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HLL re-enters whitening segment with Pepsodent

12-October-2004
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HLL re-enters whitening segment with Pepsodent

Juggling its toothpaste variants, HLL has once again entered the whitening segment by stretching its Pepsodent franchise.

After withdrawing Close up Whitening last year , it has now introduced Pepsodent Whitening with Perlite (an effective polishing agent that is clinically proven to whiten teeth). Sporting a fresh mint flavour, Pepsodent Whitening is pegged on a par with the rest of the Pepsodent franchise at Rs 40 for 175 gm and Rs 20 for 80 gm.

It is pitted with an almost equivalent pricing against Colgate's Herbal White variant (Rs 45 for 200 gm and Rs 25 for 100gm).

Mr Sanjiv Kakkar, Vice-President, Oral & Hair Care, HLL, told Business Line, "Although we have made attempts to enter the whitening segment and have withdrawn our variants for various reasons, today this market has been growing and we believe this is the right time to enter the segment with a new technology."

While HLL has been pruning the variants of its Close Up franchise (the brand is being treated as a local jewel by Unilever worldwide, according to analysts), the new Pepsodent Whitening variant has been roped in from Unilever's worldwide portfolio and has been added to the existing Pepsodent franchise, which at present comprises variants such as Pepsodent 2-in-1 Germi Check Plus, Pepsodent G Gum Care and the regular Pepsodent Fresh and Family flavours.

Subcontracting its new variant to the Daman-based company - Prime Health Care Products, Pepsodent Whitening carries the baseline, Healthy White Teeth for your family. Added Mr Kakkar, "There will be new communication to support the new variant."

At present, Colgate has whitening variants such as Colgate Simply White (an imported product at the top end of the gel market), Colgate Herbal White and Colgate Whitening.

But analysts tracking the company are not too hopeful about HLL succeeding in the whitening category. According to Mr Nikhil Vora, Senior Vice-President (Research), SSKI Securities, "A new whitening variant is more about keeping up the noise levels of the brand and rejuvenating it. Colgate is the only other player in this category and it is hardly a significant market. For HLL, Pepsodent has reaped better rewards with its advertising compared to its Close up gel variants."

According to AC Nielsen ORG data, Pepsodent currently commands a 17 per cent market share followed by Close up with a 15 per cent share.

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