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Nivea to enter women’s fairness cream market

Nivea to enter women’s fairness cream market

Mumbai: Having successfully sold the promise of whiter skin to male consumers here, Germany’s Beiersdorf AG, which owns the Nivea skin cream brand, now plans to do the same with women in the 20-35 age group, hoping to win complexion-conscious customers in a country where almost 40% of the skin care market by value is made up of products that promise to make people fairer.

The range, to be marketed under the Nivea Visage Sparkling Glow brand line, will be plugged with the tag line “get fair, stay fair" in a commercial that will go on air shortly, depicting a young female protagonist in different settings such as a restaurant and a yoga class.

Sean Colaco, vice-president, creative services, TBWA/ India Pvt. Ltd, the agency that made the commercial, says the message is that Nivea Visage offers the unique proposition of long-lasting fairness. The products will include a face-wash, a toner, two day creams and a night cream priced between Rs109 and Rs329.

Nivea India Pvt. Ltd marketing head Soma Ghosh said pre-launch research revealed that consumers wanted a product that didn’t just help them get fair, but also helped them retain a fair complexion.

The launch will mark the company’s entry into the so-called mass-premium market occupied by Garnier and Ponds, Ghosh said, adding that the market is worth an annual Rs75 crore and expanding 20-25% annually.

Nivea’s line of fairness products targeted at men launched earlier this year has already garnered a 40% market share, Ghosh said. In April, the company had extended its portfolio with the launch of Nivea For Men Whitening Oil Control.

About 51% of skin care products sold in the country are plugged with the promise that their use would result in a fair complexion, according to the company. The appeal seems to be working, given the segment’s double-digit growth.

Nivea aims is to achieve 40% market awareness for the Visage Sparkling Glow brand line in the first nine months of launch among its target group.

The skin care market is worth an annual Rs2,500 crore, said Anand Shah, an analyst at Angel Broking Ltd. “Out of this, the fairness market is worth about Rs1,000 crore, and is dominated mainly by face creams," he said.

Hindustan Unilever Ltd, or HUL, and Emami Ltd dominate the fairness products category characterized by “a whole lot of launches", said Shah, adding that companies such as Elder Pharmaceuticals Ltd are also looking at the business.

He did not comment on Nivea’s market position because it is not a listed company.

Emami director Mohan Goenka said the market for fairness products is growing at 15% yearly. Emami was among the first companies to target men with the launch of its Fair and Handsome cream.

“The men’s fairness segment is lucrative and in our estimation is worth Rs200-300 crore," said Goenka, noting that HUL, Shahnaz Ayurveda Pvt. Ltd and Paras Pharmaceuticals Ltd had followed Emami into the segment.

Goenka doesn’t think that Nivea has made its presence felt in the fairness market, estimating its share at as low as 0.5%. “Then again, they are priced much higher than both Emami and HUL fairness products and do not compete in the mass market," he said. “In the fairness segment, you will find that majority of the market goes for lower-priced products."

“About 40% of the market is buying fairness products priced at Rs5, and 30-35% are buying fairness products at Rs35. Between Rs5 and Rs35, you get nearly 70% of the market,’’ Goenka added.

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