FMCG major Hindustan Lever is launching its flagship beauty brand Dove's, hair care range in India, sources close to the company said. Currently, Dove's hair care products are available in India only through third party imports.
Unilever plans to discontinue this route, and market the new Dove shampoos and conditioners through the home and personal care (HPC) division of HLL. In reply to an emailed questionnaire, an HLL spokesperson said that the company does not respond to speculation.
HLL plans to roll out three variants of the shampoo and conditioner combo: essential care, daily care and moisture therapy. Based on the performance of these three variants, HLL will unveil other products from Unilever's international Dove portfolio - which includes hair gel, cream and advanced care.
Dove's advertising is handled with Ogilvy & Mather, and the agency is working on on-ground promotions which are due to kick off soon as well. Currently, the company's Dove portfolio in India comprises beauty bars (soap) and cream.
The Dove beauty bar has been growing at a double digit rate and the company launched three variants last year. Internationally, Dove has a host of products across the hair, face and skin categories.
In the Indian hair care space, HLL is the leader with 48% market share. Dove's new launch is likely to face competition from P&G's Pantene range, L'Oreal's portfolio and other entrants as well as from domestic players like CavinKare, Marico and others.
The size of the hair care market in India is Rs 3,800 crore and is growing at 6% per annum. “Dove is considered to be one of the most premium brands in the market but has been a fast growing brand for the company. After introducing the soap at a lower price point, it has seen higher value growth,” said an industry analyst.