Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Colgate to battle Patanjali's Dant Kanti with herbal toothpaste Vedshakti

Call it the Ramdev effect. Almost 80 years after Colgate-Palmolive entered the country, the oral care giant is launching an India-focused brand as Patanjali Ayurved threatens to upend the established order in fast-moving consumer goods.  

Cibaca Vedshakti seems to be aimed squarely at the Baba Ramdev led Patanjali, which has challenged the multinational's dominance in the segment with its Dant Kanti toothpaste. While Colgate has been selling herbal variants such as neem and clove in the country, this is 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.  

"In India, the consumer believes strongly in natural ingredients. A toothpaste launching this quarter under the Cibaca sub-brand is Colgate Cibaca Vedshakti," Bina Thompson, senior vice-president at Colgate-Palmolive, said in an investor call on Friday. "The positioning is a toothpaste packed with the goodness of natural ingredients to help keep dental problems away." There is a growing preference for products that are said to have 'natural' ingredients — these now account for 13-14% of the overall toothpaste market.

The Indian unit of Colgate, which historically hasn't had a sizeable presence in this segment, responded to this last quarter, by revitalising Active Salt Neem and launching sensitive Clove toothpaste. These products have a combined share of more than 7% of the overall toothpaste market now. Patanjali, however, objected to the new name, suggesting that it wasn't appropriate.

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