India’s leading consumer care brand- HUL finally experiences pent up demand in non-essential categories such as hair-care, skin-care, and color cosmetics. However, the brand remains unsure of its achievement of pre-COVID sales.
Officials from the brand commented that they have resumed operations at all factories and warehouses except for the one in Assam. Suppliers who had halted operations in the initial period of the lockdown are now back in business, they added. “With mobility restrictions, the lockdown of retail spaces, and fear of loss of income, the impact on discretionary categories like hair care, skincare, and color cosmetics is more accentuated. While we are seeing some demand revival in these categories, the exact time which these categories will take to recover fully remains to be seen,” the company said in a stock exchange filing.
Long before the lockdown was announced, the state governments had taken preventive measures which included the sealing of borders, suspending transport services, restriction on deliveries owing to which, the brand and its suppliers had to halt operations, thus, impacting the business. But, with everything gradually adjusting to the new normal, the brand is also gaining its momentum back. The local unit of Anglo-Dutch Unilever witnessed its volume growth shrink by 7% during the March quarter, propelled by Covid-19, and the lockdown that disrupted both manufacturings as well as supply. However, the company said its operations improved to about 70% in April.
“Our operations across manufacturing sites, distribution centers, warehouses, and extended supply chain partner locations were disrupted. Immediately following the nationwide lockdown, operations came to a near standstill and we were able to operate at about 5% of the pre-COVID normative levels,” the statement added.
Asa as Indian brand launches online with natural products
22, January: Realising the need for natural products, Asa has launched online as a new Indian cosmetics and wellness brand using the refillable packaging and natural ingredients. The product range of the new beauty brand includes lipsticks, concealers, mascaras, lip & cheek tints, cream correctors among its other wide variety of products. The newly launched brand Asa is a dedicated e-commerce platform and is providing free shipping all across India.
Sharing her take on why she decided to launch the brand, Asa’s founder, Asha Jindal Khaitan quoted, “The waste produced by the makeup industry has been overlooked for a long time now which is why creating an option that is meant to last, rather than just being for a one time use, was the need of the hour.”
The co-founder of the brand, Sukriti Jindal Khaitan, told Vogue India, “We have done an extensive research to ensure that our products can easily be reusable and refillable, time and again. We chose aluminium for our casings along with a coating that not only looks good, feels good to touch but also offers resistance to the metal, to ensure that the quality of the packaging is not affected due to external environmental conditions.”
L’Oreal to remove ‘fair and white’ words from its products line
In the interconnected world that we live in today, it has become pertinent for every brand to connect with the community deeply. In most cases the consumers demand the brand to take a stand on the ongoing happenings of the society and react to them strongly. Over the years, upon recognizing this trend, brands have quickly capitalized on it by standing side by side to the society and moving large portions of their revenue into marketing to create relevant campaigns to win the hearts and minds of the people.
One such company that has shifted its dynamic in the midst of the recent state of affairs is the French cosmetics major, L’Oreal group. The group recently stated that it will do away with the words white, fair and light from its range of skincare products. L’Oreal is a big player in the category of personal care with global brands like Garnier, L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline New York and NYX Professional Make Up in its kitty.
For many decades, such brands sold the idea of looking at beauty in a unidirectional manner which unfortunately got embedded in the larger strata of society leading to racial stereotyping among the masses. The products sold were often promoting fairer skin as a desired colour. Such stereotype was further highlighted amid the ongoing protests of ‘Black lives matter’ that gained momentum around the world, especially in the west where it went overboard. In the light of the issue and as a part of extending support for the movement L’Oreal acknowledged concerns over the terms used to describe its skin care products and its decision to remove the above mentioned words from the same. The move came a day after Unilever announced its decision to remove the word ‘Fair’ from its infamous skincare product ‘Fair & Lovely’. Further the FMCG giant Johnson & Johnson ceased the sale of its range of skin whitening creams globally.
This has led to Indian brands like Emami which owns the brand ‘Fair and Handsome’ to imitate the same in the wake of the ongoing situation where the company was reported saying that it is evaluating the current situation and taking into due account the consumer sentiments and their responsibility to follow a holistic approach to address the needs of the consumer before planning their next course of action.
The move by the global giants will impact the society, which battled discrimination and stereotypes with respect to race and colour, in an ever-so-crucial way.
#LoveIsInTheHair, a campaign by L’Oréal for hairstylists
With everything that is being missed during the lockdown period, salons remain an inevitable part of the list. When talking about salons, the critical roles that hairdressers play are always worth mentioning. Appreciating their existence in our lives, L’Oréal India’s Professional Products Division has launched a solidarity campaign called #LoveIsInTheHair.
The campaign emerges out of the sole motive to acknowledge the importance of hairdressers in our lives. It reminds us of how they infuse confidence in us by just styling our hair.
The campaign celebrates the presence of hairstylists by connecting a myriad of famous hairstylists like Ambika Pillai, Jawed Habib, Kanta Motwani, Vipul Chudasama, Loic Chapoix, Rohan Jagtap, Akshata Honawar among others, with the celebrities such as Lisa Haydon, Sophie Choudry, Malavika Mohanan, and Rohit Bal and have them share their stories and the relationship they had built together with the customers.
Launching the campaign, Lisa Haydon, Actress, and Model, said, “Great hair plays a big part when being in front of the camera. For me hair has always been a way to express myself, to make me feel confident, beautiful, and strong. Having a great hairstylist, not just one who is great at their job, but someone who is easy to work with, interprets a vision effortlessly, someone you can get along with when on a film set for months, someone who gets it, is very important. The relationships built with the hairstylists I’ve worked with over the years…you know who you are…are cherished ones. They are lifelong friendships.”
D. P. Sharma, Director, Professional Products Division, said, “Hairdressers all over India have been impacted by the lockdown. Through this campaign, we want to create recognition and appreciation for the special relationship shared between a hairdresser and a consumer. It is often more than just a haircut or color service; it turns into friendship and family. The campaign is an industry-wide initiative, bringing together the pillars and opinion leaders across the community. We are also drawing upon our own wide L’Oréal customer universe, across our signature brands, to spread the love. With more than 110 years of professional beauty heritage, L’Oréal is committed to serving as a partner and advocate for the industry.”
The solidarity campaign starts with the celebrities sharing their stories of companionship through open letters and later inviting the viewers to support and appreciate the community of hairstylists.
The move is another diversion of virtual training and up-skilling that L’Oréal has provided to salons during the lockdown period. The company has also issued “Back to Business” safety guidelines for all its partner salons in order to provide assistance in reopening the procedure.
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