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Market Opportunity

Bio-degradable Sanitary Napkins in Bangladesh June, 2016


Copyright Š 2016 by Ritu First Edition, June 2016 ISBN 978-984-34-4461-5 Published by Ritu www.rituonline.org Market Opportunity for Bio-Degradable Sanitary Napkins in Bangladesh is first published in Bangladesh. All rights reserved under international and Bangladesh Copyright Conventions. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Lead Researcher Dr. Mohammad Bellal Hossain Associate Professor, Department of Population Science, University of Dhaka Research Team Petra van der Eijk Communications & Marketing Expert Debojit Shaha Senior Research Associate Iftekharul Islam Dastagir Research Associate

Supported by Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Dhaka Developed by RedOrange Media & Communications

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| Market Opportunity for Bio-degradable Sanitary Napkins in Bangladesh


Content 01 Background 7 Scope 7 02 Objective 8 Demand Side 8 Supply Side 8 03 Methodology 9 Key Considerations 9 Study Design 9 Sample Design 10 04 Findings 11 School Girls (Class 9 & above) 11 Women (15 - 45 years) 18 Men (18 – 45 years) 25 Retailers 28 Product Suppliers 32 05 Recommendations 33

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IV | Market Opportunity for Bio-degradable Sanitary Napkins in Bangladesh


Figures Figure 1 - Family Income of School Going Girls

11

Figure 2 - Source from which girls first learn about menstruation

12

Figure 3 - Family members who are key influencers

12

Figure 5 - Fear of girls during period 13 Figure 4 - Behavior of visiting gynecologist 13 Figure 6 - Method of managing menstruation 14 Figure 7 - Popular Pad Brands 14 Figure 8 - Pad evaluation criteria 15 Figure 9 - Problem of using pads 16 Figure 10 - Source of information of new pad brand

16

Figure 11 - Reason for not using sanitary pad

17

Figure 12 - Factor which will motivate them to buy Biodegradable product

17

Figure 13 - Family Income of Women who took part

18

Figure 14 - Source of information regarding Menstruation

19

Figure 15 - Family members who advice on menstruation

19

Figure 16 - Fear during period days 20 Figure 17 - Method used during Period 20 Figure 18 - Popular Sanitary Pad Brands 21 Figure 19 - Pad evaluation criteria 22 Figure 20 - how ladies Purchase Pad 22 Figure 21 - Decision Maker 23 Figure 22 - why ladies do not buy themselves?

23

Figure 23 - how ladies know about new product arrival?

24

Figure 24 - Disposal Behavior 24 Figure 25 - Source of Information 25 Figure 26 - importance 26 Figure 27 - knowledge about the usage 26 Figure 28 - why women do not go to buy in shops

26

Figure 29 - Decision Maker for Sanitary pad Brand

26

Figure 30 - Factors influencing choice of pad brand

27

Figure 31 - Factors which will influence to buy biodegradable products

27

Figure 32 - Type of Napkins Demanded 28 Figure 33 - Brand wise composition of Sanitary Pad Brand Sales

28

Figure 34 - Factors influencing choice of pad brand for consumers

30

Figure 35 - Biodegradability 30

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VI | Market Opportunity for Bio-degradable Sanitary Napkins in Bangladesh


01 Background RedOrange is a socially engaged consultancy house for media and communications, established by a group of journalists and communications experts with extensive interest and experience in working with development cooperation. RedOrange provides innovative communication consultancy services geared towards public, private and social sector development, mostly tailored to organisations in developing and emerging countries. RedOrange’s international development activities include specialist assistance in behavior change communication on environment, food security and sexual reproductive health and rights issues. The project Ritu, Promoting Menstrual Hygiene

Management in Bangladesh’ aim is to Improved health and well-being, and social and economic participation of women and girls in Bangladesh. In this project, RedOrange is responsible for the development of a communication strategy, including an on-line platform.

