Smog like conditions, accentuated by a temperature drop and high pollution, in several parts of India has led to deteriorating air quality. This has forced consumers to scurry for air purifiers, whose sales have jumped by up to 30 percent, post Diwali.
Air-purifiers refine the air and clear it of harmful particles. This is crucial, especially for houses with senior citizens and children less than the age of two years, or those with lung-related ailments.
It is estimated that air purifiers are among the fastest growing products in the home appliances space. Annually, about 2.8 lakh to 3 lakh air-purifiers are sold in India, seeing a growth rate of 30 percent every year.
Industry sources told Moneycontrol that a majority of these products are being sold through e-commerce platforms, including Amazon and Flipkart.
Mahesh Gupta, Managing Director, Kent told Moneycontrol that sales after Diwali have surged by 25 percent compared to last year.
“We expect the uptick to continue till the end of winters because customer awareness has been on the rise,” he added.
Gupta explained that sales have predominantly been high in areas around Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) that includes places like Noida and Gurugram.
To cater to the different customer segments, companies have also launched products based on the size of the houses.
Anupam Mathur, Sales Director, New Business-Connected Living Solutions, Honeywell Building Technologies, India said, as severe air pollution levels have become an annual phenomena, they have witnessed a rise in consumer awareness and demand for air purifiers over the past few years.
“With the situation worsening over the few weeks in North India, we have registered a 50 percent growth in sales in October-November 2018, as compared to the same timeline in the previous year,” added Mathur.
Honeywell has launched four new products this year, including a car air purifier and three-room air purifiers.
Prices and brands
On an average, the price of air-purifiers ranges from Rs 8,000 to Rs 45,000 depending on the area that the product covers. October to mid-February is considered to be the peak season for this product.
Among white goods companies, Samsung, Panasonic, Honeywell, Xiaomi, Kent, LG, Philips as well as UK-based Dyson offer products in the air-purifier category in India. Fast moving consumer goods firm Hindustan Unilever had also launched an air-purifier under its Pureit category in November 2017.
Similarly, direct selling FMCG brand Amway India has announced expansion of its consumer durables segment by foraying into the air purification category. To mark its entry in the segment, the company has identified passenger vehicles purifier as the first product in the category.
Sundip Shah, Chief Marketing Officer, Amway India, “The ever-increasing pollution and worsening air quality has acquired threatening proportions in India. In fact, the air quality inside a car can be up to 15 times worse than the air outdoors.”
Shah added that with many people spending a lot of time in the car during their daily commute, the launch of their product could be an essential requirement for commuters in India in the coming years.
Price drop likely?
Dealers, however, said that the middle-class customer segment is waiting for a price-drop in the offline stores to buy the products. It is anticipated that, based on the demand till the end of November, there could be a marginal price drop in December.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Delhi and Varanasi are among the 14 Indian cities that figured in the list of 20 most polluted cities in the world in terms of PM2.5 levels in 2016. The global health body is also coming out with a new report on air pollution and children's health on November 19.
PM2.5 are particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres and they include pollutants such as sulfate, nitrate and black carbon. It poses greatest risk to human health as the fine particles can easily be inhaled into the respiratory tract.