Marquee soap brands like Dove, Pears, and Lifebuoy are getting cheaper as India’s largest FMCG company lathers up with price cuts and increased ads

  • The prices of Dove and Pears will be reduced in the third quarter.
  • It has already cut the prices of its flagship brands Lux and Lifebuoy by around 4.6%.
  • Total price cuts in the personal wash segment will be around 6-8%.
Hindustan Unilever, one of India’s biggest FMCG company, is looking to cut prices of Dove and Pears—its two popular soap brands further. The company said in an earnings conference call yesterday that it has already cut prices of Lux and Lifebuoy by around 4.6%.

“Further price reductions are to be taken in Dove and Pears from the third quarter onwards. On overall personal wash, total price cuts to be around 6-8%,” said the company. These price cuts will cover its most popular products of the major.

This quarter, the 5.3% growth in the beauty and personal care products was soft. Other segments like home care grew 9.4% while foods grew by 8.4%.

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A research report by Edelweiss believes that action on the pricing front will the personal care segment post a turnaround. “Though popular segment in personal wash continues to be soft, we expect the recent price action combined with higher ad spends for Lux and Lifebuoy to change the trend,” the report said.

This quarter, HUL increased its ad spend by 8.3% by partially ploughing back savings in margins—to improve subdued demand.

HUL’s quarterly performance overall has beat expectations as its overall volumes grew by 5%, in spite of almost flat growth from rural areas. Its profits went up by 21% to ₹1,848 crore for the quarter ending September driven by robust growth in the home care and food and beverage verticals.

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It is also banking on good growth from its newest segment of natural care products, along with premium products. “Monsoon has been good--- this, along with more direct transfer to farmers should aid volume growth to some extent. Near-term demand outlook, especially in rural India, remains challenging,” HUL said in its earnings conference call.

Its stock went up by 2.5% in today’s trade to ₹2,065 as of 2:34 pm. It was one of the top gainers in early trade today.



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