Wednesday, 5 October, 2022

Toiletries get costlier: Consumers feel the pinch

Prices of toiletry items including detergent and dishwashing products, handwash, toothpaste and shampoo have marked a sharp rise in the country, adding to the rising cost of living.

Local and international companies are raising the prices of their products frequently to make quick profits, ignoring the rights of the consumers, market insiders have said.

The Directorate of National Consumers’ Right Protection (DNCRP) held a discussion with toiletry product manufacturers on September 7 as large companies are charging exorbitant prices for toiletries.

DNCPR Director General AFM Safikuzzaman told the Daily Sun that the manufacturers hiked the price of toiletries indiscriminately as there is no proper guideline over fixing the prices of these products.

“We have formed a committee to see if the price hike was justified or not,” he said.

Market insiders say that multinational company Unilever has raised the prices of its products and local companies are also following suit.

In response to a query from the Daily Sun, Unilever Bangladesh Limited (UBL) has said, “In recent times import and production costs have raised significantly for several reasons, mainly due to the rise in raw materials prices in global markets, shortage of products, rise in freight costs, domestic transportation costs and depreciation of taka against the dollar.”

“In this backdrop of significant increases in input costs that have further accelerated through the first three months of the year and the human tragedy of the war in Ukraine,” it said.

Wheel washing powder, Wheel washing laundry bar, Surf excel, Rin washing powder, Vim dishwashing bar, Vim dishwashing liquid, Lifebuoy total hand wash, Sunsilk shampoo, Dove shampoo, Pepsodent and Closeup toothpaste are among the most popular toiletry products in Bangladesh.

The price of Wheel 2 in 1 clean & fresh washing powder increased to Tk 140 (1kg) from Tk 115 and Tk 70 (half kg) from Tk 60.

The price of Wheel Washing Powder 2 in 1 clean & fresh has increased to Tk 100 (1kg) on the second week of January 2022 from Tk 90 in October, Tk 80 in September 2021 and TK 70 in February 2018.

The price of the Wheel Washing Laundry bar has increased to Tk 30 (125 gram) from Tk 25. The price of the laundry bar has increased to Tk 22 per 125 gram from Tk 20 in January 2022.

Though the manufacturers blamed increasing raw material costs and rise in dollar price for the price hike of toiletries, consumer rights activists the import costs of raw materials of some products have even come down.

Mohammad Roman, a grocery shop owner at Mohammadpur, said when a company increases the prices of their products, other companies do the same.

Price of Veem bar increased to Tk 40 (300gram) from Tk 35, Lux soap price increased to Tk 75 (150 gram) from Tk 55,  Rin Washing Power price increased to TK 180 (1kg) from Tk 150, Surf Excel washing powder to Tk 280 (1kg) from Tk 210 and the price of Lifebuoy total hand wash increased to Tk 350 (1 litr) from Tk 320.

Price of Dove shampoo has increased to Tk 450 (340gram) from Tk 420 and the price of Pepsodent germi check increased to Tk 160 (200 gram) from Tk 140.