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From the Roots Out

By: Priyanka Bhattacharya
Posted: May 1, 2008, from the May 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 3 of 5

The shampoo market pegged at $550 million, growing at about 20% annually, has attracted newer players—especially with the prestige mass segment as players. Indian conglomerate ITC entered with its Fiama De Wills brand. Meanwhile, the shampoo sachet segment—at price points of just a few U.S. cents—has a stronghold in semi-urban and rural markets. “The reason is that this lets the lower income group use high end products at a price that they are comfortable with,” says Dabur’s Mittal.

Fast-moving consumer goods company Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has increased its share in the shampoo market, even as rivals P&G and CavinKare have suffered erosion. According to retail measurement figures released by AC Nielsen, market leader HUL’s share grew from 46.9% (January–March 2007) to 47.8% in the October–December 2007 quarter. In the same period, P&G’s market share fell from 25% to 23.7%, and third-placed CavinKare fell from 12.6% to 12%.

New Business Focus
As urban consumers become more product aware and ready to try different hair care products other than hair oils, large hair care players like HUL, P&G and L’Oréal have started introducing product categories and looking closer at premium hair care.
For instance, HUL has consciously reduced its focus on saturated hair care categories such as hair oils, and has sold off its Nihar brand. In fact, it entered the hair care and styling category under Lakme’s HairNext range of products. With six products—including shampoos, conditioners and sprays—HairNext is a premium brand in HUL’s hair care portfolio.

“Hair styling is a new category that is growing rapidly,” says Anil Chopra, vice-president, Lakme Lever. “Consumers are not only looking for healthy hair but also well-styled hair. We want to create awareness and educate our consumers without confusing them.”
Similarly, Marico India has launched a range of hair care products such as antidandruff and moisturizing creams, wet-look gels and extra-hold gels for men under the Parachute After Shower brand. Explains Saugata Gupta, marketing manager, Marico, “The post-wash category has been growing [yet] penetration has been low. It is all a question of evolution of the consumer, and as long as it brings significant value, consumers will pay for such products.”

Conditioners and after wash products like leave-ins and hair detanglers are emerging as new focus areas for brands. L’Oréal has introduced its shine product L’Oréal Elvive Nutri Gloss, for example, as well as color revive shampoo through the Elvive range. Similarly, P&G’s Pantene has started bundling conditioners with its shampoo variants in the market.