Opportunities for natural fruit and vegetable disinfectants in India

Hygiene products to address specific consumer concerns

Marico's Veggie clean fruit and vegetable disinfectant. Photo-nykaa via internet

Covid-19 offers fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies an opportunity to develop hygiene products that address specific consumer concerns. One category is rarely acknowledged during pre-Covid-19 times but now presents an opportunity for natural disinfectants for fruits and vegetables in India, according to GlobalData.

Covid-19 presents opportunities for disinfectants

Consumers in India usually wash fruits and vegetables under the running tap water before consumption but are now doing it due to confusion as to whether or not Covid-19 can be transmitted through produce or not. Niche food disinfectants targeting fruit and vegetables may appeal to consumers in India, especially to those 45 % who now buy more fresh fruits and vegetables than before the Covid-19 outbreak.

Kshama Raj, consumer analyst at GlobalData, comments, “Although online food delivery is available, several consumers are concerned about food preparation and safety, resulting in the majority of them preferring to cook at home. These concerns stem from the fact that agricultural produce passes through multiple hands before being sold. Unsubstantiated rumors of some vendors intentionally infecting edible goods also add to consumer anxiety, even if proven false later. This has put food disinfection at the forefront of many consumers’ minds in India.”

In addition, as specialized disinfection liquids relate to food, it is important that consumers also perceive them as safe to consume, highlighting the importance of natural ingredients. Even before the Covid-19 outbreak, the ingredients used in household care products were important to nearly half (48%) of consumers in India, with a further 85% stating that they proactively seek household products that comprise all or some natural ingredients.

Raj adds, “Food companies that emphasize safety, natural ingredients and convenience are likely to be valued in India during these times. Capitalizing on the shifting consumer mind-set on food safety, two Indian FMCG companies, Marico and ITC, have recently introduced vegetable and fruit cleaning liquids under the Veggie Clean and NimWash brands, respectively.”

The Indian Prime Minister’s appeal to the general public ‘to go vocal on local’ encourages Indian companies to introduce new concepts with preventative benefits in both the food and hygiene categories.

Raj concludes, “Disinfectants designed exclusively for fresh fruit and vegetables can appeal to 81% of consumers in India whose household and laundry product choices are always or often influenced by how a product impacts their health or wellbeing, significantly higher than the global average of 66%. Considering this strong health-focus with Covid-19 and the current concerns about the potential infection risks posed by fresh fruits and vegetables, it is likely that Veggie Clean and NimWash have identified a solution that will resonate with the millions of consumers in India.”


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