If you can't beat them, join them. That seems to be the mantra for Colgate-Palmolive which is planning to launch its own all Indian toothpaste herbal brand called 'Vedshakti' to take on increasing competition from Patanjali Ayurved's wild success with Dant Kanti and the herbal consumer products space.
Although Colgate has operated in India for over 80 years, this would be the first time the consumer products giant would be introducing an indigenous brand, ET reported.
Priced at ₹50, a 175 gram pack is expected to be 30 per cent cheaper than the price of Patanjali's Dant Kanti.
"In India, the consumer believes strongly in natural ingredients," Bina Thompson, Colgate Palmolive's senior vice-president said, adding the company will be launching Cibaca Vedshakti this quarter in a bid to serve the growing consumer appetite for natural ingredients and herbal fare.
Meanwhile, Patanjali, has objected to the new name and recommends Ayush or Jadibooti as appropriate names.
"We worship and respect Vedas like our gods, we don't use them in our products. This is not a toothpaste but a direct attack on our culture," Acharya Balkrishna, MD of Patanjali Ayurved told ET. Dant Kanti's sales are estimated at about ₹450 crore.
Patanjali's share in the toothpaste market is estimated to be around two per cent, while Colgate's overall market share appears to have slipped more than 1 per cent but is still a whopping 55 per cent, according to Nielsen data. With its sheer size and available cash, Colgate may well beat Dant Kanti.
Perhaps the next toothpaste battle will be fought for the traditional Neem chew sticks?