Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mera Wala WHITE -Fairness Products in India

Skin lightening or fairness cream is the most dominant category in the Indian Skin Care Market & has become the only cometic product to enter the Indian household customer basket.India is the largest market for fairness products in the world followed by other Asian countries.The connotation of fairness for Indians is associated with British rule.Through the ages Indians have developed a conditioned mindset where fairness is equated with power & superiority.This is the reason that almost all the FMCG & Cosmetic companies in the country have fairness cream in their product portfolio.

The current size of the market is estimated to be around Rs 15,000 crore with players like HUL having 76% of the market share with their power brand Fair & Lovely followed by other players like Godrej's Fair & Glow,Elder's Fair One,Emami's Fair & Handsome,Nivea,Garnier etc.Also players like Dabur & Himalaya have forayed this category.The target audience for the firms is the age bracket 18-30 years;however the age bracket of users has become as low as 12-15 years which constitute almost 13% of the entire segment.Anothar interesting feature of this category is lack of upscale from single-brand usage to multi-brand usage.Therefore inspite of constant education by firms regarding difference in male & female fairness creams,most men continue to use female fairness creams.In TamilNadu Men contribute almost 60% to the sale of female fairness creams.This can also be due to the fact that in most households women is the prime decision making unit & multi-brand fairness cream usage is considered profligacy by them.

There is a constant debate over the efficiency of fairness creams.Typically fairness creams show their action by lowering the melanin content in the skin.However,any extrinsic agent that interferes with normal melanin synthesis(melanogenesis)can be harmful for efficient dermal system functioning.Therefore a good product should only restore correct melanin synthesis & not make it less or more.Ingredients like Hydroquinone & Mercury used in fairness creams are banned by FDA.The prolonged usage of these ingredients lead to a condition called 'Ochnorosis' where there is a permanent darkening of the skin.Ingredients like Kojic Acid which are effective in reducing melanogenesis in the skin are widely used in many fairness creams;however in order to be effective their concentration should be high(>2%).This concentration is hardly found in any skin lightening products available in the market.

Fairness creams as a segment is definitely going to grow in the future.These products have a Pan Indian presence with maximum penetration in Andhra Pradesh & least in Gujarat.Products like Fair & Lovely have also undergone huge product innovation to cater to customers across various SECs.For instance inorder to cater to SEC C & D F&L introduced 9gm sachet to make the product economical.

However,one of the biggest threats for this category can be the wide accpetance of dusky women in Indian Film Industry.Also movies like Dhoom-2 popularized the 'tan look'.Therefore in the future the need of the customer is going to change from 'Fair skin' to 'Healthy skin'.However that future is yet too far & fairness products are here to stay.Afterall for Indians beauty is still skin deep.

No comments:

Post a Comment