Faced with stiff competition and a slowdown in the oral care market, consumer products giant Hindustan Lever is revamping its portfolio, which includes the Close-Up and Pepsodent brands.
HLL has decided to give its flagship brand Close-Up a leg-up, as it is not satisfied with its performance. Close-Up, which is focussed at the youth, is the first gel brand to be launched in India. It was launched in 1975.
HLL now plans to relaunch Close-Up in new variants, and give the brand a new look and positioning. The first variant on the cards is Close-Up lemon mint. Analysts say that the move is an effort to take on its arch rival Colgate Palmolive India, which has managed to hold on to its market share, despite the slowdown.
The other brand, Pepsodent, was launched in 1991, following the withdrawal of Signal. Hindustan Lever has a 34 per cent share in the Rs 2,200 crore toothpaste market, where Colgate Palmolive maintains its leadership position with a market share of 48.5 per cent.
The toothpaste segment declined 6 per cent between July 2001 and August 2002. While HLL and Colgate Palmolive are constantly fighting a stiff battle for market share, recently, smaller players like Anchor too have begun climbing up the ladder and eating into the share of the bigger players.