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Mar, 04 2017

Homegrown ayurvedic companies undergo herbal makeover

HUL and Colgate Palmolive have started to bolster portfolios with herbal or Ayurvedic products (Ayush by HUL, Colgate Vedshakti), thanks to Patanjali that disrupted the domestic FMCG market.

Ayurveda is experiencing a chic makeover. While Baba Ramdev made Indians rediscover their love for the 4,500-year-old system of medicine, homegrown companies such as Dabur and Hamdard are going a step further by tweaking herbal remedies for young consumers.

From kadha (Ayurvedic cough and cold remedy) in teastick and sachet formats and Dabur Red gel toothpastes to ready-to-drink Rooh Afza and mix fruit infused cough syrups, the natural-medicine market in India looks set for a contemporary makeover.

K K Chutani, ED of consumer care business at Dabur India, said, "We can’t ignore that India is a young country. Traditional companies need to appear modern to connect with the youth. We kicked off the exercise by launching new flavours of one of our oldest bestsellers — chyawanprash in mango and chocolate flavours. Honey is undergoing a makeover too, as are other product categories."

Hamdard, a 110-year-old organisation dealing in Unani (Perso-Arabic traditional medicine) products, has made quite a few changes in its frontend, as well. It has launched a range of wellness centres targeted at affluent consumers. Its century-old beverage Rooh Afza, which was available only in family-sized glass bottles, is now being sold in small readyto-drink Tetrapaks for youngsters to consume on the go. It is also aiming to extend its Safi brand into cosmetics. Safi is currently marketed as a natural blood purifier.

Mansoor Ali, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, said, "The only way for traditional companies to grow is through newer formats. The packaging has to be aspirational. The youth prefers convenience-based products that boast a health proposition."

To make it convenient for young consumers to snap up Ayurvedic formulations that are otherwise perceived as difficult to prepare, Dabur will be selling kadha in tea-stick and sachet forms under its Honitus brand. he company is launching Honey-Ginger, a mixture of honey and ginger, as also the cough syrup Honitus in a mixed fruit variant. Amla (Indian gooseberry), an integral element of traditional medicine, will also find its way into the packaged juice format under the Réal brand, said Chutani.

HUL and Colgate Palmolive have started to bolster portfolios with herbal or Ayurvedic products (Ayush by HUL, Colgate Vedshakti), thanks to Patanjali that disrupted the domestic FMCG market.

Chutani, said, "We can’t ignore that India is a young country. Traditional companies need to appear modern to connect with the youth."

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