Scope The scope of the study is therefore to understand the current sanitary napkin usage pattern across different demography of women in aged from 15-45 and whether there is potential for a biodegradable sanitary napkin. The study will also give a guideline on what tools to be used to develop a behavior change campaign.

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02 Objective Objective of the study has been developed based on the scope of the study i.e to understand the market potential of a biodegradable sanitary napkin product. In order to understand the market potential both the supply and demand side needs to be analyzed and therefore separate objective for demand and supply analysis have been mentioned.

Supply Side: •

Private Product Manufacturer: ACI, Square etc to gain insight on their understanding of the mass market and what trends they have witnessed over the years. Is the market growing? Level of awareness in the market and what are their forecast regarding future of this product, do they have any plans of biodegradable product in their pipeline

Initiatives from NGOs to supply product: There are certain initiatives by NGOs to provide handmade/low cost sanitary napkin to beneficiary group. The objective would be to study the application method and success of such initiatives. What triggers such initiatives and need for such products: is it affordability, one to one counselling provided by these programme, their distribution network etc.

Demand Side: Respondent: Women aged from 15-45, to understand the pull factors of the product •

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| Market Opportunity for Bio-degradable Sanitary Napkins in Bangladesh

To understand their current practices and behavior during menstruation, if they are not using sanitary napkin then what are they using as substitute? To understand their level of understanding regarding the ill effects of the current substitute: are they suffering from reproductive health issues, frequency of visit to gynecologist, medical bills regarding reproductive health To understand the level of awareness regarding need recognition, product usage and disposal of product Product usage behavior: Which brands they use, need gap of the product, which SKU they use, price of the product they use, frequency of buying the product: Monthly/ need basis Triggers and barriers of using biodegradable sanitary napkin: stigma in purchasing product, price point, comfort, social taboo, lack of awareness

What are the factors which influence their choice during menstruation

Their understanding of a biodegradable product and their trigger point of using such product

Pharmacy: As of yet pharmacies are the point of sales for mainstream sanitary napkin products. The insights required from pharmacies would include: •

The most popular product: Brand, wing type, belt type etc

What is the most widely sold SKU: Economy pack, heavy flow etc

Why the brands are popular: Branding, product performance, price convenience

Who buys the product: lady herself, kids, husband/brother

Do the buyers look for a brand for example Senora or they buy the ones available in the shop/take suggestions from shopkeeper

Product life cycle: weekly/monthly sales of each product, how long does it take to clear the stock of one brand, is it a slow/ fast moving item

Need gap: Have they ever received any complain on any product


03 Methodology Key Considerations Considering the requirement and output of the study, the study has been conducted in two phases: Background review and study design:

Phase 1 In phase 1 of the study we conducted a detailed review of the background documents related to the project and available literature on the subject. Based on the literature review a stakeholder analysis was conducted to map all the parties who are directly or indirectly affected by the project. Then a design workshop involving the researchers and consultants from the study and

RedOrange was held where our understanding of the assignment was highlighted. This lead to finalization of tools (questionnaires), activities and respondents. We then mapped out the study locations and its interface with the project during the design stage. This phase is the blue print for the entre study.

Phase 2 Investigation and analysis: In phase 2, we conducted a thorough investigation of the project. The consultant team took a participatory approach, i.e a combination of in-depth interview and surveys were conducted across all the stake holders to gather data.

Study Design Mode of Data

Sample size/

Survey

Sample Size: 360

Private companies

Interview

2

NGOs

Interview & Field Visit

2

Pharmacy

Survey

Sample Size: 100

Details

Collection

Number of Interviews

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Sample Design: 1. Demand Side •

Prime beneficiaries were surveyed in Urban and semi urban areas, the locations for the survey are Dhaka Metropolitan, Savar and Netrokona.

