L'Oréal setting up India hair colour price battle?

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

L'Oréal setting up India hair colour price battle?

Related tags Cosmetics Marketing

International cosmetics giant L'Oréal has launched a new mass-market level product onto the Indian hair colourant segment, in a move that could ignite a price war.

It follows a prediction for the segment’s rise by market research firm Mintel, who recently noted that the market in the Asia Pacific region, valued at an estimated $382 million in 2012, is expected to show growth of 110% up to 2016.

The research firm notes that launches which bridge the gap between value and prestige products are likely to drive the growth in India; L'Oréal’s new ‘Garnier Black Naturals’ meets that prediction, coming in at two-thirds the price of the company’s next cheapest hair colourant product.

Competition for masstige hair

L'Oréal’s move follows swiftly on the heels of the recent launch​ by Indian personal care products company Marico of a product in the same price bracket, as brands move to court the expected boom in India’s middle-class consumers, by bridging the gap between premium and value with masstige products.

"Driven by growing consumption in rural and semi-urban areas, the FMCG market is set to double from $14.7 billion in 2008-09 to $30 billion in 2014,” ​Manoj Mehta, chairman, ‘International Beauty Mart' 2014, told Cosmetics Design.

Vivienne Rudd, Director of Global Insight, Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel, said that such launches as L'Oréal’s and Marico’s seek to “encourage consumers to trade up from traditional, low cost products to more sophisticated products that use familiar ingredients and claims and add a more cosmetic twist, promising luxuriant, shining colour and professional results at home​.”

Indeed, Garnier Black Naturals boasts such claims in its marketing, promising consumers“100% grey coverage and natural looking hair that is soft and shiny​”.

The launch suggests brands are now mobilising to battle it out for the new consumer bracket.

Growth across the region

India’s hair care growth parallels that seen in fellow Asian markets: according to the market analysts at Mintel, the largest market for hair colourants in Asia Pacific at present is Japan, with $1 billion sales in 2012.

Thailand, with a hair colouring market valued at an estimated $104 million in 2012, is also set to see swift growth, with Mintel forecasting an increase of 40% over the same period to reach $144 million.


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