Consumer goods firm Dabur said on Tuesday that it plans to enter India’s feminine care market, which is dominated by multinationals Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Unicharm. In the Rs 5,400-crore sanitary napkin segment, Dabur’s new product under the Fem brand will compete with P&G’s Whisper and J&J’s Stayfree.
Menstruation remains a taboo in most of the country, and many women don’t use hygienic methods of protection during periods, despite efforts by companies to persuade them to use pads through education, awareness campaigns and advertisements.
“The world around us is evolving at an ever-fast pace after Covid” and hygiene has become one of the biggest concerns for everyone, said Smerth Khanna, business head for ecommerce and modern trade at Dabur. “We looked and understood our consumers’ needs and realised the gap in the feminine hygiene space, where the consumers had to have a superior product at a pocket-friendly price,” he added.
The company will launch the product initially through ecommerce platform Flipkart before rolling it out at other channels, especially modern trade. The use of sanitary napkins in India is very low at 22%. While more than twothirds of women in urban centres use hygienic methods of protection during periods, rural areas, a large market for Dabur, need more attention.
“Feminine care is of utmost importance to every woman and our endeavour is to make feminine care accessible and affordable to them,” said Kanchan Mishra, Flipkart’s senior director, consumables (FMCG), general merchandise and home.
For sanitary napkins, online channels contribute Rs 600 crore of the total sales. Within Dabur, its digital first products have annualised sales of Rs 100 crore. “We look at ecommerce as the innovation cradle for our brands. New products and format innovations, particularly in premium range, are launched first on ecommerce. Once they build scale, we extend these products and brands to other channels,” Dabur CEO Mohit Malhotra said.