Price wars notwithstanding, the Rs 5,000 crore detergents market is expected to witness a single digit growth of 2-3% in the year 2005 as well, according to Procter & Gamble’s associate director-sales, Shumit Kapoor.
The company, which started a price war last year by cutting prices of Ariel by nearly 50% claimed on Thursday that it had gained a 1.5% value share in detergents during the year 2004. “We currently hold a volume market share of 4.5% and value market share of 5% in the detergents market,” Mr Kapoor said soon after the launch of Ariel detergent in two fragrances.
He, however, refused to comment on whether the company would increase prices of its detergents in the immediate future. “We are keeping all options open, we cannot comment on pricing,” Mr Kapoor said. Of late, FMCG majors have been under tremendous pressure to increase prices as input costs have scaled up.
Both P&G and rival HLL have selectively taken a price increase in their 20-gm sachets in the last two months. From Rs 1.50 per sachet, the prices have been revised to Rs 2.
Meanwhile, P&G’s premium detergent brands Ariel and Tide have both become Rs 250 crore brands in India, a market which is considered to be the world’s third largest detergent market, according to Mr Kapoor. The company has, however, not altered the pricing of Ariel launched in two fragrances.