HUL keen to grow naturally, sources products from parent

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MUMBAIHindustan UnileverNSE 0.30 % is bringing a new line of soaps, shampoos, conditioners and body cream from its global parent to tap into the growing trend for natural products and at the same time, align launches with its sustainability agenda.

The local unit of Unilever will launch more than a dozen friendly personal care products under Love, Beauty and Planet brand, that are made from ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients with vegan-friendly formulations and packed in 100% recycled and recyclable bottles. The company said it is to meet rising demand from those who are looking for more environmentally-responsible products especially millennials and urban affluent consumers.

“There’s a massive demand for natural personal care brands that have high efficacy. And within this space, for premium products that provide a great experience and are environment friendly – an important attribute for today’s discerning consumer,” said Sandeep Kohli, executive director of Beauty & Personal Care at HUL. “While there are many nature-based products in the market, there exists a gap at the premium end for high quality sensorial products which are not only natural, but also sustainable.”

Environment-consciousness and eco-friendliness of brands were ranked as the highest parameter influencing shoppers (67%), followed by natural and organic ingredients (66% and 65%, respectively), the International Lifestyles Survey 2019 by Euromonitor showed. The report said 62% of the respondents surveyed said recyclability influenced their purchases, while 59% said supporting a charitable cause was a key factor while shopping.

For Hindustan Unilever, sustainable living brands grew 69% faster than the rest of its business last calendar year, up from 46% in 2017.

Also, there is a growing consumer preference on natural products – 60% of all launches in 2018 were in the natural space, a 49% jump from two years ago, a recent Kantar report said.

In addition, HUL’s natural portfolio has been growing twice the rate compared to the average growth rate of the company. Apart from Ayush, that was launched to take on Patanjali, HUL acquired Indulekha haircare brand, and launched Citra skincare brand to spruce up its presence in the naturals space.

Similarly, L’Oréal launched a haircare range under the Garnier Ultra Blends, made with natural ingredients, while Colgate launched natural toothpaste brand Vedshakti.