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Jul, 25 2016

Hindustan Unilever to equip Dove brand with baby care products

Several of these products will directly compete with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and will be their (J&J's) first serious competition in the country.

Hindustan Unilever is now planning to give a tweak to its beauty care brand Dove. As per the company’s recent strategy, it will be launching a range of baby care products under Dove to compete head-to-head with the market leader, Johnson & Johnson. According to the two company officials, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) plans to launch a range of baby care products under its Dove brand in the next few months to challenge the dominance of Johnson & Johnson in the Rs 4,000-crore market.

Several of these products will directly compete with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and will be their (J&J's) first serious competition in the country. HUL's decision is part of a strategy to expand Dove that transformed itself from being just a bathing bar in 1993 to shampoo, deodorants, lotions, body and face wash last decade, added officials.

However, company’s spokesperson declined to comment anything on the story and stated that as per the company’s policy, no comment can be made on speculations of the market.

Research agency Euromonitor expects demand for baby and child-specific products to remain high due to a host of factors, including rising disposable incomes, the increasing number of nuclear families in urban centres, rising awareness of baby products, and the expected rapid growth of modern retailers.

The market experts feel that baby care products industry can prove a big hunting ground for newly launched companies mainly because not much have been explored in this sector. Despite of having second largest population in the world, in India, this sector is still under-penetration.

India is under-branded in the baby care category despite high potential and birth rates. There has been low level of innovation and product introductions too. Safety and quality are paramount in the category and it would be tough for any brand to earn the trust of parents. Mothers are very sensitive about this segment and one doesn't change loyalty easily unless she is assured about the quality, commented Devendra Chawla, President, FMCG and brands, Future Group. 

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