Unilever acquires air purifier firm Blueair will help millions more people fight rising urban air pollution.
Blueair, founded in 1996 by Bengt Rittri, sells its premium air purifiers in around 60 countries. It ended 2015 with $106 million in sales and has a presence in China, and India, countries with possibly the worst air quality in the world.
The acquisition will provide big advantage to Unilever’s Indian unit Hindustan Unilever Ltd enter a niche segment that is growing at very rapid pace.
Nitin Paranjpe, president of Unilever’s home care business, said in a statement that Blueair stands for “exceptional quality and design, as well as superior capacity and performance.”
In another statement, Blueair’s Rittri said Unilever would “help Blueair take the next step to becoming a truly global provider of its health-enhancing air purifiers.”
“India is a key ingredient in Blueair’s global operations, although it is still very much a nascent market,” said a Blueair spokesperson. Blueair launched its products in India in 2015.
Blueair will continue to operate under its existing brand name in all its markets, including Sweden, China, the US, Japan, South Korea and India.”
The market for air purifiers is nascent but there are synergies and “we can offer solutions for clean air and clean water using the same platform,” said Mahesh Gupta, chairman, KENT RO Systems, which entered the air purifier business last year.
In India, the need for air purifiers started in 2015 when Blueair announced that the US embassy had purchased 1,800 air purifiers from it ahead of the visit of US President Barack Obama in January.
India’s National Capital New Delhi is considered by the World Health Organization as one of the world’s most polluted cities.
Air purifiers have been present in Indian market for over 20 years, but in past few years that they have become popular with a certain segment of customers—high-income households in urban areas and institutions such as schools and hospitals. The market could grow to around ₹ 1,400 crore annually by 2021, according to a June report by TechSci Research.
In April, TTK Prestige Ltd, known for its Prestige range of kitchen appliances, launched air purifiers. There are more than 25 plus companies in India selling air purifiers.
Since Hindustan Unilever is a noteworthy player in India, it will help reinforce Blueair’s essence in the nation. All the more solidly, it will help Blueair venture into new urban areas, influence purchaser experiences and understandings, fabricate the brand and help give access to clean air to a huge number of more individuals.