Location

Sample size

Dhaka

120

Savar

120

Netrokona

120

•

Demography of the sample would be as follow:

Age

Socioeconomic Background

Occupation

10 | Market Opportunity for Bio-degradable Sanitary Napkins in Bangladesh

Marital Status

15 (School Girls, class 9 & above) 15-25 25-35 (Men & Women) 35-45 (Men & Women) SEC B, C Student, Housewife, Working women: Mid-level executive to factory worker, Husband/Brother Married/ Unmarried

2. Pharmacies: Pharmacies were surveyed in the same neighborhood as beneficiaries. Pharmacies are classified as small, medium and large based on the traffic of customers and location of the shop. Roadside shop, shop inside a society/community

Location

Sample size

Dhaka

34

Savar

34

Netrokona

34

Limitation of the study: A prototype of the biodegradable product was not available during the tenure of the study and thus the features of the product have to be explained to make respondents understand the potential of the product. The understanding of the product has varied from respondent to respondent based on their education level and degree of understanding of the product from prior knowledge.


04 Findings School Girls (Class 9 & above) Profile of Respondents: Age 15-16

10%

10%

Family Income BDT 5000-10000

20%

30%

BDT 10000-15000 BDT 15000-20000 BDT 20000-25000 BDT 25000+

30%

Figure 1 - Family Income of School Going Girls

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1. Source from which girls first learn about menstrual hygiene management: Students primarily learn from their family members. Those who have learned from their teacher/ friends is because they experienced menarche at school and they incidentally learned it from teachers & friends. In case of TVC, internet newspaper/magazine etc these girls first read the term menstruation in these medium and then they asked about the term from their family members.

Other

5%

Newspaper/ Magazine TVC

15%

5%

Internet

10%

Friends NGO Development program

23%

Teacher

Family member

0%

5%

10%1

5%

20%

25%

30%

35%

42%

40%

45%

Figure 2 - Source from which girls first learn about menstruation

2. Family members who have talked to them regarding menstruation

12 | Market Opportunity for Bio-degradable Sanitary Napkins in Bangladesh

All the girls said that their mother or elder sister have talked to them about menstruation and gave them information on what to do and what not to do. Mothers seemed to be the most influential person in this communication.

Other Male member in Family Sister in law 2% 10%

Elder Sister Grand Mother

88%

Mother 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

Figure 3 - Family members who are key influential

70%

80%

90%

100%


100%

3. Have you ever faced any medical problem related to menstrual hygiene management?

90% 80% 70%

77%

The most common problem among young ladies was abdomen pain and they tend to take it for granted. The follow up question whether they visit a gynecologist or not pointed out that they seldom go to a doctor. They rather take a pain killer and take rest at home.

60% 50% 40% 30% 23%

20%

Figure 4 - Behavior of visiting gynecologist

10% 0%

Yes

No

4. Biggest fear of girls during period? Leakage is the biggest fear of girls during periods. Even though they experience pain but they believe it’s part of the phenomenon and they mostly like to take pain killers and rest at home for pain.

Ease of change/Disposal

36%

Long work hour

44%

Pain Fear of Stain Comments from others

25%

Energy level Leakage

Cleanliness

43%

0%

10%

30%

20%

57%

67%

75% 30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

Figure 5 - Fear of girls during period

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5. How do you manage menstruation? Most girls use a combination of pad & cotton during menstruation to manage their period. It seems that young girls are less comfortable in using cloth because they find it difficult to manage cloth since cloth needs to be washed and dried properly before using.

I do not use Pad

15%

20%

I use Pad only

8%

22%

35%

I use Pad & Cloth I use Pad & Cotton I use cotton only

Figure 6 - Method of managing menstruation

6. Currently used pad brand: Most girls (78%) use wing type sanitary pads. They are mainly habituated to use undergarment and therefore they prefer wing type.

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2%

16%

Senora

42%

Monalisa Freedom Joya

27%

Others 13%

Figure 7 - Popular Pad Brands


7. Pad Brands you used last time, or used before, just know the name:

Sl. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Brand Senora Monalisa Freedom Joya Others (whisper) Open

Used last time

Used it before (currenty not using)

40% 25% 16% 20% 5% N/A

17% 45% 35% 32% N/A

8. What are your evaluation criteria for using a pad brand? Comfort, price, absorption are the critical factors in evaluation of a pad brand but girls also pay special attention to whether the pad gives protection against leakage and also if the perfume of the product is good.

