Patanjali’s Natural Bet Pays Off in Oral Care Space, Too
Climbing to the Top
Patanjali Dant Kanti has outpaced Pepsodent, Colgate Active Salt and Sensodyne in the past year
Mumbai: Patanjali Dant Kanti has outpaced Hindustan Unilever’s Pepsodent, Colgate’s Active Salt and GlaxoSmithKline’s Sensodyne after nearly trebling its share in the oral care segment over the past year. The Baba Ramdev-led brand had 6.2% share during the quarter ended June, compared to 2.2% a year ago, making it the country’s fourth-largest toothpaste company.
Colgate — still controlling half the market with 52.7% — lost 120 basis points, while Hindustan Unilever’s share declined 240 bps to 17.6%. Dabur, which has gained 20 bps at 12.1% along with Patanjali, has been fuelling its expansion of the herbal products market, underlining the growing demand for ayurvedic products and forcing most companies to launch herbal variants of toothpastes. Products that have “natural” ingredients now account for nearly a fifth of the overall toothpaste market. “We plan to launch new variants within Dant Kanti — including aloe vera, fresh active gel and red toothpaste — which will help grow shares even further. We have followed every principle of ayurveda for our new products but multinationals have been just copying it without understanding the science behind it,” said SK Ti- jarawala, spokesperson at Patanjali Ayurved, which crossed the ₹ 10,000-crore sales market the previous fiscal.
Patanjali’s rise in less than a decade has shifted MNCs’ focus to the ayurveda sector, especially in oral care. A year ago, Colgate launched its first India-focused ayurvedic brand, Cibaca Vedshakti, aimed squarely at countering Dant Kanti. HUL too launched a raft of ayurvedic personal care products, including toothpaste, under the Ayush brand.
RIVAL TO WATCH OUT FOR
Colgate Palmolive global CEO Ian Cook named Indian rival Patanjali while talking to investors a week ago about the need to respond to changing consumer preferences in India, where the toothpaste giant recorded its steepest market share fall in a decade last year.
“Patanjali in India takes a very nationalist view of its business,” Cook told investors during an earnings conference call. “These are concepts in the local market. They tend to be premium price-oriented and it means you have to respond with a very specifically constructed offering that attacks the benefit the consumer is looking for. Hence, the natural — the natural reaction,” he had said.
Patanjali has been able to challenge the multinational’s dominance in the segment despite being present in only two lakh traditional retail stores.