The latest one to hit the headlines is Hindustan Unilever, which is reportedly reviving its Ayurveda brand Lever Ayush.
The Indian consumer is becoming more inclined towards all things natural, organic and herbal when it comes to skin care, personal care and make-up and the year 2016 has been a game-changer for this industry. According to promoter sisters of Azafran Innovacion Ltd, the organic skincare market in India is expected to cross the Rs. 1,000-crore mark by 2020. With the consumer becoming more aware and driven towards beauty and wellness, this market is growing at 20-25 per cent Year on Year in India.
In that context, the brands in the business of beauty and personal are also becoming more consumer-driven, customising products based on the consumers’ needs and demand. From The Body Shop to Biotique, brands are continuously making efforts to get closer to the consumer for a personalised organic experience. The latest one to hit the headlines is Hindustan Unilever, which is reportedly reviving its Ayurveda brand Lever Ayush.
The Body Shop Asia Fit concept
Celebrating its 10th anniversary in India, The Body Shop aims to highlight how its products are going more natural and more vegan with its new concept store called the Asia Fit Store. Indeed, the brand understands the need of the hour – that’s getting more organic products. The Body Shop has gone green with the new look aiming to create a more relaxing, rejuvenating and inviting ambience for inviting customers. It has a warm, intimate and homely feel to it.
It also has an experiential zone that aims at offering a heightened personalised customer experience. The new store has two primary aims that the brand feels are important for them – giving the customer a natural surrounding and customer experience. “There are three keywords to the Asia Fit Store. Sensorial, because it’s all about heightening 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 customising the experience,” says Aradhika Mehta, Country Head – Training and Customer Care, The Body Shop.
“Our third keyword is natural. Body Shop is all about natural, organic, 100 per cent vegetarian products and we’re now also going vegan with some of our products,” says Aradhika. The new design is Asia centric as Aradhika states that the Asian women are supposed to be very high in their beauty game. “We believe in using natural ingredients. The West might always be looking out, but we as Asian women are very 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,” says Aradhika.
The Ayurveda push: Growth of Patanjali, HUL enters competition
Ayurveda is a Rs 4500 crore sector in India today. With a growth rate of 16 per cent, this sector is touted to reach Rs 7000 crore by 2020. The Indian government’s big push to this sector through the Ministry of AYUSH has also paved way for Ayurveda brands stepping out of their shells and foraying into beauty and personal care. The rise of Patanjali, which now has a revenue of Rs 5,000 crore, 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.
Another proof of the immense growth in demand for Ayurveda and herbal products is that FMCG major Hindustan Unilever is set to re-enter this space to take on Patanjali. Reports say HUL is reviving its Ayurveda brand Lever Ayush and is launching new personal care products under the label. While Lever Ayush was launched in 2001, it lost pace through the years. However, HUL is now set for the race and will be ranging products in the price range of Rs 30 to Rs 150. Patanjali’s Baba Ramdev had said that his brand will beat brands like HUL and ITC. With HUL’s herbal push, in 2017, all eyes are going to be on this sector as the competition gets fiercer.
While Patanjali has come out as the big daddy in 2016, old and new, big and small, all Ayurveda brands are looking at this huge growing demand for all things natural and organic as an opportunity and expanding with newer products and markets in 2017.
Another example of this is Ayurvita, an Ayurveda brand from Delhi, which is going to introduce a new cosmetics range under its label. “We have around 27 franchisees across India spread over eight states. I have two franchisees in Netherland and 3 in the US. We’ll also be launching in Malaysia in November. We have a franchisee in Kenya and we are in the process of finalising one in Australia,” says Dr 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 its brand Adara.
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 its 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 Indian beauty and a source of inspiration for the rest of the world,” says Laurent Attal, Executive VP of Research and Innovation for L’Oréal. It has also launched a new ‘natural’ hair care range under Garnier Ultra Blends.
As Shreyansh Kocheri, Research Analyst at Euromonitor International puts it, “Increasing demand for natural and Ayurvedic beauty products over the review period has led to heightened competition in this area. Players such as Patanjali Ayurveda, Hindustan Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive India, Dabur India, Emami Ltd, Marico and Godrej Consumer Products have introduced range of new products, targeting the masses during 2015. The mass players like Dabur, Emami and Patanjali are expected to continue educating Indian consumers about the benefits of Ayurvedic products through aggressive product promotions and in-store displays. These brands are also expected to focus on expanding distribution over the forecast period in order to increase penetration and reach.”