Regional deo brands gather arms, topple big ’uns

Purvita Chatterjee Mumbai | Updated on June 05, 2014 Published on June 05, 2014

Fogg beats HUL’s Axe to become market leader; small players sniff opportunities

Marketing wars in the deodorant category are nothing to sniff at.

Especially when an unknown deo brand such as Fogg becomes a market leader, beating Hindustan Unilever’s Axe, and Wild Stone, the deo from Kolkata-based McNROE Consumer Products, shimmies up to share the spotlight with JK Helene Curtis’ Park Avenue brand.

Deos, a ₹2,200-crore segment, are growing at 16 per cent, faster than the fast-moving consumer goods category with 9 per cent.

The four-year-old Fogg, owned by Vini Cosmetics, a company founded by the former promoter of Paras Pharma, dislodged Axe, while a relatively new brand Wild Stone has spread its fragrance wide enough to rival established player Park Avenue.

Though McNROE Consumer Products started Wild Stone as a regional deo brand, it soon became a national brand after the company hiked its marketing budget and hired Future Brands as its marketing consultant and O&M as its advertising agency.

Sanjoy Sen, COO, McNROE Consumer Products, said, “After starting out as a regional brand almost seven years ago, today, our volume shares are almost at par with Park Avenue, the third largest deo brand in the market. However, deos still have a long way to go as household penetration is at 16 per cent.’’

Market share

According to data from market research agency Nielsen, Fogg was the market leader with 12.1 per cent volume share followed by Axe at 7.2 per cent, from January to March 2014.

Both Park Avenue and Wild Stone are the number three brands with volume share at 6.5 per cent.

Till last year, it was Park Avenue that was eager to catch up with the then market leader Axe’s share and distribution might. But with new brands entering the fray, be it big players like Emami with its ‘He’ deos or relatively smaller ones such as ‘Rover’ deos from VEMB Retail, the air is heady with competition.

With almost 200 deo brands jostling for space, new entrants are eagerly scouring the smaller cities to make a mark. Rover deodorants have decided to firmly stay away from the metro markets, given the intense competition.

Focus on smaller cities

Punit Agarwal, Managing Director, VEMB Retail, which owns Promart discount stores, said: “There are too many brands cluttering the deo category in the urban markets. So, we have decided to step into smaller towns with our deos, as we have 80 Promart retail stores in Tier-II and -III cities.’’

Published on June 05, 2014

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