Himalaya firm forays into herbal oral care segment

December 16th, 2010 - 8:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Dec 16 (IANS) India’s leading herbal health and personal care company Himalaya Drug Co Thursday announced its foray into the oral care segment with a range of herbal products for treatment of teeth and gum ailments.”Though the personal oral care market in the country is mainly driven by multinationals such as Colgate Palmolive and Hindustan Unilever, the prescription oral care segment is gaining acceptance due to increasing awareness about oral hygiene and changing eating habits,” Himalaya (pharmaceuticals) chief executive Philipe Haydon told reporters here.

Of the total personal oral care market, dominated by FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) companies and valued at Rs.4,400 crore, the sunrise ethical or herbal oral care market is estimated to be about Rs.250 crore, growing at 21 percent annually, according to a study by ORG MAT.

“Unlike other players in the herbal oral care segment, we are introducing a range of products to offer a holistic approach to specific mouth ailments with no side effects,” Haydon said at a preview of the products.

Being prescriptive in nature, the company plans to promote the oral care products through dentists and doctors.

“Though general practitioners are the first point of contact for common oral ailments, it is dentists and doctors whom we believe are key to educating people on good oral health and hygiene,” Haydon said.

Priced between Rs.32-100, the 80-year-old company’s oral care products include HiOra-K toothpaste for sensitive teeth, HiOra mouthwash for regular, HiOra-SG for mouth ulcer gel, HiOra-GA for gum astringent and HiOra-Shine for whitening.

According to the ORG study, 90 percent of Indian adults in middle age suffer from periodontal diseases.

“The oral disease prevalence in the country indicates that about 80 percent of children and 60 percent of adults suffer from dental caries. The decayed missing filled teeth score for teenagers is 2.4 and for 35-40 age group is 5.4,” Haydon said citing the study.

Of the total herbal oral care market, sensitive toothpaste is valued at Rs.100 crore, mouthwash at Rs.48 crore and mouth ulcer gel and gum astringent at Rs.28 crore.

The company is targeting a 5 percent market share in the prescription oral care segment in the first full fiscal year (2011-12).

The raw materials, including a variety of herbs, are sourced from the company’s farms and contract farming across the country.

The privately-held company, whose consolidated revenues are estimated to be Rs.1,000 crore, plans to export the herbal oral care products to countries in the Asia-Pacific region in the near future.

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