Godrej Consumer (GCPL) and ITC on Sunday slashed the price of their entry-level hand sanitizer packs under Godrej Protekt and Savlon, respectively, by nearly 66 per cent, in response to Hindustan Unilever (HUL) reducing its prices.
The move also comes as the government characterised masks and hand sanitizers as essential commodities, monitoring its production, distribution, and marketing closely. More players are expected to follow in HUL, GCPL and ITC’s footsteps, sector analysts said.
A 50-ml Godrej Protekt pack will now cost Rs 25 against Rs 75 earlier, Sunil Kataria, chief executive officer (India and SAARC), GCPL, said, with the company ramping up both production and distribution of the item.
A 55-ml pack of ITC’s Savlon, on the other hand, will now be available for Rs 27 versus Rs 77 earlier.
An ITC spokesperson said, “During these challenging times, we have redoubled our efforts to ensure supply of the Savlon range of hygiene products. According to government directives, we’ve already started manufacturing Savlon sanitisers with the new reduced price and are working overnight on rushing new stocks to the market.”
HUL reduced the price of its Lifebuoy hand sanitizers and hand wash as well as Domex floor cleaners by 15 per cent. The products would be introduced in the market within the next few weeks, the company said.
In addition, HUL also committed Rs 100 crore to fight COVID-19, taking a host of other measures including free availability of soaps to needy people, a Rs 10-crore donation for better testing facilities and public awareness programmes.
GCPL has also stepped up effort to raise awareness about hand washing in the fight against the virus, pushing its '#ProtektIndiamovement' across media channels aggressively.
"Our on-ground teams are working relentlessly to replenish stocks across channels in India as we are seeing a growing demand for personal wash products. We are determined to help people tide over the pandemic together, " Kataria said. Last week, GCPL as well as its rivals RB Health, Wipro Consumer, ITC and Jyothy Labs had opted to stay off price hikes in soaps as the outbreak got worse.
HUL, on the other hand, had faced backlash over price hikes within its soaps portfolio, which the company clarified had been done in January, before the outbreak began in India.