FMCG company Marico has launched a new Chyawanprash range under its contemporary ayurvedic brand Saffola Immuniveda. This is the company’s second product in the segment, commanded by its arch-rival Dabur.
“We have launched the all-new Saffola Chyawanprash under our Immuniveda banner, an enriched product that combines the benefits of Ayurveda and the expertise to our consumers, who are seeking immunity-boosting products that fit into their hectic lifestyles, to ensure the wellbeing of themselves and their families,” said Sanjay Mishra, COO- India Sales & CEO- News Business, Marico, announcing the launch in a press note.
The company is introducing the product in three SKUs – 500 gm for Rs 199, 1 kg for Rs 350, and a 1.25 kg value pack exclusively for modern trade stores. The product is available across e-commerce, modern trade, and general platforms across the country, and also on the Saffola Store direct-to-consumer portal.
Marico versus Dabur
The maker of brands like Saffola and Parachute had last year marked its entry into the category, with the introduction of Saffola Arogyam Chyawan Amrut Awaleha, and launched an aggressive marketing campaign, which called the Chyawanprash products already present in the market as ‘ordinary’. Dabur had moved to Delhi High Court after the launch against Marico and challenged their advertising campaign. Dabur had also alleged in their complaint to the court had Marico’s product packaging was quite similar to their own.
Dabur had contested Marico’s claim on the basis that ‘Chyawanprash’ cannot be called 'ordinary' given that it’s made according to a formulation prescribed in ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita, which has about 48 ingredients, as directed by the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy (AYUSH). Marico had named its product Saffola Arogyam Chyawan Amrut Awaleha because it had tweaked the formulations to offer differentiation.
Delhi High Court had ruled in Dabur’s favour and Marico had to eventually pull down the advertisement.
Marico, of late, is trying to strengthen its food portfolio with the launch of several new products and has entered several new categories such as immunity boosters like Chyawanprash, honey, and more, which are Dabur’s mainstay. Dabur commands a 60 percent share of the Chyawanprash category and 40 percent in honey.
Performance so far
While Marico claims to have gained market share in the honey category, its tryst with Chyawanprash has not been so successful. In a conversation with Moneycontrol in June, CFO Pawan Agrawal had said the product is yet to take off for the company.
“It has not performed as we expected and we are re-working the mix and rejuvenating the brand. We are determined to stay put in this segment,” Agrawal said. “If we’ve been able to succeed in honey, in the immunity space, we believe that we could also succeed in this particular category as well.”
The recent launch by the company is most likely an attempt to revive the category. The move, however, again pits it against Dabur.
“Chawayanprash is a difficult category for any company to crack, given the high consumer loyalty as well as limited scope of differentiation in it. Also, Dabur has been very aggressive in the segment with innovations,” said Abneesh Roy, Executive Director, Edelweiss Securities.
“Marico has better chances in the honey category, which will continue to expand,” he added.According to Marico, Saffola Honey’s market share in key modern trade chains has hit double-digits and consolidated above 25 percent in the e-commerce channel. The company is targeting Rs 100 crore in revenue from honey by the end of the year. For its overall food business, including new products such as instant noodles Saffola Oodles and Saffola MealMaker Soya Chunks, the company is eying Rs 500 crore in revenue.