38%

Easy to Disposal

47%

Availability Smell (perfume)

62% 67%

Leakage proof Absorption

78%

Price

75%

Comfort

80% 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

Figure 8 - Pad evaluation criteria

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9. What are the problems you face while using sanitary pad?

Other

5%

56%

Comfort Thickness of the product

32% 36%

Length of the product Leakage issues

67%

Have to change too often

76% 35% 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

Figure 9 - Problem of using pads

10. How do you get informed about arrival of new sanitary product? Girls have wide access to TV and they are avid watchers of Indian TV channels. Their primary source of information about new sanitary pad brand is TVC. Also if they see a TVC of a company then they tend to trust the product more.

16 | Market Opportunity for Bio-degradable Sanitary Napkins in Bangladesh

7%

12%

43%

7%

TV Advertisement Billboard/ Newspaper/ Magazine Internet

31%

Friends & Family Others

Figure 10 - Source of information of new pad brand


11. General Behaviour: They mostly need 3 to 6 pads a month. And they are willing to buy at the quantity they need or a single pack, at most two. Most of the girls (86%) choose their own pads with recommendation from mother or elder sister. They usually get the money from their mother. After using a sanitary pad, girls wrap it in a paper and put in waste basket outside toilet/kitchen. This is because of fear from odour from the pad and blood in the pad.

12. Girls who do not use Sanitary Pads What are the specific reasons that you do not use sanitary pads?

Others

32%

Ignorance

52%

Shyness to go to shop

32% 44%

Price 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

Figure 11 - Reason for not using sanitary pad

13. Biodegradability: School girls are not familiar with the term biodegradability. Around 90% of school girls said that they are not aware of the term biodegradability. When the term was explained to them with example of polythene, girls were observed to be skeptical about usage of biodegradable product, only 23%of school girls said they would like to buy the product and 20% were undecided. Factor which will motivate them to buy Biodegradable product is as follow:

Others...

3%

If it’s made by a well-known company

45%

Product is more readily available

32%

Provides protection for longer hours

88% 65%

Same price as the brand I’m buying now

76% 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

Figure 12 - Factor which will motivate them to buy Biodegradable product

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Women (15 - 45) years Profile of Women : In total 180 women were surveyed in Dhaka, Savar & Netrokona. 65% of the women were unmarried and 67% of the women are working women.

Age profile: Persentage Composition

Age 18-25

35%

35-45

28%

25-35

37%

Income group: Majority of the women belong to monthly income limit from BDT 15000 to 25000.

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11%

9%

Family Income 18%

BDT 5000-10000 BDT 10000-15000

35%

BDT 15000-20000

27%

Figure 13 - Family Income of Women who took part

BDT 20000-25000 BDT 25000+


1. Females get to know about menstruation and period from family members mostly. TV commercials and ads in the newspaper or magazine are also media of knowing about period.

Other

10%

Newspaper/ Magazine

18%

TVC Internet 2% Friends

7%

NGO Development program

11%

Teacher

52%

Family member

0%

10%2

0%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

Figure 14 - Source of information regarding Menstruation

2. Females mainly share about menstruation and share advices among themselves. In family, mostly mother, sister and grandma talks to the younger generation about the aspects of period.

Other Male member in Family Sister in law 4% 16%

Elder Sister Grand Mother 5%

75%

Mother 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

Figure 15 - Family members who advice on menstruation

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3. During period days, most females fear the subtle pain that they go through. Apart from that, the fear of stain, leakage, and cleanliness are also major fears. Even though they experience pain, they do not go to gynaecologist. 32%

Ease of change/Disposal 27%

Long work hours

82%

Pain 62%

Fear of Stain Comments from others

41%

Energy level

18%

Leakage

78%

Cleanliness

39% 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

Figure 16 - Fear during period days

4. Method used during menstruation: Most of the young females (18 to 35 years) use sanitary pads. Beyond that age females are mostly dependent on clothes and cotton. This is also habitual factor. Pads & cotton seems to be the most popular method among ladies.

