In a bid to challenge the challenger, the FMCG giant Hindustan Unilever plans to launch Ayurvedic products to counter Baba Ramdev's brainchild- Patanjali.
The Economic Times reported that the Unilever will launch around 20 products - toothpaste and skin cream to soaps and shampoos - under its existing Ayurveda brand Ayush.
Ayush was launched in 2001 as a premium brand but had lost momentum by 2007. Now, the positioning will be mass market - price points between Rs 30 and Rs 130, the report said.
"Ayurveda is a growing trend. Lever Ayush is designed to attract and retain consumers with authentic Ayurveda-based offerings," HUL's personal care Executive Director Sandeep Kohli was quoted as saying.
FMCG companies are facing tough competition from Patanjali as it has captured the significant share of personal care market with its low-priced Ayurvedic products.
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Dabur is another FMCG major that has faced a strong fight in ayurvedic products from Patanjali. Dabur CEO Sunil Duggal recently spoke to Business Today and conceded that they may have missed a trick or two while dealing with Patanjali.
"The playing field for ayurveda has expanded tremendously after the entry of Patanjali. The back-to-the-roots mindset means Indian and ayurvedic products are preferred by a significant mass of people," he said.
Patanjali has hit out at foreign multinationals with a "with us or against us" campaign, and while it has been relatively soft on Dabur, it has questioned the company's pricing strategy.
Dabur CEO further said he does not wish to get into a direct fight with Patanjali but wants to cater to consumers who are more rational about their choices
Earlier at an annual event of Danik Bhaskar, Baba Ramdev laid out his future plan and said: "In next 5-10 years, the entire world will go for Patanjali products. I am neither comparing with others nor my aim is to bring down the business of others."
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In last few years, Ramdev has invested very heavily in research on Ayurveda. With few of large ticket announcements, the Patanjali has shown that it is all set to end the dominance of multinational corporations that have for decades been capitalising on the country's market.
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