FMCG giant Dabur has waged war against its rival, Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved.
Newly emerging firm, Patanjali had sounded the war bugle with an advertisement, last December, which claimed it’s ‘honey’ brand is safer and cheaper than other brands in the market. Patanjali’s television advertisement displays a bottle of honey,that looks very similar to a Dabur bottle, and goes on to claim that the price of Patanjali’s product is much cheaper than other brands. “It’s just Rs 70 and not Rs 122 (the exact price of Dabur’s product for its 250 gram pack),” the ad claimed.
So it is Dabur’s turn now. Last month, Dabur launched a counter ad claiming its honey to be Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) approved -- which means the product is tested and licensed by food regulator and hence is much safer. It also claims that safety and not the price tag should determine a consumer’s choice of brands. Dabur’s ad plays on the fact that Patanjali’s honey is not FSSAI approved and hence its quality is questionable.
SK Tijarawala, spokesperson for Patanjali told HT that quoting similar price and displaying similar bottle of honey is a mere coincidence. “It could be a mere co-incidence where we quoted price of Rs 122... Our products are natural, hence, no FSSAI approval is required.” Tijarawala claimed that sales for its honey brand has grown at least eight fold in last one year and they don’t see any competition for its products. However, he refused to share sales figures.
Dabur refused to comment.
Recently, the industry body for edible oil, Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) of India had filed complaints with FSSAI and advertising industry watchdog ASCI against Patanjali Ayurved for alleged misleading ads for mustard oil and sought action against the yoga guru promoted firm. SEA complained that the company’s recent advertisement for ‘Kacchi Ghani Mustard Oil’ was not in good taste and intends to create panic against solvent extracted oils and refined oils.