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12%

23%

I do not use Pad I use Pad only I use Pad & Cloth

30%

18%

I use Pad & Cotton I use cotton only

17% Figure 17 - Method used during Period


5. The most used brand among the TG is SENORA, Belt Type. They use SENORA as it’s mostly available and comfortable. Also in most of the time they are suggested Sonora by their family, friends and peers.

5%

14%

Senora Monalisa

46%

21%

Freedom Joya Others

14%

Figure 18 - Popular Sanitary Pad Brands

6. Pad Brands you used last time, or used before, just know the name.

Sl.

Brand

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Senora Monalisa Freedom Joya Others (whisper) Open

Used last time 46% 14% 21% 14% 5% N/A

Used it before (currenty not using) 17% 42% 35% 65% N/A

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7. Pad evaluation criteria

Easy to Disposal

25%

Availability

62% 52%

Smell (perfume) Leakage proof

67%

Absorption

77% 72%

Price

76%

Comfort 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

Figure 19 - Pad evaluation criteria

8. Among 45% of ladies said that they buy their own pad. Most ladies who buy their own product are actually working women and therefore they have wide access to retail stores. The ratio of store to pharmacy purchase is very close. But the stores are convenient for the females to buy pads. Females go to store to buy cosmetics and other female products and also buys pads. In case their male members of the family buys pads, they buy it from the pharmacy.

100%

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90%

80% 70%

60% 50% 40% 30%

47%

53%

20%

10%

0%

Store Purchase

Pharmacy

Figure 20 - how ladies Purchase Pad


9. Most of the females choose their own pads. They usually suggest the pad brand to the person who buys the product on their behalf.

Other 2% NGO Health worker 9%

My husband decide Neighbor/ female opinion leader 2% Friends

My sister/ sister-in-law 3%

My mother/ mother-in-law decide

7%

I buy whatever is available on store 4% I decide

73% 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%1

00%

Figure 21 - Decision Maker

10. The female who doesn’t buy their own pads, is mainly due to the inconvenience of purchasing. Also shyness to buy from shops as most of the shopkeepers are male.

Others

56%

Ignorance

24% 53%

Shyness to go to shop 44%

Price 0%

10%3

20%

0%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

Figure 22 - why ladies do not buy themselves?

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11. They know about any new arrival about product from TV advertisements. They get customer feedback from friends and family, neighbours and female colleagues about new products in the market.

4%

13% TV Advertisement

5%

Billboard/Newspaper/Magazine

56%

Internet Friends & Family

22%

Others

Figure 23 - how ladies know about new product arrival?

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12. After using a sanitary pad, most of the females wrap it in a paper and put in waste basket outside toilet/kitchen. This is because of fear of odor from the pad and blood in the pad. So it’s kind of safe for them to wrap the pads with newspaper or paper.

Other

12%

I have a separate waste bin for used pads

41%

I wrap in a paper and put in waste basket inside toilet/ kitchen

82%

I wrap in a paper and put in waste basket inside toilet

21% 52% 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

Figure 24 - Disposal Behavior

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%


Men (18 – 45 years) Profile of Men: 60 males were interviewed from Dhaka, Savar & Netrokona. Age of the repondents varied from 25-45. Age profile:

Age

Persentage Composition

25-35

47%

35-45

53%

Source of Information: Advertisements are the main source of information about sanitary pad for the males. And their wife is the second source who inform their husbands which brand to buy.

Other Internet

6% 9%

TV Female friends 2%

21%

Wife/ sister

63%

Advertisement 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%8

0%

Figure 25 - Source of Information

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1. 96% of the males think it is important for female members in family to buy sanitary pads. They support use of Sanitary Pads as it is related to reproductive health and also necessary for maintaining personal hygiene. 2. Their knowledge about the usage of pad of their female family member is not limited. 93% of the males interviewed know which brand the female family members use, but 7% did not know or did not want to answer.

