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Tuesday, Sep 28, 2004

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Amrutanjan's Affair with mouth fresheners

Vinay Kamath
Sriram Srinivasan

Chennai , Sept. 27

AMRUTANJAN Ltd, the 110-year-old company known for its eponymous pain balm, has made an entry into the mouth fresheners market with its `Affair' brand. It has also forayed into the confectionery segment with `Goody Lactos.' Both brands are priced at 50 paise a unit.

The herbal mouth freshener, which has been initially launched in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, will target the youth, said Mr P. Easwaradas, President of the company's OTC division.

As a promotional offer, Amrutanjan is offering a magic pen to those who collect 25 wrappers of Affair. The company has already begun sampling exercises at colleges in the two States.

The brand will be distributed through Amrutanjan's already established network of consumer stockists, who total around 2.25 lakh.

Mr Easwaradas said a mouth freshener brand could help the company in effective product placement. For instance, Affair could be clubbed with a low-price pack of the pain balm.

The market for mouth fresheners, estimated at Rs 75 crore, is seeing a lot of new entrants. While CavinKare launched its Freshwala brand recently with endorsement by cricketer Irfan Pathan, ITC introduced its Minto Fresh brand.

While Perfetti has its Chlormint brand, DS Foods' Pass Pass is another contender.

Amrutanjan is already present in the hard-boiled mentholated candy market with its brands Swas and Tingle, which last year contributed Rs 2.15 crore to the company's earnings of Rs 67 crore (excluding its chemicals division). Swas, which comes in four flavours, and Tingle are distributed through consumer and pharma stockists.

Mr Easwaradas claimed that the company's move to provide these products through 100-unit jars (that can be reused as containers) rather than the 200-unit jars, which is the norm, has been popular with distributors.

It also paved the way for cash deals, unlike the distribution of 200-unit jars, which is credit based, it is learnt.

Amrutanjan's plunge into confectionery will be initially limited to Tamil Nadu but it hopes to be present in the entire South by December this year.

The Rs 2,000-crore market consists of hard-boiled confectionery and toffees. Amrutanjan's Goody Lactos, with the Goody pup mascot, belongs to the former category.

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Amrutanjan's Affair with mouth fresheners

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