NEW DELHI: As the devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across India, leading FMCG companies are witnessing a strong surge in demand for their health and hygiene products, including hand sanitiser, hand wash, disinfectant spray and germ protection wipes.
Companies such as ITC, Himalaya Drug Company and Patanjali said they have ramped up their production capacity to address spurt in demand, assuring that their hygiene products are available to the consumers.
The companies had witnessed a slowdown in the consumption pattern of these items in the past 2-3 months.
Now, they have reviewed their production plans as per the current situation and are rapidly scaling up and have streamlined their production capacities.
"We are witnessing a strong uptick in demand for our hygiene portfolio across some geographies. The robustness and agility of our supply chains provide the flexibility and enable us to address the emerging demand trends," ITC Divisional Chief Executive (Personal Care Products) Sameer Satpathy told PTI.
Similarly, Himalaya Drug Company Business Director (Consumer Products Division) Rajesh Krishnamurthy said, "We have shored up our logistics, sales priorities and capabilities to cater to the COVID-19-induced business environment." At Himalaya, he said "production planning is done almost two months in advance hence we didn't anticipate a surge in cases during late March and early April. We have accordingly reviewed the production plans as per current situation".
Krishnamurthy further said, "We will continue to ensure that product categories like hand wash, hygiene category, home care and sanitisers are made available to the consumers." Haridwar-based Patanjali Ayurved also said a sudden spike in demand has created supply constraints but it is temporary and the company has streamlined its production capacities.
"We are gearing up and soon everywhere these products will be available," Patanjali spokesperson S K Tijarawala said. The second wave is so spontaneous that none thought of such massive and mass spread with speed, he added.
"We have focused and streamlined all our production capacities to cater the demand of cononil, Shwasari Vati, Anu Tel, Giloy Ghan Vati, Tulsi Ghanvati, Chavyanprash and Immunogrit, etc, immunity booster, sanitisers, handwash and medications," Tijarawala added.
Edelweiss Financial Services Executive Vice-President Abneesh Roy said that due to the second wave of the pandemic, the home hygiene category will witness enhanced demand.
"Hygiene products will see a positive filip.
Products like soaps, masks, surface cleaning predicts, sanitisers and possibly mosquito repellants will see a rebound," he said.
According to him, companies such as HUL, Godrej Consumer Product Ltd and ITC will benefit from this.
However, he also added that although products like hand sanitisers are coming back but are likely to be short-lived due to the shift towards the use of soaps/hand wash.
"In the first four months of 2019-20, sanitisers saw a mad rush with even liquor, paint and many non-FMCG companies launching the product.
"However, in the next two quarters, demand for sanitisers plunged which led to most new entrants exiting the category. Sanitisers are making a comeback due to rising covid cases," he said.
The segment will consolidate in favour of companies like Reckitt and HUL, which have a much stronger brand equity in this space, he added.