HUL pads up to take on Ramdev’s Patanjali

After Garnier, Colgate-Palmolive & Dabur, HUL ups the ante with a fleet of new herbal products

Breaking News : As Patanjali Ayurved, Baba Ramdev’s pet project to counter growing influence of the multinational corporates in the domestic consumer goods space, continues to bombard the market with new products, rivals are gearing up to throw a tough challenge to the challenger.

Hindustan Unilever (HUL), the largest Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) firm in the country is latest to join the battle. The FMCG major which already has a vast portfolio of personal care brands — from shampoos and anti-aging creams to toothpastes and deodorants — is set to enter Baba’s den with mass market herbal-natural portfolio. And to counter the surging tide of herbal-natural products in the country, led by Patanjali, HUL is banking on an old horse from its stable–Lever Ayush. It plans to launch a range of personal care products, priced between Rs 30 and Rs 130, under the brand.

Once launched, the range will directly compete with Patanjali’s personal care products that are priced below its competitors’. It has a wide range of such products – from face pack, face wash and winter creams to shaving gel, body lotion and lip balm. According to Ramdev, its current supply fails to feed the market demand and the firm is thus coming up with new manufacturing facilities across the country to meet growing demand.

HUL had been working on a plan for quite some time. Months after Baba Ramdev announced in April this year that Patanjali has clocked Rs 5,000 crore in sales during 2015-16, HUL decided to revive Lever Ayush–an ayurvedic brand which was left in the corner some years ago by the company. Launched in 2001, by the local subsidiary of the Anglo-Dutch FMCG giant Unilever, it failed to gain traction during the last decade. Samir Singh, executive director of HUL, earlier told The Economic Times that the very concept of ayurvedic products inside modern packaging by a multinational company was “way ahead of time”. (more)

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