Foam is taking market share from rubberised coir and cotton in mattresses Report by Liz White, editor
Flexible polyurethane foam was the first PU sector to take off in India and is still expanding fast. Slabstock production in 2011 will be about 100 kilotonnes (IPUA), with high growth.
Flexible foam has seen growth of 10-15 percent for the last five years, said Springfeel director Sameer Malhotra.
At new foamer Prime Comfort Products (P) Ltd, Krish Patel put growth in the sector at 15- 20 percent a year. Patel also said that, “Compared to China, volumes are low, but growth is high.” As a result, India has a lot of scope for PU growth, Patel commented.
At mattress maker Shree Malani, the foam division is growing at in excess of 25 percent a year, said the group’s Uttam Malani.
And growth for six-year-old Somany Foam is running at 20 percent a year, said RSP Gupta, Somany’s senior vice president.
As a supplier of TDI to India’s flexible foam sector, Dow has some insight into trends. Looking at comfort foam, “Overall I would say there is 14-15 percent growth in the mattress sector,” said Dr Mahesh Gopalasamudram, director of Dow Formulated Systems in India.
And as PU foam mattresses have “a relatively small market share up till now, say 10 percent, this could definitely grow,” said Malhotra.
This small share in India’s mattress sector means the opportunity for flexible foam to grow is still “very significant,” said Steven English, global vice…