No

No

4%

96%

Yes

7%

93%

Yes

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

Figure 26 - importance

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

Figure 27 - knowledge about the usage of pads

3. There were 18 respondent where it was found that females don’t use sanitary pads. This mainly due to shyness of going to shops and ignorance.

5%

10%

Cost Shyness to go to shop

11%

Igrorance Don’t know

56%

7%

Others

26 | Market Opportunity for Bio-degradable Sanitary Napkins in Bangladesh

Figure 28 - why women do not go to buy in shops

4. Males don’t decide the brand for females. In most of the cases, female members suggest the brands and they go to the shops and asks for that brand. The user herself is the main decision maker regarding the choice of brands. Other Don’t know 3% Lady herself decides

81%

My sister decide 4% My mother decide 5% Buy whatever is available on store I decide

5% 2%

0%

10%

30%

40% 50%

60%

70%

80% 90% 100%

Figure 29 - Decision Maker for Sanitary pad Brand


5. While buying pads, brand name influences the purchase mostly. Also availability and comfort are prime concern.

Other

5% 55%

Brand name Packaging

8%

Availablity

13%

Comfort

12%

Price 0%

7% 10%3

20%

0%

40%

50%6

0%

70%

80%

Figure 30 - Factors influencing choice of pad brand

6. 76% of Men don’t feel shy buying the sanitary products for the female members, as they think it’s their responsibility. 97% of the male would buy the pads if available at their doorstep. This would be more convenient for the females, rather than male. Females would have easy access to buying pads avoiding interaction to male shopkeepers and social barriers.

7. 89% would like to buy biodegradable products as the same or lower price. But the products should ensure comfort and quality (longer absorption power).

Others...

3%

If it’s made by a well-known company

4%

Product is more readily available

6%

Provides protection for longer hours

8%

32% Same price as the brand I’m buying now

47% 0%

10%

20% 30%

40% 50%

60%

70%

80% 90% 100%

Figure 31 - Factors which will influence to buy biodegradable products

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Retailers: 1. Type of Sanitary Napkins Demanded

Wing Type Belt Type

32% 68%

Note: Belt type product is mostly sought by elderly women who still do not use undergarment. Figure 32 - Type of Napkins Demanded

2. Brand wise composition of sales in pharmacy:

28 | Market Opportunity for Bio-degradable Sanitary Napkins in Bangladesh

Others (wisper)

Monalisa

10% 7%

Joya

18%

25%

Freedom Senora

40% 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

Figure 33 - Brand wise composition of Sanitary Pad Brand Sales

80%


3. Price of different brands (price/Pad):

Brand

Price/ Pad

Senora

12

Freedom

11

Joya

8.75

Monalisa

9

Others (whisper)

25

4. How much trade benefit is offered to retailers by each brand:

Brand

Margin/ Pack

Senora

12%

40-50 tk less for every dozen sales

Freedom

10%

40-50 tk less for every dozen sales

Joya

5%

One pack free for every dozen sales

Monalisa

7%

30 tk less for every dozen sales

15%

Others (whisper)

One pack free for every dozen sales

5. Most widely sold pack in the market

Brand

Price/ UnitM

Senora

12

ost popular SKU 12 pieces pack

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6. What are the things consumers look for in products

11%

Others

87%

Duration of Protection Retail Incentive

56% 78%

Popularity Availability

34%

Brand name

76%

Price

23% 0%

10%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

Figure 34 - Factors influencing choice of pad brand for consumers

7. Biodegradability : Most shopkeepers (98%) have not heard about biodegradability. But they will keep biodegradable products in their stock so as to provide variety to the consumers. According to the shopkeepers, people will buy biodegradable products if-

Others

10%

30 | Market Opportunity for Bio-degradable Sanitary Napkins in Bangladesh

If it’s made by a well-known company

82% 56%

Product is more readily available Provides protection for longer hours

76% 75% 80%

Same price as the brand available now 0%

10%2

0%

Figure 35 - Biodegradability

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%1

00%


8. Advice for such a brand: •

•

Marketing has to be really good, there should be a high impact awareness campaign to educate consumers about benefit of using the product Quality of product should be better or at par with current product with lesser price

Summary of findings from Retailers: 1.

