Remember Ultra Doux shampoo? L’Oreal’s bringing it back as Ultra Blends

Ultra Blends is the top haircare brand in France, but was discontinued in India about 15 years ago


For L’Oreal, the new launch comes after a gap of two years following Garnier Black Naturals. Photo: AFP
For L’Oreal, the new launch comes after a gap of two years following Garnier Black Naturals. Photo: AFP

Mumbai: L’Oreal India Pvt. Ltd has reintroduced its popular Ultra Doux natural shampoo from the 1990s as Garnier Ultra Blends as part of a worldwide relaunch, as the maker of Garnier and Maybelline brands bets on the rising interest in natural and organic haircare.

Ultra Blends is the top haircare brand in France, but was discontinued in India about 15 years ago. Over the past few months, it is being revamped and launched across the world in the US, Canada, UK and Germany. For instance, it’s called Garnier Whole Blends in the US.

The India range was developed at the company’s local R&D centre over the past 18 months taking into consideration the local requirements, said Jean-Christophe Letellier, managing director, L’Oreal India.

For L’Oreal, the new launch comes after a gap of two years following Garnier Black Naturals, a hair colour product aimed at the mass market launched in 2014.

Demand for natural, herbal and ayurvedic products rose in 2015 with companies like Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Colgate-Palmolive India Ltd, Dabur India Ltd, Marico Ltd, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) and Patanjali Ayurved Ltd launching products in this category.

In India, “the naturals segment is growing 1.5 times faster than the market across the personal care space,” Hindustan Unilever Ltd said in its annual report for fiscal 2016 while explaining that the acquisition of ayurvedic hair care brand Indulekha in 2015 was to strengthen its long-term ambition in this space.

“We will accelerate our herbal journey and provide a lot more herbal options,” Vivek Gambhir, managing director, GCPL had told Mint in April while pointing out that in its soaps portfolio, already every variant available has a natural ingredient in it.

“The naturals segment in India has been growing rapidly. To capitalize on this, we are revitalizing our Colgate Active Salt toothpaste bundle,” said Ian Cook, global chief executive on 28 April to investors while sharing that the toothpaste comes in three variants: original, with lemon and with neem. “Also in this segment, we are launching Colgate Sensitive Clove Essence toothpaste, which provides long lasting relief from sensitivity, with the natural essence of clove,” said Cook.

The overall beauty and personal care market has retail value sales of Rs.74,700 core and grew at 13.6% in 2014-15, according to a May 2016 Euromonitor International report which noted that segments like hair care have been growing at a compounded average growth rate of 16.5% between 2010 and 2015.

Ultra Blends is a gentle, paraben-free range of shampoos, conditioners and treatments which is available in five variants: Royal Jelly and Lavender, 5 Precious Herbs, Henna and Blackberry, Soy Milk and Almonds, and Mythic Olive. Prices start from Rs.3 for a 7ml sachet, Rs.55 for a 75ml pack and Rs.430 for 640ml.

The conditioner sachet of 7 ml costs Rs.4 and a 75ml packs costs Rs.75 while the largest 175ml pack is for Rs.170. The range also has an Oil-in-Cream product priced at Rs.70 for 100gms and Rs.120 for 200gms.

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