Consumption Pattern of Prickly Heat Powder

6 June 2017

HEALTH & WEALTH is the perfect phrase, which is the perfect introduction of us. During summer season prickly heat is irritating and painful problem for many. It is also termed as Miliaria or heat rashes. It is a skin disease marked by small and itchy rashes. When the sweat accrues in certain parts of our body and results in the formation of small red bumps, which causes irritation and severe itching, then trying out prickly heat powders is a very possible solution. Prickly heat mostly affects back, underarms, near waist area, and chest.

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Newborns and infants are predominantly vulnerable to prickly heat because their sweat ducts are not mature. This makes it easier for the beads of moisture to be trapped easily. It usually originates from the neck and if the individual is unlucky it can spread down onto the chest and back. Spreading in to areas like ears and face, but it seldom produces any discomfort for a baby. The hot and humid conditions become a hindrance to the sweat glands becoming blocked. This result in skin cells and bacteria may block the sweat glands, leading to sweat being retained and building up on the skin leading to inflammation, which causes the rash.

Indian summers bring along with them peculiar conditions, one of them being prickly heat. And this has led to the emergence of prickly heat powders, a staple product on shelves of many consumers. The major players in this category are now upping their ante for the summer as they try to gain more market share. THE FOLLOWING STUDY HAS BEEN DONE SOLELY FROM SECONDARY RESEARCH TO SHOW THE CONSUMPTION PATTERN OF PRICKLY HEAT POWDERS IN KOLKATA. CLASSIFICATION BASED ON PRICKLY HEAT POWDER USERS: Prickly heat powder users| PERCENTAGE| YES| 96%| NO| 4%|

INTERPRETATION: 96% of the people who use powder are users of prickly heat powders. This signifies the main intent of the customers for the “usage of powder”. In other words, their basic need form the product. Classifications based on prickly heat powder throughout the year: Prickly heat powder throughout the year| PERCENTAGE| YES| 67. 33%| NO| 32. 66%| These further shows the fact that most of the customers for body powder or talcum powder is inclined towards prickly heat powders. The weather in Kolkata has made it a fabulous market for prickly heat powder brands.

Some of them are Nycil, Dermicool, Itch Guard, and Lifebuoy. From the above data we can see the level of awareness towards prickly heat powders (PHP). Yet again there was an advertisement which proves the point as well….. “All Is Well…! ” Awareness level of the customers based on the commercial “All Izz Well” jingle. This was a breakthrough advertisement where most of the respondents who were talcum powder customers had seen the advertisement. It was famous for its obviously famous catch phrase from the movie three idiots.

But since one ad can’t be the sole judge of any fact, we have also given another data which shows the general level of customer awareness and interest towards the product. Classification based on ads that gives a proper message about the product benefit: ads that gives a proper message about the product benefit| PERCENTAGE| YES| 32%| NO| 68%| Even though the advertisements as a whole don’t click, customers opt for this product solely on the need and it’s utility. The basis for choosing a brand would also depend on the features of the powder.

The attributes or product benefit of a prickly heat powder till date is limited to the 1. Soothing and cooling 2. Fragrance 3. Prickly heat 4. Anti persperant 5. Softness and oil absorption. Now days PHPs have also started having all the attributes as above. Hence for all or most of the product benefit into one powder, would automatically attract customers towards respective brands and prickly heat powder brands in particular. On analyzing the number of units of each prickly heat powder brands kept in the stock of a list of retailers and then finding the percentage of each brands the following results are obtained.

Brands| Total no. of units| Percentage| Nycil| 2040| 47. 44%| dermicool| 1880| 43. 72%| Itch guard| 60| 1. 40%| Lifebuoy| 320| 7. 44%| The demand of PHPS are the most during summers mainly from March to June but none the less the demand for the product continues further down the calendar till October as well due to the intense humidity of Kolkata. During summer season the demand is generally for products like Nycil, Dermicool, and navratna cool talc. All these powders and prickly heat powders where as in other seasons brands like Ponds, Denim , spinz , and zatak also has a fair share of the market.

The following is a data based on the retailers’ response on a 5 point scale and then calculating them in percentage. Factors| Percentage| Price| 15%| Function| 24%| Quantity| 15%| Brand image| 29%| Discount offer| 17%| This shows the clearly the reasons why a customer buys the prickly heat powder. Function as factor yields 24% but brand image beats it by bringing a 29% of reason or validity for the purchase. Price being generally low because it’s a daily use product doesn’t affect much. whereas sudden discounts also add to the reasons of purchase as obvious buyer’s psychology.

So consumption depends on consumer and the main person to influence would be the buyer of the product. May not be the user of the product. Still, we have retrieved a data which shows who generally buys the product. This would put light on the fact that the buyer of the product also plays an important role in the decision making process. The response collected from the retailers on analysis indicates that in 58. 82% of buyers are aware of the product to be purchased and demand for the same. In 11. 76% cases the family member or the purchaser directs the course and in 29. 2% the retailer suggests them to buy. So we can see the buyer behavior at play here from the case above but the loyalty towards a brand was left unquestioned. A decent 38% of the customers are loyal brand users where as 62% changes their brands depending on the issues above. Consumption of a product and its frequency of purchase depend largely on the quantity of the product and its price. The data below shows the frequency of consumption of the product based on the quantity of the product in a particular packaging. Quantity(gm)| Weekly| fortnightly| Monthly| 2 months| 20| 7%| | | | 0| | 4%| 4%| | 100| | | 32%| 11%| 200| | | 24%| 13%| FINDINGS: * It has been found that the prickly heat powder is being used at the month of April-June, especially in summer season. * 69. 26% (Approx) people use prickly heat powder combining it or along with talcum powder. * Generally people use it after shower, twice or thrice a daily occasionally. * There is heterogeneity in the age group of using this particular product * It has been found that for children below 10 years, parents prefer brand like Johnson & Johnson.

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