Incense sticks have always been there to aid humanity while meditation, relaxing, worshipping, etc. Incense sticks are deeply attached to religious activities in India.
According to 2009 data, India ranked first in the production of Agarbattis leaving behind China and many other countries. Exports of incense sticks started to almost 90 plus countries of the world which increased the incense sticks market by 7% per year. Festivals like Diwali, Dussehra, etc also played an integral role in shooting up the demand of agarbattis and incense cones.
Considering the growing agarbatti market in India, manufacturers are supplying different types of incense sticks to the customers.
Recently, the Indian Agarbatti industry has witnessed an immense rise from Rs 798 crore in 2015 to Rs 965 crore in FYI 2018. Europe, Gulf, and Africa have evolved to be the top leading markets for Indian agarbattis.
Gulf region is witnessing a great demand for strong fragrances like Oudh and Orientals while European’s are more towards fruity and mild fragrances. African market too demands strong fragrances like lemongrass and citronella grass. Champa, Rose, Mogra, etc continue to be the dominant consumer choice in India.
Made with punk sticks and fragrance oils, all the components are naturally extracted. The sticks themselves are imported from China and are made of bamboo. The upper portion being coated with a paste made of sawdust from machilus wood which is highly absorbent and has the tendency to retain fragrance as well. Charcoal is used to make the absorbent punk, and it is favored in incense sticks made in India.
The fragrant oils are made of oil from natural aromatic plants or from other perfumes or fragrances that are mixed in an oil base. Small quantities of paint are used to color-code the ends of the incense sticks depending on their fragrance.
Keeping the competition in mind, Indian incense sticks have brought innovations such as prayer kits and aroma incense boxes that come with accessories. A set, comprising two bags of incense sticks, four bags of incense cones, a candle and incense holders are appealing to the western customers.
Recently NR Group has launched an incense stick namely ‘Iris’ to suit the needs of the international customer. It comes along with African prints or pastels carrying forward the design trends of the year. Bangalore-based Moksh agarbattis too has brought in ‘better packaging and modern designs for the export market.’
Employing up to 20 lakh people in the country, Indian agarbatti industry has become one of the most vibrant industries in our country. Growing at a CAGR of 15%, it is expected to grow exponentially reaching Rs 12,000 crore in the upcoming five years transforming this particular segment even more.