Paint makers launch sanitiser products as demand grows due to COVID 19

The market share of the top 3 sanitiser brands fell to 39 per cent in March from 85 per cent in January and February. Over 150 new manufacturers have started making sanitisers in March and now account for 61 per cent market share, says Rakesh Rao.
Paint makers launch sanitiser products as demand grows due to COVID 19

Last week Nippon Paint India’s Decorative Division joined the bandwagon of paint companies who have forayed into sanitiser market after coronavirus started spreading in the country. Sale of sanitisers has zoomed since March when the government started its preparation to fight the COVID 19 pandemic by focusing on hygiene and sanitation and ensuring supply of essential items during the lockdown. 

In March 2020, the Union government asked distilleries and sugar mills to maximise manufacturing of ethanol/ENA - a key ingredient used in making of hand sanitizers. About 45 distilleries and 564 other manufacturers were granted permission to produce hand sanitizers. Government also fixed the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of sanitizers to ensure that hand sanitizers are made available to general public and hospitals at a reasonable price. The retail price of hand sanitizers was fixed at maximum Rs 100 per bottle of 200 ml. The prices of other quantities of hand sanitizers were fixed in the proportion of these prices.

According to a BloombergQuint report, sanitiser market in India has grown more than fourfold after the novel coronavirus outbreak. The market, which was once dominated by leading FMCG companies, is now ruled by new entrants and local brands. Sanitiser market reached Rs 43 crore in March from Rs 10 crore a year ago (source: Nielsen India), as COVID 19 pandemic spread across the country.

The report added that the market share of the top 3 brands - Dettol from Reckitt Benckiser India, Lifebuoy from Hindustan Unilever and Pure Hands by Himalaya Drug Company - fell to 39 per cent in March from 85 per cent in January and February. A total of 152 new manufacturers have started making sanitisers in March, commanding 61 per cent market. The category is expected to grow at an annual rate of 10-15 per cent over the next five years.

Seeing the boom in demand, many non-FMCG players forayed into sanitiser market. Right from pharmaceutical companies (like Cipla) to biscuit makers (like Parle) to big alcobev firms (like Pernod-Ricard, Diageo) entered the market. 

To support the government’s efforts in hygiene and sanitation, many paint manufacturers started producing sanitiser. 

On May 1, 2020, India’s largest paint company Asian Paints made its foray into the hand and surface sanitiser segment by launching Viroprotek range of products. The product is manufactured at company's existing plant at Ankleshwar, Gujarat. The company has been working in the health and hygiene space for some time and had introduced earlier Royale Health Shield, a product which provides bacterial protection for homes. "We felt it apt to consolidate our portfolio in the hygiene space and address the growing requirement of hand and surface sanitisers for increased protection and assist the government in fighting against the COVID 19 pandemic,” said Amit Syngle, Managing Director and CEO, Asian Paints, in a press statement during the launch.

Paint companies are already using ethanol - a key ingredient for making sanitiser - as solvent in paints, lacquers and varnish because it mixes easily with water and many organic compounds.

In the second week of May, JSW Paints Pvt Ltd - relatively a new player in paints segment - announced its entry into the sanitisers market by launching Securall hand sanitisers. The $13-billion JSW Group started the paint division in April 2019 by setting up its first largest and fully-automated industrial coil coatings facility with an annual capacity of 25,000 kilolitre (KL) at Vasind (near Mumbai) and decorative paints unit with 100,000 KL annual capacity at Vijayanagar in Karnataka at a cost of Rs 600 crore. The industrial coil coating caters to B2B segment and decorative paints to B2C segment. JSW Paints manufactures hand sanitizers in 500 ML pack size at its facility at Vasind and is targeting south and west markets initially.

Going beyond sanitiser
On June 4, 2020, Japanese firm Nippon Paint’s Decorative Division has forayed into the health and wellness segment with the launch of a range of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) products including hand sanitizer, facial masks, and hand gloves under the brand MEDIFRESH. 

“COVID-19 has definitely steered the focus towards the importance of personal hygiene and home sanitization, and we at Nippon Paint believe in adapting our solutions to suit the demands of the changing times. Under the new MEDIFRESH segment, we will be initially launching three products – hand sanitizer, facial masks & hand gloves; and subsequently introduce a range of other products like surface disinfectants, aerosols, full cover gear and face shields,” said S Mahesh Anand, President – Nippon Paint (India) Private Limited (Decorative Division), in a press release while commenting on the new initiative.

Increased demand for products that can improve hygiene has prompted AkzoNobel to accelerate the addition of antimicrobial properties to its Interpon D1000 and 2000 range of architectural powder coatings. With cleanliness now on everyone’s agenda, the extra functionality offered by the inclusion of BioCote antimicrobial technology means that building interiors can now be given increased protection against microbes such as bacteria and mould – which can cause issues such as bad odors, staining or material degradation. 
The enhanced Interpon D AM – the first product of its kind in the company’s architectural segment – can be used on a variety of internal surfaces, such as window frames, ceiling tiles, metal office partitions, metal doors and elevator doors. It follows last year’s launch of the company’s antimicrobial Interpon AM range, which is typically used on surfaces in hygiene conscious environments such as hospitals, clinics, changing rooms, schools and public transport.

As personal hygiene and sanitation becomes a top priority for consumers across the world, paint companies - along with others - are aiming to cater to the burgeoning market by providing affordable and effective products to combat the spread of COVID 19. To see whether these products will be a permanent feature of paint makers’ product mix or will they be a temporary phenomenon one will have to wait and watch.
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