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India Quarterly: Indian Market Attracting Natural and Herbal-based Brands
By: Priyanka Bhattacharya
Posted: April 30, 2009, from the May 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.
Indian consumers’ love of natural-positioned beauty products has proven to be a boon for a number of Asian, European and Indian companies enduring the current economic climate. During the first quarter of 2009, the market has seen the launch of three new nature-based beauty brands—positioned in the Indian market as home-spa brands.
Greece-based Fresh Line launched handmade soaps, masks, body washes and moisturizing lotions that are paraben- and mineral oil-free. In addition to products, Harnn, a Thai spa brand, and Nature’s Co, an Indian brand, have opened retail doors in New Delhi. Harnn already operates spas globally, but made the strategic decision to enter the Indian market through first introducing its products.
Additional brands have been launched in Mumbai, and almost all the newly launched brands claim they’ve been picked up for retail in India due to their herbal or natural positioning. Established Indian natural brands, such as Aroma Magic, have demonstrated steady growth during the late 2008/early 2009 period. In fact, Aroma Magic claims to be growing faster than the market.
Skin Care Market Grows
While consumers may be reluctant to buy expensive clothes, accessories or even makeup, skin care and personal care products are showing steady growth in India. According to a recent AC Nielsen study, the fast moving consumer goods market has shown a steady growth of nearly 20% during the last two quarters of 2008. Interestingly, the skin care product growth rate has jumped from just 5% to 30% in the same time period. This is due, in part, to activity in rural markets where there is an increased awareness and an underlying demand for beauty products.
Brands Focus on Specialized Hair Care
Typically, it is a sign of market maturity when brands begin launching products that offer a higher degree of care and involve regimental use, and that is becoming evident in the Indian hair care market. Brands such as L’Oréal, Kerastase, Pantene, Garnier, Dove and Sunsilk have all launched advanced versions of their basic shampoos.