MUMBAI: Patanjali Ayurved, the yogi-led FMCG company, has shaken up the offerings of multinational brands in India as its traditional “herbal” toothpaste flavours have stolen market share from giants such as Hindustan Unilever and Colgate.

According to a report by HDFC Securities, brands with a herbal offer are winning in the Rs 10,000 crore (US$ 1.57 billion) oral-care market.

“The oral care category has witnessed significant disruption owing to the success of Patanjali’s Dant Kanti,” the study noted.

Due to a shift in consumer preference toward herbal or ayurvedic toothpastes, both Colgate and Hindustan Unilever have lost market share. In addition, Quartz India noted, Patanjali chief Baba Ramdev’s yogi credentials and nationalist rhetoric have helped the overall FMCG business in raking in revenues of US$1.6bn in 2016-17.

Currently, herbal/ayurvedic toothpastes constitute approximately 20% of the total market. Ten years ago, that figure was zero, but with development of new formulas by both Patanjali and Dabur – which together make up more than 80% of the herbal/ayurvedic market – growth has been significant and concentrated.

Now, market leaders Colgate (53% total market share) and HUL (17% market share) have released their own offerings in this segment. However, in a market that touches 90% of all Indian households, the real fight may be one of price. Patanjali’s Dant Kanti costs significantly less than similar offerings from both Colgate and HUL.

The rise of Patanjali has been fascinating to watch. Since its inception, the brand has aggressively courted low-income Indians outside of metro areas to grow its market share, with competitive pricing and a traditional media strategy.

“We have the bandwidth to be successful across all categories. We have a team of champions. We get the job done,” said Avinash Kumar, CGM Media and Head of Marketing, Patanjali, at a conference in New Delhi last year.

Sourced from HDFC Securities, Quartz India, Wikipedia, WARC