L'Oréal loses the bulk in India: smaller packaging to court consumers

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

L'Oréal loses the bulk in India: smaller packaging to court consumers

Related tags European union India

L’Oréal is making a bid to cater to a dominant consumer trend in India for smaller product sizes, especially the widespread enthusiasm for hair products in sachets.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the international beauty giant’s move to swap to smaller package sizes is a bid to target less affluent consumer groups, such as rural consumers - a group with which L’Oreal has been traditionally less popular.

Speaking to the WSJ, Jean-Cristophe Letellier, head of L’Oreal in India, was clear on the importance of the company’s focus on smaller packaging: if you don’t have a selection of small products in India, “you cannot exist,”​ he said.

Flexible packaging is the most significant pack type in beauty and personal care in India,​” Euromonitor has observed​. “This is because flexible packaging continues to be the most popular format in standard shampoo (through small sachets) and bar soap (through flexible paper/plastic).”

India a key focus for L’Oréal

L’Oréal’s Garnier hair care range is particularly strong in the country, but despite this, the company has only been able to reach an overall market share of 4% so far.

Indian consumers are now buying more sachet-sized hair care products than those of regular size, and L’Oréal’s shift to address this confirms it is pouring its efforts into growing its market share in the country.

Indeed, last year, the global beauty play stated that it intends to make India one of its top five global hubs in the coming years, and a key part of this will be using India as a key market from which it can export to the wider Asia Pacific region. The move to tap into current consumer trends indicates L’Oreal has begun this strategy.

Regulation: time to align

Speaking recently, L’Oréal president Loic Armand said India must bring its cosmetics regulation closer in line with that of the EU, in order to strengthen its SMEs.

At the India-France Business summit earlier this year, the head of the global beauty giant stated that legal stability between the two countries was essential if medium and small enterprises are to flourish.

The authorities have to focus on regulatory convergence to bring the Indian regulations closer to the letter and spirit of European Union regulations,”​ he said.

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