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Jan, 07 2017

The ‘Natural’ Beauty Biz

Brands in the beauty business are also becoming consumer-driven. They are customizing products based on the consumers’ needs and demand.

The new buzzword in the Indian beauty and cosmetics market is ‘organic’. It has been observed that the Indian consumer is inclining towards natural, organic and herbal things, when it comes to skincare, personal care and makeup. According to Azafran Innovacion promoters, the organic skincare market in India is expected to cross the Rs 1,000-crore mark by 2020. With the consumer becoming aware and driven towards beauty and wellness, this market is growing at 20-25 per cent year-on-year in India.

Brands in the beauty business are also becoming consumer-driven. They are customizing products based on the consumers’ needs and demand. Brands from The Body Shop to Biotique are making efforts to give consumers a personalized organic experience.

The concept

The Body Shop, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in India, has recently launched its new concept store called the Asia Fit Store. This concept highlights

its natural and vegan products. The Body Shop has gone green with the new look aiming to create a relaxing, rejuvenating and inviting ambience for new customers. It has a warm, intimate and homely feel to it.

It also has an experiential zone that aims at offering a heightened personalized customer experience. The new store has two primary aims -- giving the customer a natural surrounding and customer experience. “There are three keywords to the Asia Fit Store. Sensorial, as it heighten your senses. Body Shop is all about pampering whether it is smooth skin or hydrated skin, we want all your senses to be heightened, specially the sense of smell and touch. The store is focused on enhancing the customer experience. The second keyword is customizing the experience, and our third keyword is natural,” says Aradhika Mehta, Country Head – Training and Customer Care, The Body Shop.

“We believe in using natural ingredients. The West might always be looking out, but we as Asian women are conscious about beauty in a natural way. The success of Ayurveda also speaks volumes about this fact. The thing with Ayurveda is that you never know whether the product is being tested, and if it is who it is being tested on,” she adds.

Ayurveda push

Ayurveda is a Rs 4,500-crore sector in India today. With a growth of 16 per cent, this sector is touted to reach Rs 7,000 crore by 2020. The Indian government’s big push to this sector through the Ministry of AYUSH has also paved way for ayurveda brands and now they are stepping out of their shells and foraying into beauty and personal care. The rise of Patanjali is proof that the demand for herbal products has touched a new high. According to CLSA and HSBC, Patanjali is the fastest growing FMCG company in India.

Meanwhile, HUL is set to give fierce competition to Patanjali as it is reviving its Ayurveda brand Lever Ayush.

While Patanjali has come out as the big daddy, old and new, big and small, all ayurveda brands are looking at this huge growing demand for their natural and organic products. They are also expanding with newer products aggressively by taking the franchising route. An example of this is Ayurvita from Delhi, which is going to introduce a cosmetics range under its label. “We have around 27 franchisees across India spread over eight states. I have two franchisees in the Netherland and three in the US. We’ll also be launching in Malaysia soon. We have a franchisee in Kenya and we are in the process of finalising one in Australia,” says Vijay Pratap Kushvaha, Managing Director, Ayurvita Healthcare.

The grand-old group Vasudeva Vilasam is also cashing in on the opportunities, moving out of its comfort zone in the South and adding more franchisees in the northern regions of India, with its wide range of personal care and beauty products under Adara.

The future

While Biotique and Himalaya are among the leaders in this segment, international brands are also looking at making the most of it. French cosmetics company L’Oréal has unveiled its plans to establish a research centre in India to delve into natural active ingredients in cosmetics. “This research and innovation centre is a tribute to India’s scientific excellence. It is designed to become a laboratory of innovation for the Indian beauty and a source of inspiration for the rest of the world,” says Laurent Attal, Executive V-P of Research and Innovation for L’Oréal.

As Shreyansh Kocheri, Research Analyst at Euromonitor International, says: “Increasing demand for natural and ayurvedic beauty products over the period has led to heightened competition in this area. Players such as Patanjali Ayurveda, Hindustan Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive India, Dabur India, Emami, Marico and Godrej Consumer Products have introduced new products, targeting the masses. The players like Dabur, Emami and Patanjali are expected to continue educating Indian consumers about the benefits of Ayurvedic products through their aggressive product promotions and in-store displays. These brands are also expected to focus on expanding distribution over the forecast period to increase penetration and reach.”

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