” said Abhishek Chuckarbutty, Global Category Director, RB Hygiene and Home.

Aneja added that the company is witnessing rapid premiumisation across home and laundry cleaning products among shoppers in India.

“We’re noticing massive premiumization happening in the market as well with incomes rising and the growth of younger consumers. If we actually see how business in e-commerce and modern trade is evolving, it clearly tells you that we can actually segment the category even within that,” said Aneja making a case for more premium offerings.

As a result, the company has rolled out more premium brands here such as Woolite. “That is a product which is at an even more premium end. It is only on e-commerce right now and offers the benefit of laundry and conditioning,” said Aneja.

Harpic Platinum, a stronger toilet cleaner was recently launched only in France and in India. “So it’s a global launch which has been brought to India at nearly the same time,” said Aneja.

[“source=livemint”]