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Social pressure drives Indian consumers' hygiene habits, says research

By Retail4Growth Bureau | March 02, 2022

According to Mintel’s latest research,  the majority of surveyed Indian consumers agree that personal hygiene, such as sanitising hands and wearing masks, is a social, rather than individual, responsibility, which suggests some strong marketing pointers to brands. 

New research findings by Mintel throw up some interesting insights on consumers’ hygiene habits  that would be of interest to  brand marketers. After all, maintaining good hygiene has been heavily promoted as the best measure consumers can take to combat the spread of COVID-19.

So it appears that many consumers’ hygiene habits are now being driven by social pressure. According to Mintel’s latest research,  the majority of surveyed Indian consumers (84% out of the 3,000 Indian internet users aged 18+ ), agree that personal hygiene, such as sanitising hands and wearing masks, is a social, rather than individual, responsibility. Moreover, three in five (60%) Indians say it does not matter if they keep good hygiene practices if others do not.

Speaking about the findings, Triveni Kulkarni, Senior Beauty and Personal Care Analyst at Mintel said, “For consumers, maintaining a good social image drives the use of more cleaning and personal hygiene products. It is imperative for brands to provide consumers with a sense of pride through brand and product ownership and help them appear at the top of their hygiene game by offering a sense of discernment through innovative features and sleek packaging. Brands can also focus on initiatives and promotional activities that help consumers display their cleaning efforts to their peers in order to embed behaviours and boost engagement with the category.”

Hand sanitisation is still believed to be the easiest way to protect against COVID-19. Two in five (41%) Indians strongly agree that using hand sanitisers regularly is still the best hygiene practice, even after the pandemic subsides. Moreover, Mintel research shows that consumers want sanitisers that are suitable for sensitive skin (50%), have natural ingredients (48%), and smell like they contain high-quality scents (46%).

Ease of use is the top growing claim in hand sanitiser launches in India which has significantly grown from 3.7% to 39% between Oct 2018 to Sept 2021, according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD).

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