Thursday, July 14, 2016

Indian FMCG companies find a ‘Natural’ way to grow

Domestic firms such as Dabur, Marico and Patanjali seem to be growing faster than bigger multinationals including Hindustan Unilever and Procter & Gamble in key categories such as toothpaste, shampoo and hair oils, helped by rising demand for natural, ayurveda and herbal products.


Industry officials quoting data by market researcher Nielsen said Dabur, Marico and Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Ayurved are increasing their market share in some key consumer categories.

Within toothpastes, for example, while Dabur and Patanjali gained value share between May 2015 and May 2016, consumer goods giant Hindustan Unilever, which sells Pepsodent and Close Up, dropped share from 22.4% to 20.6%. Category leader Colgate-Palmolive, however, retained its numbers.

Dabur's oral care portfolio includes Babool, Meswak and Red toothpaste and toothpowder all positioned in the 'naturals' space. Haridwar-based Patanjali, which saw its share more than double, though on a minuscule base, sells toothpaste under the brand Dant Kanti.
In the shampoos segment Procter & Gamble, which sells Pantene and Head & Shoulders shampoos, dropped share from 27.2% to 24.9% in one year to May 2016 while Patanjali's Kesh Kanti more than doubled its share from 0.8% to 1.8%. Emails sent to HUL and P&G remained unanswered as of press time on Wednesday.

Marico, which sells Parachute and Hair n Care hair oil brands, saw its value share increase from 36% to nearly 40% during the same period.

"Our long-term focus has been on creating volume growth and gaining market share, not chasing short-term margin. We have invested in distribution, especially in rural markets, and as a result gained share consistently in most categories we operate in," Marico managing director Saugata Gupta said.

"Ayurvedic products have become the buzzword... Dabur will gain disproportionately," company chairman Anand Burman had said in a message to shareholders in its recently released annual report for 2015-16.
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