Most of the shops keep multiple pad of different pack size.

2.

Senora is sold in most of the shop and is also the most sold pad in the market. The reason of Sanora being the leading brand is quality and popularity.

3.

Most popular pack size is regular size 8-10 pad/pack.

6. While stocking product the shopkeepers mainly looks for customer demand and brand. 7.

Normally the users come by themselves or send mother or husband to buy pads.

8. People mostly buys pad during working days. 9. The customers buy their own brands and don’t ask for suggestions. 10. The retailers buy the products from dealers or the company. Small shops buy from big shops and whole sellers. And for others representative comes to them once a week. The B2B business of products are mostly done on cash. Yes biodegradable products would sell in the market, but the company needs to ensure quality and comfort.

4. Most of the pads offer a margin of 3-10 taka. 5. Trade benefits are mostly available in Dhaka city. The companies give 30-50 taka discount or one free pack for buying 1 dozen packs of pads. Senora in some cases takes unsold products back.

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Product Suppliers: ACI: Advanced Chemical Industries (ACI) Consumer Products Limited has designed a branded sanitary napkin specifically targeted towards the lower income segments of the population. Savlon Freedom Popular, sanitary napkin, marketed at the retail price of TK 36 (USD 0.40) is for the consumers with an income range of Tk. 50006000/month (USD 80-90 per month). According to ACI, as majority of the companies serve the high end consumers, there is an extensive scope of service provision in the low end markets. Savlon Freedom Popular is unobtainable in the outlets. ACI primarily distributes the products through Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the RMGs and the NGOs, approximately selling 40,000 packets per month to 18-20 factories. According to officials in ACI, the sale of the sanitary napkins has had a steady growth since the inception of the business model 6 months ago. However, it requires increased focus, and awareness creation amongst the stakeholders.

32 | Market Opportunity for Bio-degradable Sanitary Napkins in Bangladesh

Square: Square claims that it holds 80% of the total sanitary napkin market in Bangladesh. The company has extensive experience on behavioral change communication campaign for raising awareness on the use of sanitary napkins to reduce the rate of cervical infection which is said to be about 97% amongst the women in Bangladesh. Square specifically reached out to 2.5 million school girls in Bangladesh to raise their awareness on the use of sanitary napkins. The company markets the sanitary napkins at premium price (USD 1.10 per pack) and says the price can be afforded by the garment workers. However very recently they have developed an

economy pack at TK 36 to counter the product of ACI. Square has not yet thought of any biodegradable product but they believe their management would be welcoming if they get good partner to explore the prospect of new product.

BRAC: BRAC is the largest NGO in the world and they have the highest number of health workers working in the field level to raise awareness about various SRHR issues. BRAC markets a handmade product using a door to door selling program. Since the product is handmade therefore the productivity of the production line is very low. They also sell their product to rural hospitals where their pads are used as maternal pad. BRAC has plans of importing machinery to automate their process. They understand biodegradability is an issue but they are yet to scale using the industrial model and have not seriously brainstormed about a biodegradable product.

Practical Action: Practical Action has a handmade unit which they provide at a subsidized price to women in a community to encourage entrepreneurship. They usually select one lady who takes the responsibility of running the unit and employs women for production and for distribution & marketing. This project is suffering from sustainability issue mainly because there is competition from a widely available industrial better product in the pharmacies. The only competitive edge of the products is price differentiation and they struggle to keep price of their product low.


