Detergent industry lacks presence in emerging markets - Unilever

05 October 2010 21:16  [Source: ICIS news]

MONTREUX, Switzerland (ICIS)--The detergent supply chain is not properly addressing consumer needs from emerging markets like China and India, the chief executive of Dutch consumer goods company Unilever said on Tuesday.

“Detergent buyers and manufacturers will have to accelerate investments in this part of the world,” said CEO Paul Polman. “We need material sourcing commitments in a much higher rate than what we currently have.”

Polman gave the keynote speech at the World Detergents Conference in Montreux.

Polman added that the emerging markets should be seen as a major opportunity and an area of focus for Unilever’s key suppliers.

More than 50% of Unilever’s businesses are already in these markets and 80% of the company’s growth is in developing countries, he said.

“In 10 years time, 70-75% of our businesses will be in these parts of the world. Global efficiency is not enough and local proximity from the detergent supply chain is needed,” said Polman.

Unilever estimated that 2.6bn people already live in emerging market cities, accounting for more than one-third of the current world population.

Moreover, by 2030, the emerging market cities’ population is expected to increase to 3.9bn. The middle class population will reach 2bn, exceeding that of Europe and the US combined.

“This emerging middle class will account for over 30% of global private consumer goods consumption by 2015. This is an enormous opportunity for the detergent industry,” said Polman.

In detergent formulation, surfactant is the largest raw material consumed, followed by caustic soda.

The detergent conference ends on Thursday.

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By: Doris de Guzman
+1 713 525 2653



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