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Hair oil brands step up to meet demand

The hair oil business suffered in the aftermath of the pandemic induced lockdowns last year when consumers bought more essential goods and went easy on discretionary personal care products. (Mint)Premium
The hair oil business suffered in the aftermath of the pandemic induced lockdowns last year when consumers bought more essential goods and went easy on discretionary personal care products. (Mint)

  • Fast moving consumer goods companies such as Dabur, Marico and Bajaj have been stepping up advertising and distribution in their hair oils portfolio, partly to lift demand which had slowed down last year and partly to meet budding competition from startups in the category

NEW DELHI:  Fast-moving consumer goods companies such as Dabur India Ltd, Marico Ltd and Bajaj Consumer Care Ltd have been stepping up advertising and distribution in their hair oils portfolio, partly to lift demand that had slowed down last year, and partly to meet budding competition from startups in the category.

Dabur recently rolled out coconut oils in south and east India under the brand names Dabur Anmol and Dabur Gold. The company will continue to launch variants to cater to the varied consumer needs in the hair oil segment, chief executive Mohit Malhotra said.

A recent report by brokerage firm Edelweiss said Bajaj Consumer is also planning distribution expansion in the southern market, launching its coconut oil brand in select states in July. “It has a cheaper price point and aims to capture some shelf space," the report said, pointing to the flurry of activity in the coconut oil segment.

More recently, Dabur launched comparative ad campaigns against rival Marico, which holds over 60% market share in the coconut hair oil category, claiming Dabur’s Anmol Jasmine hair oil offers “66% more oil" than Marico’s Parachute Jasmine.

To be sure, the hair oils business suffered following the pandemic outbreak when consumers bought more essential goods and went easy on discretionary personal care products.

Lockdowns also impacted supply chains, prompting companies to prioritize the sales of more essential items. This was especially true for more premium hair oil brands.

As demand normalizes and consumers return to stores, FMCG firms are increasing promotions and launches in the hair oils category.

Marico’s chief financial officer Pawan Agrawal said while the coconut oil category has been competitive over the years, its flanker brands have helped counter any price competition in the branded coconut oil space.

“Therefore, in line with past long-term trends, we are confident of achieving our growth aspiration of delivering 5-7% volume growth in Parachute coconut oil over the medium term," he said.

Marico plans to expand new offerings in the premium end of the portfolio, which has faced a bit of a slowdown.

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