05 Recommendations Understanding of the market : Even though ladies are now quite aware of the fact that sanitary napkin should be used for effective menstrual hygiene management but they still

consider it as a luxury. Very few women use only sanitary pads for menstrual hygiene. The two most important factors, which negatively affect choice of sanitary pads indicated by the study are: a.

price b. the fact that they have to go out to store to buy the product.

CONVICTION

What will help them to use more?

Product available to them at their door step with better price ensuring good quality will convince them to use more of the product.

ADVANTAGE

What is advantage?

Almost all women said they will encourage young girls to use sanitary pads. This behaviour is mainly due to the aspiration that next generation should have better lifestyle.

What is acceptable performance?

Price and availability are factors which influence whether ladies will use the product. But once ladies start using the product, absorption, comfort and quality are important to win ladies as user for lifetime.

ACCEPTABLE PERFORMANCE

Ladies are yet to identify sanitary pads as an integral part of their lifestyle. Young girls are picking up the habit of pad usage.

RELEVANCE

AWARENESS

Awareness

Ladies are aware of the product sanitary pad.

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Go to market Strategy for Biodegradable Product Awareness: Women have a good understanding of sanitary pads, even women who do not use the product have heard or know about the product therefore product knowledge exists in the market but the TG who have participated in the study lack idea about biodegradability issue. Most of the respondents had to be explained about the benefits and importance of biodegradability before they could make up their mind whether they would use/buy a biodegradable product. Therefore, even before introduction of the biodegradable product there should be a 360 degree campaign on the importance of biodegradability among the target group. Beneficiaries must have clear knowledge regarding what issues will be solved if they biodegradable product and how it will benefit them in their lifestyle.

34 | Market Opportunity for Bio-degradable Sanitary Napkins in Bangladesh

Usage: The study points out that even though ladies are well aware of the term and product sanitary pads, the first hurdle is to make them use the product. Therefore in order to make the product a part of their lifestyle, usage of the product by ladies has to be ensured. One of the methods of ensuring that women at least use the product for once would be to do free sampling in the communities and schools of ladies. Free sampling will help ladies understand the comfort and absorption aspect of the product and thus will help trigger the demand among ladies.

Affordability: The study strongly indicates that the cost of the product has to be competitive with the price of the products currently available in the market. The target market is very price sensitive and price is one of the initial barriers which determines whether a lady will use the product or not. Therefore the price of the product has to be competitive with the products currently available in the market.

Brand Awareness: TVC seemed to be the main channel by which ladies gather information about arrival of a

new product. Therefore there should be a wellcoordinated TVC, RDC and newspaper/magazine advertisement campaign to aware ladies about arrival of the new product.

Distribution: Senora has the highest top of mind recall and it is enjoying the first movers’ advantage. But the new product must have good visibility in retail outlets, both pharmacies as well as cosmetic shops. The traders are motivated by three aspects: 1.

Trade benefit: The benefit offered to retailers should be competitive with Senora and other competing brands, otherwise they will not have the incentive to push the product among beneficiaries

2. Demand: Buyers usually go to shop asking for a particular brand of product. Therefore it is important that the product increase it’s perceived value among the potential users so that they seek the product and this will compel the retailers to have this product in stock

3. Brand Name: If the product is associated with a big company, it builds trust among the retailers that the product is of good quality and the performance of the product will not disappoint the buyers so it will not harm the reputation of his/her store. In conclusion it seems that there is a latent demand for sanitary pads. Even though there is awareness about the product but women are yet to readily accept it in their lifestyle. Two primary hurdles which need to be overcome to increase usage of the product are price and distribution. If products are made more affordable and available to women then the sanitary pad usage behavior will increase. Biodegradable product is a fairly new concept among the target group but if the product can ensure good quality in terms of comfort and absorption in a competitive price then the product will be popular among beneficiaries.


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Market Opportunity | Bio-degradable Sanitary Napkins in Bangladesh  

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Market Opportunity | Bio-degradable Sanitary Napkins in Bangladesh  

www.rituonline.org

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