HUL’s haircare market share reaches a 15-year high

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Higher sales of premium and natural products in Hindustan Unilever Limited.

This has enabled HUL, India’s largest consumer goods company, to increase its market share in the hair care area to a 15-year high in 2021.

Last year, the Dove and Sunsilk producer increased its market share by 2.5 percentage points to over 61 per cent in shampoo and almost 75 per cent in conditioners.

“With a portfolio that traverses the pricing pyramid, our portfolio works across demand and benefit spaces, appealing to diverse age groups.”

“Over the previous several years, this has helped us to strengthen our business, and we are now at our highest share in a decade,” said Priya Nair, executive director of HUL’s beauty and personal care (BPC) division.

In the haircare area, the company’s market share has surpassed that of archrival Procter & Gamble. The BPC division generated about half of the company’s yearly profit and accounted for around 40% of total sales.

With emerging brands like Tresemme, Indulekha, and TIGI, its position in the shampoo market mainly was limited to the so-called mid-priced shampoos with its Clinic, and Sunsilk brands have seen a premiumisation drive.

“The haircare market continues to expand in two ways. One is that the number of wash occasions rises as the country’s customers get wealthier and wash their hair more regularly,” Nair said last week.

“The second is premiumisation, or customers demanding better products with higher-order advantages and more items in their hair care regimen.”

According to the firm, Clinic Plus has reached nine out of ten households in the country, while Dove is the most popular premium beauty brand and has restored its position as the most popular wash and care brand thanks to increased penetration in urban and rural areas regions.

 Sunsilk has grown in popularity and market share, while Tresemme and Indulekha have been at the forefront of salon and natural hair trends in India for the past three years.

According to recent research by Nomura, approximately 75% of HUL’s portfolio has increased market share across all categories.

The research stated, “Volume market share is at its greatest level in decades, and the strategy of recruiting customers during the slump has been working effectively.”

India’s shampoo penetration is above 90%, but per capita use is nearly three times lower than other Asian rising economies.

Many local companies, such as Dabur and CavinKare, have brands at various prices and global firms such as P&G and L’Oreal. New players are also becoming more active, particularly in the consumer category.

Although Indian customers primarily utilise oils and shampoos, HUL claims to have launched new formats to establish new age groups.

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