Dabur’s new shampoo positioned to kill coronavirus

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The new addition to Dabur’s Vatika line of shampoo protects the hair from Coronavirus and other germs. This is probably the first time a consumer-facing shampoo brand has claimed to rid our hair of germs.

The ‘germ kill proposition in the personal care business has long been associated with product groups like antiseptic creams or lotions, toothpaste, mouth-washes, handwashes, soaps, and recently, sanitizers.

Shampoos have been sold very differently. One of the traditional personal care categories, shampoos has mostly been about wellness and beauty. The propositions in the various categories have undergone a fair share of evolution themselves, but have retained beauty and wellness at the core.

With dozens of competing brands and huge category penetration, the market is valued upward of Rs 8,000 crore. It is led by HUL (Clear, Dove, Sunsilk, Clinic Plus), followed by players like P&G (Pantene, Head & Shoulders), Marico, ITC, Dabur, and CavinKare.The category has majorly been built on the promise of strengthening hair and removing dandruff. Over the years, brands explored new variety propositions like hair nourishment, conditioning, damage control, protection from UV/pollution, herbal ingredients, etc. to stay relevant and stand out.

The newer variety category trends include eco-friendly and organic shampoos (like Mamaearth and WOW).

Vatika’s shampoo expansions are in line with the industry trends. The initial Vatika shampoo was coming up in 1999, as a herbal alternative to other chemical shampoos available back then.

Recently, the brand launched its ‘Plant-based’ variants with on-trend ingredients like argan oil, coconut milk, onion, and apple cider vinegar. The germ protection level in shampoos has till now been limited to medicated shampoos suggested by dermatologists and hair experts for specific medical conditions. Dabur’s ‘germ protection stance came at the backdrop of the covid-19 pandemic. The product also claims to protect against the covid virus.

This has only added to Dabur’s anti-covid lineup which includes immunity-boosting products like Chyawanprash along with soaps and sanitizers.

In a chat with afaqs, Gaurav Parashar, marketing head – Hair Care, Dabur India, says that the latest launch was a pretty straightforward move for the industry.

The discussion begins last year in the middle of the covid pandemic and the idea was to solve the issue of covid germs piggybacking on peoples’ hair. This sets the ball rolling for seeking new formulation and ensuring that it passes clinical tests before making it to the consumer market. Vatika Germ Protection shampoo has been came with four SKUs – 80ml, 180ml, 440ml and 640ml priced at Rs 45, Rs 95, Rs 250 & Rs 400 respectively. It will be available on Flipkart and other regular retail channels.

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