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Deo firms sniff an opportunity

india Updated: Jun 06, 2010 22:44 IST
Rachit Vats
Rachit Vats
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

This summer has seen the launch of 24 new deodorant brands or variants in India, adding to the already existing 350 or so in the organised and unorganised markets.

Not surprising, considering that the organised deodorant category has been registering an annual growth rate of 41 per cent, according to Nielsen, with a revenue of Rs 619 crore. Companies such as Reebok, L’Oreal, Playboy, KamaSutra, Wipro Consumer, Spencer’s, Zodhitha Health Solutions, Future Group (through its private brands) and many more have forayed into the deodorant space.

Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), the market leader, launched an anti-perspirant called Sure (it already has Axe and Rexona). CavinKare launched Hi 5 around IPL, adding to its existing Spinz, Adidas and Jovan brands.

Raymond’s J.K. Helene Curtis, expanded its Park Avenue deodorants range with seven variants. “This is an extremely competitive market. We restaged the brand to create excitement and give something new to consumers,” said Anil Kulkarni, business director, J.K. Helene Curtis.

L’Oreal, which launched deodorants under the Garnier brand, is operating in the Rs 130-180 price band. “The market is growing fast and the total market, including the grey market, can be estimated at close to Rs 2,000 crore. It is an important beauty category currently and for the future,” said Dinesh Dayal, COO, L’Oreal India.

L’Oreal’s offering is slightly tweaked as Garnier attempts to fill gaps in the market. The Indian market is dominated by fragrance-based deos. There is an untapped demand for anti-sweat and anti-odour efficacy. This is where L’Oreal is focusing, expecting anti-perspirants to dominate at 80 per cent soon.

Most players are staying with popular pricing. Park Avenue is premium at Rs 200. Future Group’s John Miller is priced at Rs 99, however. “We are leveraging the insight that consumers are going for officewear, eveningwear and partywear. We used this occasion route to create variants,” Devendra Chawla, head — private brands, Future Group, said.

Zodhita Health Solutions is foraying into anti-perspirants. It is rolling out cans, sticks, footsprays and soaps. “We are creating a differentiation by launching anti-perspirant sprays (at Rs 210) as it will give us the numbers, but the sticks will fill market needs,” Shankar Shinde, country manager, Zodhita, said.