While Colgate remains the leader in the toothpaste market of India, the brand has been hard hit by the actions of its rivals, notably, Patanjali, a brand that has scaled dizzying heights in a remarkably short span of time and has drawn consumers as well as investor attention. Patanjali has grabbed a considerable market share in the matter of a year in toothpastes putting pressure on market leader Colgate. Secondly, the shift towards herbal products in oral care is a clear trend, which has caught Colgate off-guard.
The oral care market is considered as one of the rapidly growing category in FMCG sector of India. India oral care market is categorized into toothpaste, toothbrush, toothpowder, mouthwash and others (tongue cleaner & dental floss). Majority of the share is captured by toothpaste segment, followed by toothbrush and toothpowder. Manual toothbrushes are popular in the country whereas toothpowder is losing ground in India. Till few years back, toothpowder was used in rural India and this helped the category to survive in the oral care market. Mouthwash category has huge potential in upcoming years as consumption of such innovative products is on a rise in urban areas. Others products include tongue cleaner & dental floss. Tongue cleaner is a widely used product in India whereas dental floss is still a new category.
According to recently published report of Bonafide Research "India Oral Care Market Overview, 2016-2022" Patanjali Ayurved's brand Dant Kanti has already captured close to 8% of the overall toothpaste market revenues, in a very short span of time. Patanjali posted Rs 5000 crore revenue in 2015-16, out of which Rs 450 crore came from Dant Kanti alone. As per the latest figures available, Dant Kanti has generated revenues of Rs. 940 crore in FY 2016-17. With Rs. 10,000 crore revenue in financial year 2016-17 Ramdev’s Patanjali group has become the third largest FMCG player in India which has conveniently surpassed other major competitive firms like Nestlé India, Godrej Consumer and Dabur India. The company's toothpaste brand Dant Kanti has squeezed the oral care industry, dominated by big players like Colgate-Palmolive (India), Hindustan Unilever (HUL) and Dabur India. Dant Kanti has emerged as the fastest growing brand, although on a small base, gaining considerable market share in the last two years.
Patanjali has not only carved out a niche for itself in the oral care market but also made scope for herbal products of other domestic companies. Products with 'natural' ingredients now account for considerable amount of overall toothpaste market. Thus, Patanjali's creation of a new consumer segment is benefitting other herbal and ayurvedic brands too. To counter balance the attack of such domestic brands, international companies like Colgate has increased advertisement spends and introduced new herbal products such as Cibaca Vedshakti, a toothpaste with clove for sensitive teeth. Till now, Cibaca Vedshakti had been doing well for the company and logged share gains in certain regions of launch. Colgate will be carrying out more such innovations and have new launches in this segment. However, most other firms like Dabur and HUL have cut back on advertising and promotional spend and even limited new launches.
Major companies operating in the oral care market of India are Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited, Hindustan Unilever Limited, Gillette India Limited, Dabur India Limited and Patanjali Ayurved Limited.