Industry News

Dreaming Afresh and Big

Who could have thought that one day ‘Sleep’ would become a product, a valuable commodity, or best, an experience that will translate into millions in revenues and wonders in innovation.

If the word ‘Sleep’ was not an industry in the history of industrialization and consumerism, then it would have definitely become so by the time we crossed the threshold of the 21st century – with all its stress, health repercussions and lifestyle burdens.

In any case, it is a burgeoning market now. On a global level, it accounted for $27 billion at the last count and is slated to touch $43 billion by 2024 (numbers from Zion Market Research tell more). The way housing has grown, aspirations of new-age customers have changed and the concomitant growth seen in the hospitality market – all these factors have contributed to new inflection points for the sleep industry. When interpreted from the numbers presented by P&S Intelligence, the global mattress market growth forecast shows a value of $38,976 Million to be achieved by 2023.

When we look at India, a Ken Research report “India Mattresses Market Outlook to 2018 – Driven by Surging Demand for Mattresses with Advancing Lifestyles” a major growth driver for the mattress market in India has been shown to be the country’s growing urban population. A segment that is ready to spend considerable amounts for their luxury and comfort, as per what the report surmised. This is something that is also attracting major global players for making investments in the industry here.

Even demonetization has been a catalyst of sort. What a Bonafide Research report showed in ‘India Mattresses Market Outlook, 2022’, the residential mattress market – that makes for about 78 percent of the total mattress market – has gained from the housing demand that followed the decrease in prices in the real estate sector seen recently. Demand for new homes came about strong and fast and this has opened ripe opportunities for the mattress industry.

If we go by a 2017 McKinsey report, the sleep-health industry – that includes bedding apart from other products like sound control and sleep aids or drugs – could be anywhere between $30 billion and $40 billion in 2017, achieving a pace of over eight percent a year.

The product, of course, has been at the forefront of all the fuel this market has galloped on. It has been changing so much – from a fastened cloth of the yore to a case that wraps foam rubber, springs, coil, cotton, quilt, straw and what not.

When Futurologist Ian Pearson peeled off the findings of an independent report (done for Travelodge), that investigated the experience of sleep in the future – year 2035, what really jumped out was this revelation – “The 2035 hotel room will improve sleep quality by emulating the home environment or even directly relaying it, so that individuals feel they are actually at home in bed with their partner.”

And we do not have to wait till 2035 or for a future-proof hotel room to see how ‘Sleep’ is changing – as an industry and as a product. The big bang is happening right now – and 2019 is telling us a lot about how 2020 is going to turn out.

Turn the mattress upside down – how far we have come

Deepak Mehta, Executive Director, from Tirupati Foam Limited is upbeat about the industry when he captures the present and future scenarios both. “Mattress is a product that is growing in demand and I believe that as per the current rise in buying capacity witnessed in the market, this space will continue to proliferate.”

Purushottam Malani, Vice Chairman (ISPF), Centuary Fibre Plates Pvt Ltd echoes Deepak Mehta’s views. “The graph of the mattress industry is certainly going to move further upwards. The industry is crossing a YoY (Year on Year) clip of 10 percent, which is more than what GDP is growing at.”

Deepak Mehta also notes how consumption patterns have improved in the recent past. Mattresses of higher thickness have seen a new tide. Similarly the buyer is now graduating from low-category products to high-category ones. He also points out how manufacturing technologies have been evolving to keep pace with the new demand landscape.

What he reveals is significant in terms of determinants of future growth. It is incidentally also observed in other market-watcher reports that even a daily-use product like the mattress is gaining from a growing level of health awareness among consumers and more, with a rise in disposable income. P&S Intelligence has culled out signs that consumers are willing to pay extra for health-enhancing products and better sleep quality now which can push the sales of premium mattresses in a considerable way. This is not something that is happening in developed countries alone. Even Asian buyers are increasing their mattress budget for a switch to technologically-advanced mattresses instead of traditional cotton-filler mattresses. This is a good tide to tap for smart and futuristic market players in mattress space.

Sleep is one of the most significant part of human lifecycle and mattress becomes an integral & critical product accordingly, reckons Archit Gupta, Managing Director, Real Inner Spring Technologies Pvt Ltd. “As awareness about sleep and importance of using a better mattress for better sleep is coming gradually, a direct correlation on our sales of higher-end mattresses is getting noticed in the last few years. We hope that this trend will improve. I am sure that the time and collective efforts from mattress companies made for sleep awareness will play a huge role.”

The way consumer perceives and buys a ‘Sleep’ product has also undergone massive leaps. “Their appetite vis-a-vis product variety has changed. Just 7 to 8 years back the market was dominated by old-format mattresses but now there is demand for new and softer versions like spring and comfortable foam ones.” Purushottam Malani observes that another welcome change is a shift from one segment to another. “The industry is generally sliced into two segments organised and unorganised. The first one makes for one-third of the market while unorganised players scoop out two-third of the market. What is refreshing is the growth that organised category is experiencing and it is reasonably faster than their unorganised counterparts.” He underlines this change as a positive sign for the industry.

A Ken Research shows that India is, indeed, dominated by small and unorganised players. These are the ones that specialise in coir, cotton, spring and foam mattresses – a category that makes up for about 80 percent of the country’s requirement for mattresses.

The report outlined that the spring mattress area is still in a nascent stage. This constraint has been seconded in reports from Bonafide Research figured out that mattress is predominantly an unorganised market in India dotted heavily with regional players.

Archit Gupta resonates the view. “The mattress industry of India is highly unorganised. The main reason behind this is that we are a subset of Furniture Industry which, in turn, is not organised on the sizes of bed they manufacture.”

As to the key segments that make up this market – residential and commercial, what is encouraging to see is that the commercial segment showed about 50 percent (P&S Intelligence) share of revenue in the global market in 2017. Here, hotels have been noted as main end-users, although hospitals and other institutions also make up the commercial segment. However, increased purchasing power with an emphasis on better home spending is also going to accelerate the home-owner side of the market.

Major categories of mattress market based on type

Rubberised coir Memory Foam
PU Foam Rebonded Foam
Spring Latex

It’s a two-pronged effect. Policy interventions like the ‘Housing for All’ scheme by Indian government are spurring housing demand and to add to that traction, there is an uptick in the marginal propensity to consume. That, in turn, helps the tourism industry, and further the hospitality sector. In total effect, spending for mattresses with high replacement rates helps the industry to new growth frontiers. In terms of product, the innerspring mattress has been a hot favourite from what some industry watchers have gathered. It made up for over 20 percent of volume sales in the worldwide mattress market. Research firm P&S Intelligence also reckoned that a growing awareness among consumers around health factors is making the market lean towards mattresses such as memory foam. “They conform to the user’s body and helps in relieving body stress and a muscle pain, the demand for memory foam mattress is expected to grow significantly, during the forecast period.” The study indicated. 

ISPF is an industry body which promotes importance of sleep and role of mattress for a Indian consumers. ISPF place very important role in connecting Indian bedding industry ecosystem. ISPF also acts as bridge between India and international players.