As far as product variations go, the current trend seems like going back to the good old home remedies - at least as far as FMCGs are concerned.
In the recent past, front line FMCG companies namely Colgate, Proctor & Gamble and Hindustan Lever have come out with products based on home-remedy recipes.
Last month, Colgate, the leader in the oral care market, introduced Colgate Active Salt, a mint toothpaste with salt added to it. Vinay Hegde, executive vice-president, Colgate-Palmolive said the toothpaste was created because their research highlighted the uncovered demand in the market for an oral care product which contains salt. “It is meant for consumers who are inclined towards products based on natural ingredients, and is therefore quite broad based in its appeal,” he added.
Pantene too introduced its new range of shampoos which they claim to have the qualities of coconut oil and are expected to provide the same conditioning as using coconut oil would. It is not unusual that companies move into the natural products range as Hindustan Lever did by launching Clinic Plus Ayurvedic but what is interesting is that in the cases of P&G and Colgate, neither company has come up with a completely natural product, but just brought about a slight variation in their existing product.
Rahul Malhotra, associate marketing director Proctor & Gamble says coconut oil is preferred by majority of Indian women, hence the new shampoo was introduced. This helps them to provide traditional care for their hair without consuming too much of their time, he explains.
Convenience then, is a major deciding factor, as these options provide the home remedies out of a bottle. And the consumers certainly don’t seem to mind it. “Today most of the large brands are taking this route of bringing in a home remedy element to their products, which is a clear indication that there is a huge market for it,” says Hemant Mehta, vice president and country manager, IMRB International.
Hindustan Lever too has brought about variants of their Brooke Bond tea, introducing flavors like tulsi and mulethi. Here again the company says the focus is on wellness rather than on any curative properties. And as long as consumers don’t mind their home remedies with more than a hint of chemicals, this trend looks like it will continue.