A Lot More than a Brush with Ayurveda

Her­bal brands and vari­ants of toothpastes make up more than a fifth of the coun­try’s oral-care mar­ket: Nielsen

The Economic Times - - Brands: Creating Desire - Sa­gar.Malviya@ times­group.com

Mum­bai: In­dia’s brush with her­bal toothpastes is grow­ing fast. Brands us­ing nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents now make up more than a fifth of the coun­try’s oral-care mar­ket.

Her­bal brands and vari­ants from Dabur, Col­gate and Patan­jali have gained nearly 350 ba­sis points in mar­ket share in a year in the ₹ 7,000crore In­dian oral-care seg­ment, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try of­fi­cials quot­ing Nielsen num­bers. That share could ex­pand as Col­gate and Hindustan Unilever (HUL), over last two quar­ters, have launched spe­cialised her­bal prod­ucts to com­pete with new­est ri­val Patan­jali.

Last week, Dabur launched In­dia's first ayurvedic gel toothpaste un­der the Dabur red fran­chise in an ef­fort to con­tem­po­rarise Ayurveda for the younger gen­er­a­tion.

“There is a lot of ‘ me too’ ayurvedic prod­ucts now and we wanted to bring both cred­i­bil­ity and in­no­va­tion in the cat­e­gory. Our new prod­uct also ap­peals to newer au­di­ence who can re­late to the gel for­mat,” said Praveen Jaipuriar, mar­ket­ing head - per­sonal care at Dabur, which gained 1.3 per­cent­age points in mar­ket share at 15.5% and closed the gap with HUL. With brands such as Close-Up and Pep­so­dent, HUL has 19.2% share, but is con­sis­tently los­ing its grip over the mar­ket.

There is a grow­ing pref­er­ence for prod­ucts that are said to have ‘nat­u­ral’ in­gre­di­ents, and most com­pa­nies are cash­ing in on it. The In­dian unit of Col­gate, which his­tor­i­cally hasn’t had a size­able pre- sence in this seg­ment, re­sponded to this by re­vi­tal­is­ing Ac­tive Salt Neem and launched the Sen­si­tive Clove toothpaste. More than six months ago, Col­gate also added Cibaca Ved­shakti, the first indige­nous brand in the ayurvedic seg­ment for the $16 bil­lion global gi­ant that con­trols more than half the oral care mar­ket in In­dia.

An­a­lysts be­lieve new prod­ucts will still not clut­ter the seg­ment. “Glob­ally, con­sumers are adopt­ing more ayurvedic prod­ucts and it is al­ready a proven science in In­dia. Most of the new launches would only mean higher share in the cat­e­gory as con­sumers shift away from ba­sic toothpastes,” said Ab­neesh Roy, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent at Edel­weiss Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices.

Patan­jali’s oral care mar­ket share has been pegged at nearly 3% in the year ended De­cem­ber, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives cit­ing mar­ket re­searcher Nielsen’s data. How­ever, Nielsen doesn’t track sales at Patan­jali’s own stores. At the same time, Col­gate has lost nearly 1.8 per­cent­age points in mar­ket share, although it still dom­i­nates at 55.4%.

There is a grow­ing pref­er­ence for prod­ucts that are said to have ‘nat­u­ral’ in­gre­di­ents, and most com­pa­nies are cash­ing in on it

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